Advanced lessons: Break through to the next level
It’s easy to hone your skills over the years and settle into a groomer-ripping comfort zone. So many skiers and riders plateau at the intermediate level. Don’t get stuck in that rut. Breckenridge Ski & Snowboard School General Manager Mike Hafer gives us the rundown on how to take your turns to the next level.
What do advanced skiers and riders typically need to work on?
1. Riding moguls smoothly
2. Skiing steeps with more control
3. Being efficient in deep powder
“These are the most common goals the instructors work with here at Breck,” Hafer says.
What are some tips for getting the most out of a ski lesson?
1. Read up and watch videos on the sport as much as you can to familiarize yourself with the language instructors use when teaching. (Hafer recommends resources with PSIA/AASI in the title).
2. Ask questions during the lesson. This will help you fully understand the outcomes of the movement patterns you’re working toward.
3. Consider your motivations and set clear goals for the lesson.
Breckenridge Ski Resort offers a wide variety of ski and ride lessons. Private or group? Morning or afternoon? Wednesday or Saturday? There are a lot of decisions to make.
Here’s what Hafer recommends for an advanced lesson:
“I prefer one-on-one instruction for selfish reasons such as reaching my goals as quickly as I can,” he says. “My preference for lessons is the all-day format where the pacing is dependent on my needs. The benefit to a morning lesson is that the groomed runs are at their best. The benefit to an afternoon lesson is that the group sizes may be quite a bit smaller than the morning.”
Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best days for lessons with the least amount of traffic, Hafer says, while weekends are great for those seeking groups to bond and learn with. All of Breck’s advanced group lessons max out at five skiers/snowboarders to each instructor.
So what does an advanced lesson look like?
It all depends on the goals of the group. A good advanced lesson will allow for coaching and guided practice time, Hafer notes.
“Most learning breakthroughs occur when one has a kinesthetic sensation that they hone in on,” he explains. “Some instructors will create a learning environment in which they utilize easier terrain to hone in on those sensations and then bring you to more difficult terrain to duplicate the sensation.”
Instructors know the flow of the mountain and will take you to the terrain that matches your goals. Long black groomers on Peak 10, steep bumps and tight trees on Peak 9, wide open powdery bowls on Peak 6 — Breck has it all.
Start planning your break-through lesson here.