Like Family Ski but not ESF?(19 Posts)
We have used Family Ski for the last few years and really like the set up (communal chalet, other kids to play with, other adults to socialise with in the evenings) and we love the Ardent location but my daughter has now decided that she doesn't want to go any more because she doesn't like the ESF lessons. When she was younger, there was a Family Ski helper so it was all fine but now she is up to 1 star level, they are just in a big group with the French ESF instructor and she hates it. Can't say I blame her.
Does anyone have any ideas about somewhere where you get the benefits of chalet and activities for the kids in the afternoons but they don't use ESF?
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Have you looked at ski famille? They sound very similar and I don't think they use esf (they certainly didn't in Les gets last year).
I think the esf have a lot of work to do to lure back uk customers - I would certainly not use them for kids lessons unless I was booking privately with a recommended instructor.
Esprit use evolution 2 in locations where evo 2 have a set up, but they do use ESF in other places.
Saying that dd has never minded ESF. Over the years ive had one idiot instructor who left me on a slope in the middle of a lesson because I couldn't snowboard as well as the others! Apart from that the others have been fine and dd has got on really well with them.
Are you sure it's not just the big group lesson your dd doesn't like rather then ESF? How many do they have in a group? Esprit won't let there be more than 8 in a group iirc.
Laura, Snowbizz are great, they have their own ski school.
ESFUK, we wherever possible avoid ESF.
On our first experience with kids and ESF DS came back with a black eye and a cut where the edge of his goggles sat and all the instructor did was shrugged his shoulders when I asked him about it. DS wet his ski suit every day as he was too scared to ask to go to the loo. Also he was one of only two non French speakers in his group and he learned bugger all.
The classes are far too big, in feb this year I watched an ESF instructor unload 15+ teeny kids from a chairlift and then go skiing off without half of them. I felt so glad my kids were in a small class with Snowbizz.
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Since we've had children we've always been with Esprit and ESF. In the early stages, Esprit always have staff with the younger kids along with the ski instructors. Whilst at the star stages of ESF grading, the kids have only had the ESF instructor. Our experiences of the ESF instructors have been good, the children have enjoyed it and their skiing has improved.
But I think our good experience is down to small group sizes (ESF instructors taking only Esprit kids, often only 6 in a group) and the fact that the entire group is English speaking - the instructors always communicated in English, I don't believe any of the kids have felt neglected or ignored.
I wouldn't ever want my kids taught in a group of more than 10, and definitely not if they are the only English speakers (I'm sure many of the instructors speak great English, just that we don't speak great French).
I would have to say I would also actively avoid ESF when we finally make it onto the slopes with the kids.
I remember one occasion (admittedly about 9 years ago) when on the last run of the day we came across a small (8ish) child crying on the side of the piste. We couldn't leave her, but being we were both on boards it was extremely difficult to try and shepherd a small, crying child on skis. We ended up walking down the piste with her (she was English). After a hundred metres or so and round a corner we came across her ESF group. The instructor had only just realised he was down one, yet showed little relief at getting her back and gave no thanks whatsoever . We handed her over, but I still wonder how she got over that experience and whether they ever told her parents. Poor child.
We are going with DC 9 and 7 in Feb for the first time and actively trying to avoid ESF after many horror stories from friends.
Sorry I took a while to come back to this. I'm sure, like anything, it is down to the individual instructor but last year she was in a group of 12, she said the instructor was really grumpy and she was scared of being left behind because if she fell over they wouldn't wait for her. (She didn't tell me this until afterwards for some unaccountable reason or I would have taken her out).
I do like lots of things about Snowbizz but I don't want self catering accommodation. I really like the chalet sociable thing in the evenings.
Esprit are an option, though I have had so many frustrating conversations with their call centre that I gave up on them a while ago. Maybe time to revisit.
I have also discovered Family Friendly Skiing in La Tania which looks like it could be a good option. They have nannies who drop off and collect from ski school but you sort out your own lessons. New Generation are based there and I have heard lots of good things about them.
Anyone with experience of either?
Or try mark Warner
Or since our kids have been big enough to ski all day we have booked a chalet then organised lessons ourselves. As we have travelled in school holidays there has/always been other kids in the chalet. Evolution 2 do suppervised lunch so our DS would do morning lessons and lunch which gave us a long morning ski then we skied with them from about 2pm
I've only used Family Ski Company so I can't really recommend anyone else. My kids just love the skiing for the week, they are really happy so I can't say more than that. Perhaps it was just bad luck for your daughter? Might be worth a call to them to see if they can help? Wonder why the ESFUK comments have gone...?
I wonder that too
Their comments were really quite helpful
Perhaps we had bad luck with the ESF instructor but I can't risk it again - will put her off for life. I do like Family Ski, they are a great company. I have talked about the ESF thing with them before and they didn't really have any solutions.
We have decided to go with Family Friendly Skiing in La Tania and use New Generation ski school. Fingers crossed!
Have a good holiday Laura, will be fab to see what you think of them. I'm slightly addicted the the web cams already! Is Family Friendly Skiing a big company? It's a big bug-bear of mine, are they protected by a bond eg ATOL etc just in case!
I know you've booked but for anyone else reading: Crystal don't always use ESF. I know this year in Tignes they're using Evolution 2. It depends on the resort - they're pretty good at telling you who they are going to use if you email or call them.
ESF works fine for some children, especially ones that tend to follow instructions well and are pretty self-sufficient and pick things up quickly. It was fine for DC1 as that describes her. But DC2 who is very scatty found it very hard and lonely, and I shudder to think of DC3 who has ASD with extreme demand avoidance managing at all when he starts this year at 4 years old.
Definitely recommend La Tania....I've been there with Le ski for 4 years and Creche, nannies and new generation ski school as fab!
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