January: The Month To Give Skiing, Snowboarding A Try
Group lessons at discounted rates call newbies to the slopes (PSIA/Facebook)
Organizers of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month like to say that “Humans weren’t meant to hibernate.” Instead, they should be out hittin’ the slopes with a professional ski or snowboard instructor.
For nearly a decade, an industry-wide effort has targeted January as the month for special deals and packages designed to get newcomers on skis or snowboards. The goal is to get more people on the mountain – and get them comfortable with the sport enough so that they will return.
"Spending time with friends and family members is the number-one reason why newcomers want to learn how to ski or snowboard," Mary Jo Tarallo, executive director of the Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend initiative, told SnoCountry.com. "If that's the goal, then taking lessons from professional instructors really is the best way to learn.”
Only two requirements are out there: You must be a rank beginner, a never-ever skier or rider. And, you must be willing to take multiple lessons in order to gain base-level skill on the slopes.
Most resorts package rental equipment, lessons, lift tickets – even rental clothing -- together for everything from half-day lessons to multi-day instruction. Many kick in food or retail discounts, too.
Some cut the costs of post-lesson skiing and riding, with free or reduced-cost tickets for the rest of season. A few let you buy a learn-to-ski package in January and use it anytime during the season.
Quite a few resorts reward first-timers with a full season pass for the rest of the year upon completion of initial lessons. Many link kid-specific centers with lessons.
Here’s some other features from various resorts for Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month:
· If still unable to link turns after two lesson, you can return to the beginner slope as much as you want until you can.
· In Utah, learn-to-ski programs aim specifically to state residents.
· For working families, take beginner lessons on consecutive weekends. Or, afternoon-only lessons fit into a busy schedule.
“I always ask people if they would consider taking sky diving lessons from a friend or family member,” Tarallo told us. “If the answer is, “no,” then that also should apply to skiing and snowboarding. Professional instructors are trained to teach and, hopefully, lessons from a pro will help newcomers spend more fun time on the slopes with people they enjoy spending time with during the winter months."