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Top five reasons to take a lesson if you’re an intermediate skier/rider

Adult Ski School at Breck

Top five reasons to take a lesson if you’re an intermediate skier/rider

Sailing down a velvety groomed run makes anyone feel like a hero. Turns are consistent and easily planned. The snow is delightfully predictable and you can carve it like a boss. But nothing lands a blow to the ego like taking all of those skills to a steep mogul run and flailing down it. It might be time to revisit ski school.

WomensCampBreck“So many people plateau at the intermediate level,” says Mike Hafer, Adult General Manager at Breckenridge Ski & Ride School. “Once you get to an intermediate level, it’s very easy to go out there on your own and reinforce the movement patterns that you have. In order to break through to the next level it’s as much about tactics as much as it is about technique.”

Learning tactics and technique

“What type of turns would you use in certain aspects? There are some runs where you can let it go or dial it back with a short turn, stay in a lane if the space is narrow. But if you make short turns everywhere on this hill, you’ll be tired by 11 o’clock. Another of the standout tactics is the ability to read the snow conditions. You can find yourself in areas where snow is scraped off, or it’s firmer. Or it’s softer than people are used to. It can create some anxiety. It can cause inefficiencies in movements,” Hafer says.

Maintaining stamina

Whether you’re skiing, snowboarding or running a marathon, moving inefficiently leads to one thing: weariness. One reason people like to ski and ride groomers all day is because they can. You can rip down Cashier five times for the same amount of output it takes for a single, thigh-burning toss down say, Whale’s Tail. But a little instruction can be the ticket to lasting all day.

“At an intermediate level, we’ve learned some movement patterns that work on groomed runs. Becoming more refined on all kinds of snow allows us to ski and ride longer,” Hafer says.

Exploring the mountain, finding new stashes, avoiding traffic

Do you have a trusted route and lineup of trails to hit every single time you come to Breck? Time tested and wonderful as your hit list surely is, it’s a shame to be in a rut when there are so many miles of trails to explore and so many hidden treasures to uncover.

“There are some unique places on our mountain that you can only find with our instructors,” Hafer points out.  “It turns the day into an adventure. We’re creatures of habit. We tend to stick to the same runs. Because the instructor moves around so much, they know how long it takes to get somewhere. Our pros know when and how people move around the hill. With that comes the traffic. We know that at certain times certain runs are busier than others. At higher levels, they bring you to the areas that are less traveled.”

Good company for your day on the hill

Perhaps the greatest benefit of taking a lesson is not only having a teacher at your side to coach you through every turn but also a cool guy/gal who can give you all kinds of useful tips about where to eat, where to take your kids or have a romantic dinner.

“When I was windsurfing a lot, taking private lessons, one thing I really enjoyed was that it gave me a companion to hang out with,” Hafer says. “I’ve always enjoyed skiing and other sports when I can participate with people better than me. Following them, I can learn not just from what they say but from what they’re doing.”

Lookin’ good everywhere

We’re not talking about the bling on your goggles, here. We’re talking about rocking those perfectly controlled French fry turns not just on groomed blues blue runs but all over the mountain.

“A lot of people say, ‘I want to look good.’ Believe it or not, we hear it from the parents, from so many people at the intermediate level,” Hafer says. “They say, ‘Just make me a better skier.’ At this level, it’s not always easy to do that on your own.”

Adult Workshop lessons for intermediate levels and above top out at five skiers or snowboarders. Kids have access to Ultimate Four classes in which there are no more than four kids in any lessons. Lessons are always arranged by ability level and private lessons are available at all levels.  Find all you need to know here http://www.breckenridge.com/plan-a-trip/book-ski-and-ride-lessons/lessons-selector.aspx.


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