With the skiing season in full swing, you’re probably looking forward to your first trip to the slopes. Our advice would always be to have lessons if you want to get the best out of your time on the slopes as a beginner.
But you’re undoubtedly wondering what it’s all about. Fortunately there are apps that will serve up tips and tricks, and in the case of the Ski School series from Elate Media, a progressive run of videos to get you started. We’re hitting the slopes as beginners to see what they have in stock for us.
Ski School Beginners
- iPhone/iPad/iPod touch
Ski School Beginner is the first of a series, followed by Ski School Intermediate, Ski School Advanced and there is also a Ski School Lite to give you a taste of what to expect from the series. Each instalment costs you £3.99 (Lite is free) so by the time you’ve done them all, you’ve spent a chunk of cash.
Ski School Beginner is divided into two lessons. The first lesson deals in the very basics, aiming to get you on your skis and introduce you to the snow plough. To do this there are a series of five videos ranging from about a minute up to about 4mins. They are good quality with clear narration and instructions and follow the line of tips and pointers that you’d get in a real ski lesson.
Filmed on the slopes you get to watch and listen, but the big flaw in the plan is that you don’t then get to do it, and you don’t get the feedback from the instructor that you’d want to learn the techniques. As an introduction and to break things down, it is neat enough, but we would advise you to get real lessons, or at least hit the slopes with a competent skier.
One of the best parts of lesson one is the final “Solutions” video. This covers some of the major issues that newcomers face like how to put on boots, how to carry skis and how to walk on snow.
Moving on to the second lesson, the instructor talks you through some of the more important fundamentals of how this all works. A couple of exercises are introduced to encourage you to shift your weight the right way to make your turns work.
It’s a tricky and important aspect of learning to ski and we can understand exactly what the instructor is getting at. We’re not sure that a beginner will however, without having an instructor to shout “stand up! You’re not sitting on the toilet!” and “bend your knees! Weight forward, hands in-front of you!”.
Again there are a collection of “solutions” videos which include lifts. At least this gives an introduction for beginners who have never seen a ski lift and the basic principles conveyed are sound. In addition both lessons have cue cards, so you can quickly remind yourself of what you are supposed to be doing when you are on the slopes following the guidelines.
Overall the Ski School Beginner app is well made and the videos are short enough to keep your attention. They are all shot in glorious weather on the slopes of Tignes, and if nothing else, they’ll have you itching to get to the slopes yourself.
Will it save you the cost of an expensive instructor in the resort? No, but it will let you know what to expect.