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Private vs Group tuition for intermediate?

(18 Posts)
TheProblemOfSusan Mon 09-Jan-17 13:19:40

Hi everyone

Looking for a bit of advice, please. I'm not a terribly sporty person so don't have much experience of the best way to learn/improve with physical activities. I've been two years on snow and a few inbetween times at a snow dome to keep my skills up a bit. I took to skiing really really well - no idea why, I was as shocked as anyone, but I'm paralelling pretty much properly now, and able to cope with fairly steep hills e.g. a French blue with very tricky bits is fine, might take me a while to get down but I will.

We're going to Italy this year and I'm in a quandary - what do you think is best? Group lessons for say three days or spend the equivalent on a say threeish hours of private coaching? I'm going with two good skiers and one at the same level as me who doesn't really want to do lessons at all, all adults and no one will mind if I do either kind of lesson.

What do you think is best? Or what are the pros and cons?


massistar Wed 11-Jan-17 11:36:21

I think you'd probably get more out of private lessons to be honest. I did a private snowboard lesson last year and it was superb. Completely tailored to me.. she watched me go down a slope and just picked up on 1 or 2 areas which made a huge difference to my technique.

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 11-Jan-17 13:22:30

Thank you, that's useful feedback.

It would mean I could have more time on the slopes with my party, too, of course.

massistar Wed 11-Jan-17 14:04:45

Yep! Not much fun being in ski school with a bunch of strangers smile.

TheProblemOfSusan Wed 11-Jan-17 17:17:47

And because one of our friends doesn't want the lessons anyway but will be with the other two I won't be holding them back (and cheekily I think I am getting a bit better than her anyway).

My only other concern is that a longer period with a relatively experienced group might mean I go to bits of the mountains I might be chicken to do on my own/with my friends. But I guess I could ask the instructor about that too.

drspouse Fri 13-Jan-17 18:43:55

I am kind of improver/low intermediate with downhill, and did 3 days group lessons last year.
Pros were, as you say, going places I wouldn't have had the confidence for, and I wasn't the worst in the group which gave me a boost. Also you get more of a rest between runs in a larger group!
Cons were, oddly, too long spent skiing (OK I'm a lazy skier!) and you really get taken out in all weathers - no lazy starts or mornings staring at snow falling.

drspouse Fri 13-Jan-17 18:44:00

I am kind of improver/low intermediate with downhill, and did 3 days group lessons last year.
Pros were, as you say, going places I wouldn't have had the confidence for, and I wasn't the worst in the group which gave me a boost. Also you get more of a rest between runs in a larger group!
Cons were, oddly, too long spent skiing (OK I'm a lazy skier!) and you really get taken out in all weathers - no lazy starts or mornings staring at snow falling.

dontcallmethatyoucunt Sat 14-Jan-17 14:33:24

At some point, you've been told what you need to do, it's just confidence and the ability to control parts of your body. Time on skis is a big part of learning. You may get about the same tuition one to one in a short space of time, but simply following and copying an instructor over a longer period may be more beneficial.
I like small groups for that reason. You get mileage and a bit of tuition. I've done both and one to one for a couple of hours is not worth it, you actually need time/miles unless you are address just one particular technical issue.
Undoubtedly the best is a week of mornings one to one, but often that's far (far far) too costly.

WhisperingLoudly Sat 14-Jan-17 14:37:38

I prefer private for learning but when you need to push yourself in terms of confidence a group setting can be good.

In terms of level an intermediate is usually improving on red runs. I wouldn't put yourself in an intermediate group if you're still slow on blues.

TheProblemOfSusan Sat 14-Jan-17 22:25:41

I'm only slow on the very tricky bits (depending - sometimes the easiest way down has been to just go with it), but that's useful advice, thank you - I will ask advice from instructors on which group to go into in any case.

