Ski Lessons : Group vs Privates
Getting more out of your Ski Holiday
Do I really need ski or snowboard lessons?
Well, Unless your name is Franz Klammer or Candide Thovex then we can all benefit from some tuition to improve technique and get more out of our precious days on the snow. But, which type of lessons are best for you – Group or Private?
The answer may well depend on the duration of your ski holiday or short ski break, your current ability level and, to some extent, your budget too. Here, we take a look at some of the options typically on offer in Austria.
GROUP SKI LESSONS
Group lessons typically start Sundays/Mondays with most week-long skiers opting for at least 3 days of lessons and lesson times typically 10-12 and 1-3pm. Beginners tend to opt for 5 or 6 full days of instruction and, whilst some ski schools offer mornings only, for beginners this can mean getting a little bit left behind in terms of progression. Groups are typically from 8 to 12 people in size and learning to ski all together is all part of the fun as you learn from other people’s mistakes and falling over is all part of your new ski adventure!
The difference in costs between 3, 4 and 5 days lessons is often nominal so often worth booking more days and maybe dropping an afternoon. With the cost of the instructor split across your group, this is the most cost-effective option.
PRIVATE SKI LESSONS
Private Ski Lessons can be booked at any time for 1, 2 or 3 hours or a full day (2+2) and there is usually a cost for the private one-to-one element plus a small amount for each additional person. The advantage here is dedicated time and expertise to hone your technique without waiting on other members of a group and more intense tuition to address specific skills. If you are on an intermediate plateau then a 2 hour private lesson will give you more than enough to work on for the rest of the day and, for more advanced skiers, tweaking bad habits and embedding better technique can only mean more skiing enjoyment.
Private lessons offer more flexibility and individual attention but cost more than group lessons. For Short Ski breaks and Ski Weekends arriving on odd days, private lessons may be the only option on offer.
For Children and especially beginners, it is all about having fun in the snow and making a life long lasting association between snow and enjoyment. Making new international friends is a great holiday experience and there is a real emphasis on learning through play with Ski School Kindergartens set up with this very much at the fore. Younger Children and group ski lessons work best although like-ability early teens in a small group can get a lot out of a Private instructor with the cost working our similar to group lessons.
Most ski schools in Austria also offer a Children’s hot lunch and lunch hour supervision (EURO 11 / day).
GUIDING / SPECIALITY
If you have a short amount of time in a new and large area, a private instructor can guide you on-piste and take the hassle out of navigating piste maps plus will find you the best snow, avoid any lengthy queues and take you to the best mountain huts.
If you are planning on venturing off-piste, a fully qualified guide is highly recommended. They know the backcountry intimately, are qualified to the highest standards and your safety will be their priority. If it is your first time heading off-piste, a lot of ski schools now offer ‘Freeride’ Taster morning or full day small group sessions which you can join as an individual and include the hire of an avalanche transceiver, probe, shovel and airbag. Alternatively, take a full day private guide for your group and have a truly memorable day out exploring the deep stuff!
ALL-ROUND SKI HOLIDAY BENEFITS
Instructors go through further on-the-job training throughout the season so we should have no excuses for not trying to improve our skiing! Skiing correctly and technically better can be so much better for your body, cause less fatigue and you’ll get more enjoyment from learning new skills. Plus, you’ll find yourself queuing less, you’ll benefit from so much more local knowledge (snow conditions, weather, best restaurants, local events and local customs and traditions), you’ll experience the best snow, enjoy the mountain environment safely and pushing yourself can only enhance your ski holiday experience!
SKI SCHOOL AND PRIVATE SKI LESSON PRICES
Based on our partners, S4 Fieberbrunn www.s4-fieberbrunn.at
Children’s Group : 6 days x 4 hours £196
Adult Group : 4 days x 4 hours £188
Private – 2 hours £128 One-to-One + £10 for each additional person
Private Guide – full day, 4 people – TOTAL £279
Freeride Experience Day £66 (min group size 4)
For any further information or advice on how lessons or guiding can make your ski holiday that much better, please get in touch.