What To Expect From Your First Ski Lesson

As I have previously discussed, it is advantageous to learn to ski before you set off on your first skiing holiday. In this post I want to outline what to expect when you turn up for your first skiing lesson. Whether you first learn to ski on snow or on an artificial slope makes very little difference in the techniques and progressions that you will encounter in your first skiing lesson. So this information covers both your first lesson on snow and/or artificial slope.

For the purpose of this blog, I will break the lessons down as if they are in 1 hour Sessions.

Also, I am presuming that you will be learning in a group of first time skiers, although again, if you had a one to one lesson the basic principles would remain the same.

I am not trying to teach a ski lesson here and I will make it very clear that this is not some kind of manual to take with you when you learn to ski, merely an overview to give you some understanding of what you will experience with your ski instructor on your first day.

Session 1.

Meeting your instructor:
This is an important step in your experience as a newcomer to the sport and you need to feel comfortable with the person you are trusting your safety with. After these introductions it is essential that you feel confident in the person who will lead you for the rest of the day or possibly the whole week of your holiday. It is perfectly acceptable to ask questions about the persons experience and qualifications and any professional ski teacher will gladly provide that information to you. If you go through a reputable ski school there is no reason to doubt that your teacher will be both qualified to teach at your level and experienced in taking previous classes. All ski instructors go through a training program and will only be allowed to take a class on their own once satisfactory requirements have been met. As a beginner you might (although not always the case) naturally expect your instructor to be at the first level of qualification. This is not a disadvantage as there knowledge of teaching beginners will be at the required level.

Walking to the ski lift:
Your instructor should teach you the correct way to hold and carry skis. This is often overlooked so ask if this information is not provided. Carrying your skis correctly will put you in good stead for the future, both making it more comfortable to walk around and safer, not to mention the fact that you wont stand out as a total novice! The vast majority of skiers do not carry or hold their equipment properly, that’s not just beginners but advanced skiers too. Look at the skiing instructors around you or in the resort (they wear a uniform and you wont miss them). See how they carry their equipment and don’t be afraid to copy them.

In my next post, continuing with the first one-hour session, I will discuss how to carry your skiing equipment.

Hope you find this of use. If you have anything to contribute then I would like to hear from you so please make a comment on this post.

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Robert Stewart

Ski Editor at Snow.Guide

Rob has extensive knowledge and experience of winter sports and has been qualified to instruct and teach Alpine Skiing for over 25 years. He is also an experienced off-piste and backcountry skier and has competed in freestyle and freeride events around the world. Now a full-time ski writer and Director of Ski Press, Rob is Snow.Guide’s Ski Editor and contributes to many other snowsports, national and lifestyle publications.

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