Best instruction at area resorts?
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Maboomba
January 7, 2006
Member since 01/7/2006 🔗
7 posts
I'm tired of not being a good skiier. Which area resort - Liberty, Whitetail, WISP, Roundtop - has the best instructors and lessons? Do any of them really stand out or are they all the same at the entry-intermediate level?
Roy
January 8, 2006
Member since 01/11/2000 🔗
609 posts
If you are an entry, intermediate level, any of those resorts will do fine by their instructors (disclaimer: I'm an instructor at Liberty). There are differences to each instructor on how or what they teach, also depending on your abilities.

Take a group lesson (during the week the classes are typically smaller) and see how it goes. If you don't like the instructor you had, then take another lesson the next time you ski. I have some of my clinicians that I learn a lot from and some that I learn absolutely nothing from. Just don't stop trying.
kwillg6
January 9, 2006
Member since 01/18/2005 🔗
2,023 posts
It may be hit and miss until you find a good match with an instructor. I've had some which wasted my time, and then I've had others which knew exactly what I needed. In a group, you're stuck with the needs of the group, but in a private, you will get specifically what you need. A good time to get a group lesson which may end up as a private is on a sunday afternoon. Not too many lessons sold then, and, you just might get that instructor who will keep you coming back.
TerpSKI
January 9, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
I can vouch for Otto Matheke at Liberty. He is also a DCSki member. He is an excellent instructor and a nice guy.
jimmy
January 10, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Way to go Maboomba ! Ready to get better. What you'll get out of a lesson imho, depends as much on you as the instructor. Be prepared to answer what you want to get from the lesson, maybe you can ski comfortably on blue groomers but fall apart when the snow is variable, maybe you want to learn the proper way to use modern equipment whatever......

Be honest w/your instructor, how many days did you ski last season, how many do you plan to ski this season, what really challenges you? Don't worry too much about the "best instruction" it's all good, he or she will watch you make three turns and have a pretty good idea of the "lesson plan"; after the lesson a good instructor will review with you, don't be afraid to ask questions and find something to focus on the next time you ski. You may see an immediate improvement or it may take a few more days on the slopes to apply what you learned. Don't get discouraged!

Please let us know how it goes and




Don't forget to tip!!!!!!!
TerpSKI
January 10, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Quote:

Way to go Maboomba ! Don't worry too much about the "best instruction" it's all good,




Unfortunately in my experience it is definitely not " all good"

IMO for the amount of money you have to pay for instruction, recommendations are a must.
jimmy
January 10, 2006
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
2,650 posts
Yup, that's probably too much of an overstatement, i've been lucky; if you have a recommendation, take it.
therusty
January 10, 2006
Member since 01/17/2005 🔗
422 posts
(note: I teach at Whitetail)

Whitetail and Liberty each have over 200 instructors. If I had to guess, Roundtop and Wisp have slightly less. Don't forget Blue Knob (it's closer than Wisp). Each resort has some absolutely top notch pros. Each resort is also going to have a few stinkers. While one resort's teaching system might be better than anothers, the difference with respect to the quality of a group lesson will be neglible compared to the particular instructor you happen to get and the makeup of the group that you are put into and the conditions du jour. Although higher level lessons must be taught only by more qualified instructors, at the entry and intermediate level, the workload must be shared among who is available to teach.

If you're looking for private instruction, someone who was great for a friend might not work out well for you. If you are a higher level skier, you can take an advanced group lesson and very likely find a good pro who could be requested to teach a lower level private lesson. But some pros are better with groups than privates, or better with adults than kids, or better with women than men or better in good weather than bad, or better when it's not so crowded or when it is, and so on and so on. Your mileage may vary.

If you request an instructor who has a PSIA level 3 certification, that professional has demonstrated an extremely high skill level for skiing and extensive knowledge and skills for teaching. Although there are some level 3 pros who teach "bad" lessons to "some" people, the vast majority teach excellent lessons most of the time. Your odds are very good when requesting a level 3 pro without any other recommendations. You can expect about 3-7% of a ski school staff will have level 3 certification. There are also some outstanding level 2 certified instructors and non certified instructors at these resorts. For entry to intermediate lessons, these people can also do an outstanding job. Usually, about 10-20% of a ski schools staff will have level 2 certification.

Another consideration is which instructors train other instructors. At the PSIA level, these people are called Examiners or Clinic Leaders. At Liberty , there is a guy named Dave W. But since these people travel to other resorts, they can sometimes be hard to schedule. Resort trainers may or may not have level 3 certification, but they all have something special they bring to the table. Sometimes you can get a good recommendation out of a mediocre instructor by asking who they like to take clinics from.

Aside from recommendations from people with personal experience with an instructor, you can also hang out and observe pros in action. If you see one you like, walk up and ask for their name or card.

There are many pros that post here on DCski. If you like what they've written, maybe that can convince that they can teach a good lesson for you.

Finally, Whitetail, Liberty and RoundTop have been offering free group lessons before Christmas the last 2 seasons. Although there may not be a lot of snow on the mountain, you can use this offer as a shopping trip to find a good pro to establish a relationship with.


If you can tell us something more specific about what you are looking for, we might be able to come up with a specific recommendation for you.
TLaHaye
January 10, 2006
Member since 02/9/2005 🔗
136 posts
Quote:

you can also hang out and observe pros in action. If you see one you like, walk up and ask for their name or card.





This is excellent advice.

FWIW, I watched a Level 3 instructor give what I considered a really crappy lesson Saturday, while I watched an uncertified instructor, through careful observation, attention, and just a few "tips/drills", plant seeds that dramatically improved a student's skiing in the course of just one day.

Some instructors deliver more in a single run than others can in a half day private lesson. If you watch and listen from the chairlift, you'll see a lot of instruction going on. See whose methods you like.
JohnL
January 10, 2006
Member since 01/6/2000 🔗
3,514 posts
Quote:

Unfortunately in my experience it is definitely not " all good"




Without naming names, care to elaborate?
TerpSKI
January 11, 2006
Member since 03/10/2004 🔗
167 posts
Sure, I'm an advanced skier and I like to take a private lesson at least once a year to fine tune my movements and progress in certain areas. Without going into a long spiel I have taken 2 multi-hour lessons several years ago at Timberline & Liberty. Neither instructor was able to communicate clearly the movements he was trying to teach. Furthermore one of the instructors (can't remember which one) was trying to demonstrate 2-footed skiing but he lifted his inside foot at every turn. He also insisted I ski with a really wide stance which really didn't work for me. I think he was preaching the party-line (PSIA) but he couldn't really explain why I should do so.

At Lake Louise in 2001 I took a bump clinic. The instructor was an incredible skier but the entire 2 hr+ class consisted of him skiing and us either watching or following him. I am talking absolutely no feedback.

My wife took a private in Vermont as a Lvl 4-5 skier and that one reportedly consisted of her following the instructor with very little demonstration or feedback.

I have had one good experience by chance in NH and a several great experiences through recommendations out West and with Otto at Liberty.

Lessons are expensive so do your research and ask around.

BTW if anyone is going to Steamboat I can recommend an incredible Lvl 3 cert. instructor.

I am now looking for an instructor for a full-day private at either Alta or Snowbird so if anyone can recommend someone please feel free

(Well-so much for a non-long spiel-sorry )
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