You’ve signed up for a group ski or snowboard lesson and you’re ready to get on the mountain with one of our ski or snowboard Pros. Or are you?
Being prepared from an equipment standpoint is not much different than skiing or snowboarding on your own, says Tom Hazard, adult programs manager at Snowmass. But there are some things to think about that will enhance your lesson experience. Here are some of Tom’s tips:
- Be prepared when the lesson starts. That might mean taking a warm-up run or two if you’re comfortable (lessons start at 10; the lifts open at 8:30 or 9). This is a good way to make sure your boots are buckled right, your skis or snowboard feel comfortable, and you’ve got a feel for the temperature, the snow conditions, and how your body is doing.
- If it’s a cold morning, warm up before joining the lesson. It’s important to have a comfortable core temperature, since your first break will be about two hours into the day.
- Expect to ski or snowboard a fair amount. You won’t be standing around, because “true learning for any athletic endeavor only takes place when you’re moving,” says Tom. Your Pro will help you increase your stamina so you can ski or snowboard longer — and you’ll be avoiding lift lines.
- Be prepared for a custom experience. You may be in a group lesson, but everyone learns at their own rate and experiencing things differently. At Aspen/Snowmass, says Tom, “we don’t necessarily teach skiing; we guide your learning process.”
- Remember that a lesson is a safe place to try something new. It’s tempting to want to perform well and earn praise for what you already know, but you should be thinking exactly the opposite.
- The more acclimated and in shape you are, the more you can focus on learning. Being well hydrated and well rested should not be underestimated!
- Check the weather forecast and layer your clothing accordingly. Lessons run from 10am to 3pm, during which temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit — and you won’t be able to run into the lodge to change.
- Properly fitted and aligned boots maximize your experience, as does quality, contemporary equipment. Take the time to visit a ski/snowboard shop — such as Four Mountain Sports — to make sure your equipment is dialed before your lesson.