8 Tips To Prepare You For Any Ski Lesson

Preparing for a ski snowboard lesson, Aspen Snowmass

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:

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). 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.

2. Warm Up

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.

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

Preparing for a ski snowboard lesson, Aspen Snowmass

Preparing for a ski snowboard lesson, Aspen Snowmass

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 they'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.

6. Acclimate & Hydrate

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 (I.E. 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

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.
Two skiers get fitted for ski boots at Four Mountain Sports
Four Mountain Sports / D&E Retail

Published March 2016

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