“Just turn! Just turn! Just turn!”
This simple phrase, repeated each time with a touch more urgency and exasperation, will forever be burned into my memory. You see, I spent a few seasons as a snowboard instructor and that phrase was constantly on the lips of ineffective ‘instructors’. Interestingly enough, it didn’t matter whether they were teaching someone to ski or snowboard. Well intentioned parents, husbands, wives, friends, and soon to be ex-boyfriends/girlfriends would utter this mantra and then become frustrated when their directions weren’t followed. It wasn’t as if the poor unwitting pupil was intentionally trying not to turn, but rather; they had no idea how to turn. On a recent trip to Loveland, I heard that futile command ring out once again and it got me thinking about how everybody could benefit from a lesson, and I’m not just talking about beginners.
Obviously, first-timers of all ages should get lessons. Consider the first few classes as an investment in fun as well as the sanity of all involved. Not sure what I mean? Head to the bunny hill at your local resort and you will quickly see impressive meltdowns due to the “just turn” method of teaching. If someone has a terrible time while learning on the first few days, they are less likely to want to attempt it again. So, if you want the beginner to ever progress, it’s wise to make their first few days as positive as possible. Additionally, by starting out with lessons, you can minimize potential safety concerns as well as help prevent habits which can make future progression difficult. And finally, certified ski and snowboard instructors know how to cater to various learning styles, which maximizes the success of each student. Oh, and they’re patient too…super patient.
Not a beginner anymore? Great, but a lesson would still be beneficial to you. I firmly believe that skiing and snowboarding have nothing to do with right and wrong, but rather efficiency versus inefficiency. Consider this: there are numerous ways to get down the hill. You can carve all the way to the base area with ease, or you could cartwheel the entire way down. Both approaches end in the same place, but which one sounds more efficient? Whether you want to work on your form in the moguls, take the next step in the park, or anything in between, an instructor will be able to pinpoint specific things to work on which will help you achieve your goals. No matter your level of skiing or riding, a lesson will help you feel more comfortable all over the mountain. Plus, a good instructor doubles as a guide, so you will probably get into some terrain that you would never find on your own.
It seems like there is a general consensus that people need to be taught to ski or snowboard, but a lot of people miss out on one important point; the lesson should be taught by someone who knows how to teach. Make each day on the hill better by getting yourself and your loved ones into a lesson. You won’t be disappointed!