100 0019-1You’ve decided to learn how to ski. Brava. It’s a commitment: the expense, the cold, the overcoming of fear…

You are spending money on travel, lodging and let’s not forget that lift tickets can be very expensive. Do you really need to spend the extra money on lessons?

How hard can it be, right? You’re athletic! You wouldn’t be trying this at your age if you weren’t agile. (I hope you’re somewhat agile.) Lesser mortals have forgone the lessons and done OK, yes?

No.

If you take lessons, you will learn how to ski better. When you ski better, you have more fun.

EVEN IF, you’ve been skiing once or twice before (or even a couple dozen years), lessons are always helpful: to overcome bad habits, to work on new skills, to meet ski-mates of similar abilities.

Much of what happens in lessons is that you learn new skills that can’t be immediately integrated into your ski routine — it’s more of an intellectual acknowledgment that… that’s a better way to ski. The new skills have to germinate in your head for a while. You have to ski more terrain to blend those new skills into the mix.

That said, you don’t need to be in lessons all day, every day. But, do it on the front end of your trip, for sure. That way, you can attempt to master what you’ve learned on your own time. Don’t need an instructor for that!