Still undecided but I've got a bit longer to decide - I might just let it go down to price in the end and see what the most reasonable deals for three days in the mornings is.

taptonaria27 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:03:49

I've done both but I'd go private unless you think you'd enjoy the group skiing within a lesson More than Skiing within your own group

carabos Sat 21-Jan-17 07:55:39

I'm a strong intermediate, happy and comfortable anywhere on the mountain and have skied some classic off piste runs. I've just come back from 5 days in Switzerland where I had two three hour private sessions with an instructor, purely to improve technique. Expensive but well worth the money.

I don't have lessons every year, but take the opportunity whenever I go without my husband. He and I occasionally have a lesson together if we're making a step up e.g. year before last we skied the Vallee Blanche so had a lesson the day before to check that we were up to it.

We're off to St Anton in March so I won't have a lesson while I'm there.

Biking007 Sat 21-Jan-17 09:03:41

I suppose it would depend if you get something out of the social side of a group lesson? If you not are going in a peak week you could decide when in resort and shop around work out the size of a group which I'd thought is a big deciding factor. If it's 12 in a group go for private but if it's 4/5people a group could stretch you more and see more terrain. Also what are your goals? Do you want to have the technique to do really steep sections or more confidence to go on lots of different blue/reds? I personally don't get anything out of black steep runs I'm too old to fall so confidence holds me back but I enjoy doing a red/ blue at speed with good technique smile can't wait we have 8weeks to go!

opinionatedfreak Sun 29-Jan-17 15:35:11

I tend to go with a group who are much better than me.

Group lessons give me people to ski with at my level. I don't like being the limiting factor on the wider group and people are reluctant to curtail their own skiing to stay with me.

Skiing on my own is a bit lonely. Especially when people blow off pRe-arranged rendezvous as they have found great snow on the far side of the resort (think Val Thoren to courcheval 1650) which I could never aspire to reach and get back from.

thatdearoctopus Mon 30-Jan-17 15:38:48

I'd definitely go with a private instructor - and preferably one who speaks good English. If you end up with a largely French group, French will, not unreasonably, be the language spoken, with the occasional English phrase thrown your way.

TheProblemOfSusan Tue 31-Jan-17 16:37:06

Thank you for all of this, everyone. I still haven't decided but getting insight from more experienced people is really helpful.

We'll be in Italy and I know there's a good English speaking ski school there - I might be able to cope with lessons in French if I brushed up the vocab but in Italian I'm more at the 'COPIOUS DE VINO POR FAVOURE' level of language skill!!

Excellent point about booking in-resort too, Biking007 - it will be a quietish week (half term obviously avoided like the plague) but if it's going to be packed then private would be better.

But I'm starting to edge towards group, listening to you all, because I think what I really need is confidence on the trickier bits; my technique isn't stellar, don't get me wrong, but I think it needs miles and experience to improve at this point rather than concentrated correction?

rookiemere Sun 26-Feb-17 10:07:56

I would say that at your level group lessons would be best at an English speaking school in a smallish class. I'm sure the Italian classes will be fine - I've skied in Italian group ski before and they are usually lovely - but English ski schools tend to have smaller classes so you get more time to practice.

Few reasons for that, DH has been skiing twice and didn't take group lessons either time and I think he has not advanced as much as he could - or feels he is behind because he can't compare to others.

Group lessons are a lot cheaper than individual ones and if you want to bunk off a day you won't miss too much.

I am slightly more advanced than yourself, we went for a week and I had one private lesson and kind of wish I'd booked in group as it's less intense.

I'm so jealous - wish I was about to go, rather than just coming back envy

IsletsOfLangerhans Mon 27-Feb-17 17:47:02

We've just come back from a week in Italy. I've skied one week more than husband (this was his second week). We opted for group lessons and it really pushed us on, particularly my husband. There were 6 of us and by the end of the week, we were skiing down some pretty steep red runs. Really pleased with our progress! I think next year, we will go for two or three 2 hour private lessons as a couple, as we'd like to do a bit more touring. We were too tired after 3 hours of intensive skiing in the mornings! Only got back today and already want to book again for next year!

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