Yes, Take A Lesson To Tune Up Or Re-Connect, But Be Prepared.

Yes, take a lesson, and be ready to follow instructor’s guidelines.
Credit: Canadian Press

A good ski lesson especially at the beginning of the season not only makes for a good day, but many more good days ahead. Refining technique, snuffing out bad habits, and discovering new ways to explore the mountain help make future ski days that much more enjoyable. Here’s how to get the most from your lesson, even during the limitations of pandemic skiing.

Allow time in your ski itinerary for flexibility. If renting your gear typically takes 45 minutes, plan for double that amount of time. If possible, pick up your gear the day before your lesson; nothing dampens a ski trip like waiting in line for two hours to rent your skis the morning of your lesson. Because of the many pandemic precautions mountains are taking, rescheduling your lesson may not be possible, leaving you wanting more from an abbreviated lesson you paid full price for.

Expect spacing and possibly masks during your lesson.

Establish boundaries and objectives with your Instructor.  The good news is that the presence of COVID has not changed how to ski, and it hasn’t changed your instructors willingness to help. Communicate early and often with them about what you are comfortable with during a lesson. If you’re comfortable with the small amount of physical contact with your instructor that may come with a lesson, speak up. If not, let your instructor know so they can accommodate your needs. Masks will probably be required during the lesson, so be ready to comply. 

Know your risk profile. Be aware Instructors will be working with a wide variety of people and will be exposed to numerous individuals directly and indirectly over the course of the season. Regardless of the precautions taken by you and your instructor, you may not be able to completely eliminate your risk of contraction. If you consider yourself high risk and are worried about contracting COVID19, it may be a good idea to forgo a lesson if you’re concerned about being exposed. Even the most safety conscious instructors are at risk of exposure.

For this year’s ski trip, the only thing certain is uncertainty. As resorts, towns, and mountains across the nation scramble to provide an enjoyable and stress skiing experience, they must navigate federal, state, and county guidelines issued to help stop the spread of infectious disease. The latest surge in COVID outbreaks has some ski states requiring specific quarantine periods for visitors from out state. This may or may not put your ski holiday or weekend away on hold.  “Know Before You Go” is especially good advice this year. 

Skiing down a mountain remains one of the few activities that is almost unchanged by our current pandemic affected world.  While all the other extras associated with a ski vacation have significantly changed, the actual physical act of ripping around your favorite mountain remains largely unaltered.  Come prepared, be flexible with your schedule, and have open dialogue with your instructor to get the most out of your lessons this year.

Things will be a little different. Be flexible, be patient, be safe.


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