Getting Lessons on CO Pass - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 10-12-2009   #1
 
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Getting Lessons on CO Pass

So it's my first winter in CO. I picked up a CO Pass, and inherited a snowboard and boots in my size from some other boating friends. I know how to ski, but have probably only gone a dozen times or so. So it's time to learn to snowboard. Any suggestions on where to take lessons? Think 2 1/2 day lessons will do it?

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Old 10-12-2009   #2
 
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2 1/2 days should be fine. There are usually good discounts for season pass holders. I like Breckenridge for beginers. Lots of terrain not too steep (wife's all time favorite resort).
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Old 10-15-2009   #3
 
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I wouldn't suggest committing to 2.5 days of lessons up front - some people take to it quicker than others, and lessons are expensive. I ski, but when I decided I wanted to learn to board a buddy of mine and I swapped equipment so he was learning to ski while I was learning to board. It worked. Watch other people, and get back up and try again when you fall...most athletic people are capabable of picking it up on their own...
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Old 10-15-2009   #4
 
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Oh, I wasn't planning on signing up for 2.5 days of lessons. I thought I'd do a 1/2 day to start out, just to make sure I get my basics down. Then, after an afternoon on my own, I'll try and get a feel for whether I need a second half day of lessons.
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Old 10-15-2009   #5
 
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I'll try and get a feel for whether I need a second half day of lessons.
One of downfalls of the American skiier is the notion that after the first lesson, one never needs another and that as long as you can get down a run without falling, you're doing well enough. Believe me, if you've got the resources for it, take that half day, then go out and ride a couple of days to incorporate what you've learned, then do another half day to refine what you've been doing and learn the technique to move up the to next step, and so on. The steep part of the learning curve will go a lot smoother and quicker if you're getting regular course-corrections on your technique along the way and keeping the junk from accumulating and becoming part of your style.

My own experience was to take a occasional lessons during my first season (they were free with the place I worked), then I spent 3 more years getting in about 100+ days each and with no lessons. By my 4th season I thought I knew how to ski because I could keep up (barely) with the freestyle bumpslappers, and make it down anything without falling. On the other hand my technique was crap and I worked a lot harder than I needed to, still couldn't hold an edge very well on hardpack, and I felt like I'd been beat to shit after a day of skiing hard. During my 5th season, one of my ski buddies was an instructor who basically told me to forget everything I knew about skiing and then helped me rebuild my technique from the fundamentals up. This opened up a whole world to me and vastly improved my abilities on all types of conditions.

That 5th season was in the Alps where I was amazed to see British "holiday skiiers" who got in a couple of weeks skiing each year but were ripping it up on expert runs. Their secret was that during each year's 2-week vacation, they'd spend the first week in lessons. Back in the States their American counterparts with just as many ski days during their respective skiing careers were hurtling down blue runs out of control or doing the "snowplowing statue" zigzagging down the hill - they'd "took a lesson and didn't need no more."

Don't repeat my mistake - learn it right the first time. Take lessons frequently during your first season, and then occasionally for refreshing and improving your technique once you've moved past your beginning season.

As for where to go, it doesn't matter much. Get the lesson wherever you can get the most for the $$. If they've got a pre-pay package plan, go for it. It doesn't matter which hill - with the exception of A-Basin, they've all got enough good, mellow beginner terrain for you to have continuous runs that you can learn on. A-Basin's terrain goes straight from Checkerboard Flats to runs that would be considered intermediate at any other ski area. Maybe someone knows the area better than I but that's my impression.

And have fun,

-AH
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Old 10-15-2009   #6
 
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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"snowplowing statue"

That cracked me up!!! My uncle is a perma-snowplowing statue, won't take lessons.

Thanks Andy
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Old 10-16-2009   #7
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Originally Posted by craven_morhead View Post
So it's my first winter in CO. I picked up a CO Pass, and inherited a snowboard and boots in my size from some other boating friends. I know how to ski, but have probably only gone a dozen times or so. So it's time to learn to snowboard. Any suggestions on where to take lessons? Think 2 1/2 day lessons will do it?
how are you on your skiis...i jumped right on to a board with no problems...its the same thing really just your sideways on it...catching an edge is a bit more serious too...on a board the learning curve seems to happen faster for people...if you make it through your first cupple days youll get it fast...just go often and never forget to push yourself at least once a day...

have fun...think snow
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Old 10-16-2009   #8
 
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Originally Posted by Andy H. View Post
Back in the States their American counterparts with just as many ski days during their respective skiing careers were hurtling down blue runs out of control or doing the "snowplowing statue" zigzagging down the hill - they'd "took a lesson and didn't need no more."

Don't repeat my mistake - learn it right the first time. Take lessons frequently during your first season, and then occasionally for refreshing and improving your technique once you've moved past your beginning season.
I'm not saying lessons are bad...I did a 1/2 day my first day ever on the mountain, and another 1/2 day when I felt I was getting comfortable with blacks. All it really takes is an understanding of the principals and physics involved and a willingness to push it. Some people may need to travel to Europe to realize their technique is shit and literally shell out hundreds and hundreds of dollars trying to fix it, but in my exprerience good instructors are hit and miss. Better to try and make friends and ride with different types of riders, ask their advice and pay attention to their technique, and don't just ride with a couple of people. The more the better. You'll have more fun than taking lessons, save money, and make some new friends too.
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Old 10-16-2009   #9
 
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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I agree with lmyers, instructors are hit and miss. My first lesson I might as well have just taken the lift and thrown myself down the mountain as the instructor was less than useless.

My second instructor was kick-ass and had me connecting turns in less than an hour - get low!
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Old 10-16-2009   #10
 
Park City, Utah
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Are your athletic, Do you ski?

I am an expert skier.

I went up to loveland on a weekday afternoon and took a lesson. They only had two of us in the lesson, hence I would recomend the weekday afternoon. By the end of that lesson they had me cruising down groomed blacks. I can't say that I am a good boarder, but it's fun on days I have gapers in town. I think the progression to being an intermediate is faster than on skis. Wear a helmet. The only concussion I've ever had was catching an edge on that damn board!! The hardest part for me is that every time I get airborne I want to square up like I'm on skis. You'll love it.
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