This is a very simple question to answer. There will never come a time when you wouldn’t benefit from having a ski instructor. Why you need one will depend on your level of skiing. But let’s start from the beginning.
Children’s ski school
Send your kids to ski school. Not only will your children be taken care of for the whole day but they will learn to ski in a playfull manner with games and fun within a group of about the same level. Your children will have so much fun that they will try to persuade you to take another ski vacation. Let it happen, it is truly a great sport.
Three days a beginner
If you are skiing for the first time, book a ski instructor. Your wife, friend, spouse, partner, etc. might be a good skier, but if they don’t know the appropriate progressions for skiing you will not have fun. This is quite a common occurrence in ski resorts. Worst case scenario is the alpine rescue is called because you have injured yourself. Best case is that you have had a negative experience. Neither one of these is ideal. To avoid this, the safest and funnest option is to get a ski instructor.
Ski lessons are not cheap but for a beginner they are worth every Euro or Dollar. Within three days in a group you can learn the first level of skiing, which is to be able to ski gently inclined to intermediate slopes safely. This process can normally be accelerated by booking a private ski instructor.
A lifetime “advanced” without a ski instructor
After three more days in a group you can begin to ski steeper terrain (red slopes) with parallel turns (this is subject to talent and effort given). From this point on skiing becomes a lot of fun and a really enjoyable sport. If you have accomplished this already, congratulations! The question is, how long do you want to stay the same for? A large number of skiers are happy with their progress and stop taking lessons. Most huts can be skied to and the pictures from lookouts are seen by a lot of people on Facebook, Instagram, etc. so why try to improve further?
Our recommendation for all skiers at this level is: get a ski instructor for the first few days of your next ski vacation. This helps to prevent you from cementing any bad habits you may have. It is also a good idea to get a ski instructor if you haven’t skied for a while due to injury. After a long pause it is important to refresh your muscle memory. Ski instructors will continuously endeavour to take you down slopes that are best for you, your ability and/or the snow conditions. The best slopes, where its the most quiet, the best restauraunt, etc. are all examples of useful information that your ski instructor can provide you with during your lesson. Afterall, you will have plenty of time to chat and ask questions on the chairlift.
Become a really good skier
This is where the real fun begins. Carving, short turns, ski touring, moguls, freeride, race, park, halfpipe, telemark are different types of skiing that will not only add to your workout and fun, but open up completely new possibilities. Additionally, your skiing will be safer at low speeds and, more importantly, high speeds.
From this point on, we advise you to hire a ski instructor for at least one day per winter/ski vacation. A ski tour, a day in the park, moguls training can all significantly increase the joe of a ski week with family and friends. Regardless if you are a local, working in a ski resort or a tourist, a little refresher is helpful for everyone. Even ski instructors will give each other feedback when they train or ski together.
You are an expert skier
Whether your name is Marcel Hirscher (Marcel, if you read this: you are a machine, a true role model to us all!), you are well accomplished or even the best of the world in another area of skiing, you can always benefit from having a ski instructor. Although you may not need a ski instructor to learn to ski, they can always help you get to know new resorts. Particularly if you plan to go off-piste as they will have the insider knowledge on snow conditions and the best routes to take. Getting to know ski areas is always easier with a ski guide.
To sum it up, our opinion is: you could always make use of a ski instructor. Of course we understand that ski holidays are expensive before factoring in lessons and tips etc.
Whether you believe us or not, ski instructors will only enrich your ski vacation. We stand by it. We love skiing.
Send us your comments on this topic and tell us about your experiences with a ski instructor.