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Why Everyone Should Take a Ski or Snowboard Lesson

There are several reason why everyone should take a ski or snowboard lesson, but the most important one might not be so obvious.

Private ski lesson at Aspen Mountain

Planning your ski season can feel overwhelming at times. From getting gear dialed and hitting the gym to get in shape to aligning calendars so you can spend time on the slopes with your family and friends, it can feel like a lot. One way to mitigate the burden—and ensure even better seasons of skiing and riding in the future—is to take a ski lesson. While many write it off each winter, the benefits of taking even a single day lesson or clinic are huge.

Jonathan Ballou is lifelong ski instructor, top Pro at Aspen Snowmass, and now Vice President of Mountain Sales and Schools and he says that the reasons to take a ski or snowboard lesson always outweigh any reservations you may have. “Remember,” he says. “Even the world’s best—including our Pros—take lessons.”

So, whether you’re a first-time skier or rider, you’ve been doing it for decades, or you land somewhere in-between, here are some excellent reasons to take a lesson.

1. There's always more to learn

New to the sport? Just need a reminder of the basics? Wanting to refine your technique? There is a lesson for every level of skier or rider at Aspen Snowmass.

You may not have your sights set on the Olympics, but what about gaining more confidence with laying down an edge and carving groomers? Maybe you’ve always fancied yourself a bumps skier, but you’re interested in picking up your pace and mastering that zipper line. Or, how about a little snowboarding or telemark skiing to show the kids you’ve still got it?

“It’s easy to say, ‘I’m good enough,’ but there’s always room for improvement,” says Ballou.

2. Getting professional feedback is a game changer

The idea of skiing or riding in front of other people may sound uncomfortable, but gaining insight from a certified professional—even for a single morning or afternoon—can be groundbreaking. From pole planting to posture, Pros’ trained eyes recognize both micro-movements and glaring issues. Getting a tip or two may be just what you need to take on tougher terrain.

And, you can decide which instructor or group is right for you, so the feedback will be that much more impactful. “At Aspen Snowmass, we don’t have you ski down in front of everyone to ‘place’ you in a group,” says Ballou. “Just tell us where you belong. We believe you.”

3. Lessons are a good investment

The idea of having a friend, sibling, romantic partner, or parent teach you to ski or ride can be tempting. But choosing to learn the fundamentals from a professional can maximize your time on the slopes to improve your skills, while avoiding conflict, miscommunication, or unhelpful tips from your future ski buddies.

“If the alternative is learning from your spouse, remember that our rates are really cheap compared to divorce lawyers—we’ve saved more relationships than most counselors,” jokes Ballou. Jokes aside, “lessons are a great value. Think of them as good-time insurance—a guaranteed way to have you zooming down hills, tackling more interesting runs, and getting the most possible fun out of your vacation dollar.”

Best of all? At Aspen Snowmass, lessons are a safe investment. If you’re not happy, we’ll enroll you in another lesson free of charge.

4. Lessons help you get your ski legs back

It’s easy to put off taking a lesson until you “have your legs back.” But, here’s a secret: helping you get strong, fix wobbly legs, and remember all the things you forgot over the summer is what Pros do best. An early season lesson is a great way to have you skiing or riding better than you were at the end of last season. Then you’ve got your entire vacation, and all of winter to enjoy it.

5. You can choose your own adventure

There are always options. You can choose a private lesson—either solo or with up to four friends—where one-on-one attention flows freely, which helps with overcoming anxiety. Or, opt to take a group lesson or clinic to learn from other skiers as well as your Pro. There are also four mountains to choose from at Aspen Snowmass with more than 5, 500+ acres of terrain to explore, making our Pros the best on-mountain guides in the Valley.

Time to sign up for a lesson?

Find the right lesson for your abilities and ambitions, and discover how the Aspen Snowmass Ski & Snowboard Schools can take your Colorado ski vacation (and everywhere you ski and ride after) to a new level.

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