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ski instructors during a lesson

6 Reasons You Need Ski Lessons

Arialle Hess
Do you need ski lessons? Our answer is yes. 
 
The ski industry has made some incredible technological advancements when it comes to beginner skis. The new skis make learning so much easier and more fun, but that doesn’t mean you should skip taking a lesson.
 
Learning to ski with your friends is definitely fun but a bit dangerous, being self-taught can be confidence-building yet progression can plateau, but utilizing your local mountain’s ski school program is a very smart choice. Bear Creek is a small mountain that specializes in beginner-friendly terrain and staff; perfect for first-timers. The team has compiled a list of six reasons why your next visit should include a lesson with one of our pros. 
injured skier being helped by ski patrol

1. Safety

Skiing can be incredibly fun but also dangerous if you don’t take the proper precautions. Safety is the number one concern for our guests while out on the slopes. You won’t have much fun if you sustain and injury while skiing. One way to ensure your safety is to take a lesson with a professionally trained instructor.
 
Learning how to ski doesn’t just mean connecting your turns. Instructors are tasked with making sure to teach you the necessary skill set to ski safely every time you hit the slopes. From riding the chair lift, to controlling your speed, there are many areas for potential accidents we want you to avoid.
 
At Bear Creek we hold ourselves accountable to two things, a Responsibility Code and Smart Style skiing. Both focus on being aware of your surroundings because you aren’t the only one having fun out there. Every first-timer gets the run-down upon their first lesson.
 
Those employed by Bear Creek’s Snowports School have won awards from the PSIA (Prof. Ski Instructors Assoc.) and AASI (American Assoc. of Snowboard Instructors). Having a group of very talented and certified instructors ensures you’re in good hands.
 
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2. Injury Prevention

Accidents happen. They are unavoidable, especially when learning a new sport like skiing. Learning about your equipment and being comfortable in it can help keep you injury free.
 
Knee injuries come to most people’s minds when recalling ski accidents, so having your equipment set properly to your skier ability is crucial in avoiding unnecessary injuries. After spending some time in a lesson, an instructor can provide you with an accurate skier level and skier type; information a technician will need to know when setting your equipment.
 
You will also be taught certain skills to help avoid injury. Knowing special carving techniques and how to control your speed will help reduce your chances of injury. 
 
Whether it’s education on binding settings, knowing your appropriate ski length and flex, or learning how to shuck speed, all of this knowledge can help keep you from a face plant, or worse.
 
Read our blog for more injury prevention tips.
 
skis carving down slope
 

3. Faster Improvement

Lessons instill proper technique from the beginning. When you learn to ski properly from early on, you can avoid forming bad habits that will be difficult to correct down the line. Using proper technique will also make you a better skier, allowing you to climb the skier level ranks faster than if you were left to fend for yourself.
 
Taking a lesson can also help get you out of a rut. Even if you are athletically inclined, we all hit a plateau on the learning curve at some point. Instructors are trained in helping skiers work through problems that might be holding them back from improving. Receiving useful feedback along with tips and tricks can help you improve. Hey, even the professionals have coaches. 
 
experts only ski trail
 

4. Useful On-Mountain Knowledge

If you are completely new to skiing, taking a lesson is highly recommended. Aside from learning how to correctly carry your equipment, your instructor will also teach you about all things skiing including chair lift rules and regulations, as well as mountain signage and its meaning.
 
Knowing how to ski is one thing, but we are rarely ever the only ones on the mountain. To keep yourself and others safe, it is equally important to be aware of signs and what they mean. Just like driving, there are ski traffic rules such as one-way traversing trails, who has the right of way, where you can congregate and where you cannot, and how to merge on to trails.
 
If you are a beginner, you also want to make sure you don’t accidentally end up on a black diamond run. While taking a lesson, your instructor knows what runs are best suited for your skier ability and won’t ever put you in a dangerous situation.
 

5. Be the Best Version of Yourself

Learning new things on your own is great, but why limit yourself? Taking a lesson can help you break past those limits and become an even better skier than you ever thought possible. Skiing with those who are better than you is a great way to ensure your own progress. Being one step behind will force you to continuously improve.
 
There is a whole world of winter sports and you might only be scratching the surface if you explore it by yourself, so we would be remiss if we didn’t promote the lesson program at Bear Creek. As a beginner ski resort, Bear Creek wants everyone to leave feeling more confident in their ability to ski. We aim to turn everyone into life-long skiers, but if you just want to come for some weekend fun, we will make sure to deliver either way. 
 
Even if you already know how to ski, we recommend taking a lesson every now and then just to work on your skills. Maybe try skiing backwards, attempt the terrain park, or learn to ski on just one leg. You can always improve!
Group of skiers having fun out on the mountain
 

6. Meet New People

Another awesome part about taking a ski lesson, other than for your own improvement, is to meet others and hear their trials and tribulations while learning to shred. Resorts are full of professionally trained instructors, x-Pros, and some just dang-good skiers, from whom you can learn so much. Most have had enough experience that they are able to give sound advice to ensure you have a smoother experience.
 
Instructors come in all ages, so you never know what might spark a new friendship. If you are friends with a ski instructor, they normally can’t hold back if you ask for tips…They live for it! Most importantly, they are welcoming of all to the world of winter sports and hope you join our little community of skiing. 
 
Editor’s Note:
Most of us have taken at least one lesson in our lifetime, but how many ski lessons does a beginner really need? The amount of lessons one takes depends solely on the individual, but it’s most likely going to be more than one.
 
Skiing isn’t the easiest sport to learn. Unlike sports such as soccer, skiing goes against our natural movements such as running or walking, so parents cannot expect to have their kids return after one lesson carving kings and queens. 
 
Each novice skier should aim to accomplish the basic skills taught during their lesson before attempting to ski faster or on more difficult terrain. If you are going to practice solo after a lesson, it’s a good idea to practice on similar terrain, repeating the same movements until you have perfected them.
 
Remember, each individual’s learning curve is different and we all need a variety of situations to help build confidence, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you find yourself taking quite a few lessons. No matter what stage you are at, the most important basic skills are knowing how to control your speed and knowing the appropriate terrain for your skier ability.
 
Did you know?? Lessons are for everyone! No matter age or ability, we think everyone can benefit from a lesson. View our Snowsports Lessons FAQ for information on lessons at Bear Creek.
 
January is learn to ski month, so it’s the perfect time to trek to your local mountain and learn something new! Bear Creek’s lessons are booking up fast and some clinics have sold out. Email the Snowsports School at snowsports@bcmr.com for availability or visit the webpage for program details.
 
Happy skiing!

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