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Ski Pro and Client skiing on a gentle run at Aspen Snowmass

8 Tips to Prepare You for Any Ski Lesson

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. But, are you? "Aside from getting your gear and equipment situated, there are a few other things to keep in mind," according to Tom Hazard, General Manager at Snowmass Ski & Snowboard School. Here are some things to think about that will enhance your lesson experience.

Ski Pro and Client skiing on a gentle run at Aspen Snowmass

Published March 2016
Updated January 2024

1. Get Loose

Be prepared when the lesson starts. That might mean taking a warm-up run or two if you’re comfortable (many lessons start at 10am; the lifts open at 8:30am or 9am depending on the mountain and lift), or just stretching and moving around in your gear. 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 how your body is doing.
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2. Warm Up, Literally

If it’s a cold morning, try to 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.

3. Expect To Keep Moving

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.

4. Know What You Want

a group of people on skis

a group of people on skis

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. Know what you want to learn and improve, and we'll guide you."

5. Get Ready To Try Something New

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. Try new terrain, consider new techniques, and test your limits.

6. Acclimate & Hydrate

Riding up a chairlift to over 11,000 feet (in some places) can take your breath away—in many ways. 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.

7. Dress Appropriately (Layers, Layers, Layers)

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.

8. Have Properly Fitted Equipment

Getting fitted for ski boots at Four Mountain Sports

Getting fitted for ski boots at Four Mountain Sports

Properly fitted and aligned boots maximize your experience, as does quality, contemporary equipment. If your boots don't fit properly, they will not only affect your ability and comfort, they will become a major distraction. Take the time to visit a ski/snowboard shop beforehand — such as Four Mountain Sports, which has locations at the base of all four mountains — to make sure your equipment is dialed-in before your lesson.

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