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Is Ski School the Answer to get Ski Technique right?

Emma 28.05.2024

Photo credit Brendan Reeves

“It comes down to fundamentals in each stage , no-one wants a lesson”.

Dean Hunter, the founder of Rookies Academy.

If you speak to any Olympic athlete in snow sports they will tell you about the constant return to the fundamentals in their weekly training. Going over and over simple principles and simple exercises. Somehow skiers and snowboarders have got it into their head they’re ‘too good’ for ski school or a class or a lesson. Once we delve into the ‘learning of learning’ and put the ego aside we arrive at the same place these Olympic athletes get to, which is as Dean says, ‘it comes down to the fundamentals’:

How do we approach progression?

“Think about this, what is great skiing? Creating a great experience is going to make skiing or snowboarding easier”.

How much progression do you get in ski school?

“It depends on the experience of the instructor you get, you’re in control of your experience, so ask the questions. You want to be realistic about getting on the terrain, you don’t want to go to terrain too challenging for you or will become a nervous skier. You’re learning certain skills before moving to the next level. 

Who is it best to book with? A private lesson, a camp or ski with your friends?

Friends sometimes can be the worst, what does your boyfriend know? He might get down the hill fast but he probably doesn’t know nine things out of ten. You want to get better than just the basics, athletic ability only gets you to a certain stage, it’s technique, technique, technique. You must be consistent and build up your skills over a period of time. 

Following good skiers is the best thing you can do, otherwise you’re just surviving on terrain and being a defensive skier and spending your time slowing or stopping. Being around the best skiers and ski learning environments will help you improve . Research and find the right sort of people. That is value for money. 

Can anyone learn to ski or are some people too old and too hopeless? 

Anyone can learn to ski, going up on a carpet and gliding down IS skiing and there is freedom in gliding and standing on skis. Some people are certainly challenged to do this and challenged in learning how their body works.  Everyone has a different range of movement, so be patient with yourself. No one is hopeless, it just takes a while to click in . From there you build confidence and eventually everything clicks, bit by bit.

If you are a nervous skier read Dean’s tips here. Check out Rookie Academy for a camp that suits you in Italy, Japan, USA, NZ and beyond including womens camps, local camps and Snow Planet Camps NZ. If you’d like to find out more info about the Japan locations where the Rookies academy base themselves, please read here and keep an eye on Snow Action for all the latest news.