10 Things Your Instructor Wants You to Know Before Your Ski or Snowboard Lesson from 10 Things Your Instructor Wants You to Know Before Your Ski or Snowboard Lesson

10 Things Your Instructor Wants You to Know Before Your Ski or Snowboard Lesson

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10 Things Your Instructor Wants You to Know Before Your Ski or Snowboard Lesson

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Whether you’re just learning or want to further your skills, everyone can benefit from a professional ski or snowboard lesson. Hit the slopes with confidence and take this winter sport to a whole new level knowing that you have an expert right by your side.

*Related: The Top Reasons to Take a Professional Ski or Snowboard Lesson

Some of the top ski and snowboard instructors from across the country — Professional Ski and Snowboard Instructors of America and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors — are here to tell you some things you should know before your lesson.

It’s a Lifestyle

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“This lesson may change your life,” says Jeb Boyd, PSIA-AASI Team Manager. “Skiing or riding is more than a sport, it’s a lifestyle, that you may fall in love with and last you a lifetime.”

Your Lesson Will Be Fun

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“Your instructor is always going to be right by your side, helping you with every step so you have a fun time,” says Heidi Ettlinger, PSIA Alpine Team Member. “It’s the beginning of many more adventures."

Engage and Be an Active Learner

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Taking a lesson involves a relationship between the student and the teacher. Instructors don’t deliver the same lesson to everyone so be sure to interact with your teacher and it will help him or her to cater to and customize the approach for you,” says Robin Barnes, PSIA Alpine Team Member. “We love it when you ask questions, get involved, and let us know how I can make their experience the best for them.”

Have an Open Mind

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“Go in with an open mind, no expectations and you’ll enjoy the experience,” says Brenna Kelleher, PSIA Alpine Team Member. Tony Macri, AASI Snowboard Team Member, says, “Enjoy the learning experience and absorb every moment, from the interaction with your instructor, being outdoors in the winter and the sensation of sliding on snow.”

Wear What Fits

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“Avoid using your friend’s gear, and rent or buy boots that fit you,” says Chris Rogers, AASI Snowboard Team Member. “Properly fitting boots are important so your feet are comfortable and your toes stay warm. Put some heated hand warmers in your pocket too.”

Only One Sock and One Foot

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“Nothing goes in your boot except one pair of socks and your foot, so no need to wear an extra pair of socks or tuck in your long underwear under your pants,” says Scott Anfang, AASI Snowboard Team Coach.

Third Time’s a Charm

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“When learning something new, have fun and remember that to really connect with a new sport [it] may take more than one lesson, so plan to go three times,” says Stephen Helfenbein, PSIA Alpine Team Member.

Be Confident

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“Sometimes learning something new can be challenging, but the knowledge and the guidance of your instructor, who’s been there and done [it], is your perfect partner to unlock and share with you the incredible world that is skiing and riding,” says Geoff Krill, PSIA Adaptive Team Coach.

Dress for Success

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Your gear should be both comfortable and flexible. For cross-country skiing, for instance, “don’t overdress like you do for skiing, since this sport is very aerobic and it’s different than alpine skiing,” says Greg Rhodes, PSIA Cross Country Team Member. Greg Dixon, PSIA Telemark Team Member, says, “For alpine and snowboarding, dress appropriately for the conditions of the day. Wearing layers helps so that you can make adjustments throughout the lesson.”

Engage With Locals

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“Your experience is local, so check with the ski and snowboard shops, talk to them about the weather coming in and ask questions about gear rental,” says Grant Bishop, PSIA Telemark Team Member. “Instructors are often available the day ahead to help you get gear. Engage locals the day before so that you can get a good idea of where to eat and what the unique attractions of a mountain are.”