How do I know what level I am? This a question we get asked by many clients wishing to book ski lessons.
It is probably one of the most important questions to know the answer to as it helps you book into the correct Group Class or gives your Private Lesson instructor the knowledge to help plan and structure your lesson and choose the most suitable terrain for you so that you can achieve your goals safely and successfully.
If you have had ski lessons before you may have been given some feedback regarding your ability at the end of the lessons which related to their levels scale. That information is always very useful and should be passed onto the next school/instructor when booking.
How often have you skied?
- Zero, No experience at all – Complete Beginner
- Under 6 hours
- 2-4 Days
- 1 week
- 2 weeks
- 3-5 weeks
- 6-10 Weeks
- 10 + weeks
Where have you skied?
- On a dry slope (artificial slope outdoors).
- On a rolling carpet (indoors).
- In a snowdome (artificial snow).
What types of turns (or not) are you making?
- BEGINNER - Not turning yet, skis either straight or in a Snowplough – moving in a direct line down the hill but not turning successfully.
- ADVANCED BEGINNER - Snowplough Turning – being able to make controlled plough turns down the hill on an easy slope unaided and not falling over regularly.
- EARLY INTERMEDIATE - Plough Parallels – Using the snowplough to successfully make the turn then matching the skis parallel in between and maintaining control of your speed.
- ADVANCED INTERMEDIATE - Rough Parallels – The snowplough is almost going (it may be very slight on the turn) and my skis are parallel most of the time and I can maintain control of my speed.
- PARALLEL - Neat parallel – The skis are in a parallel shape all the time on most slopes.
- ADVANCED PARALLEL – Neat parallel and can ski all slopes reasonably easily and maintain control of your speed.
- BEGINNER OFF PISTE – have not ventures very far past the piste markers and find it hard to turn and control speed in off piste and or bumpy terrain.
- INTERMEDIATE OFF PISTE – Can get down most slopes when groomed or ungroomed and can negotiate off piste, maybe done some ski touring. Still find different steepness’s & snow textures challenging.
- ADVANCED OFF PISTE – Can ski all off piste slopes so far but can still find some slopes challenging when the snow texture changes.
What colours of pistes (ski runs) are you most comfortable on and ski your best on?
- Flat beginner slope (sometimes classes as yellow).
- Green beginner’s area pistes.
- Easy blue pistes.
- Hard blue pistes.
- Easy red pistes.
- Hard red pistes.
- Black pistes.
- Off Piste.
Some ski schools issue level awards, the UK awards are called the Snowlife Awards and run from Penguin, Polar Bear then from 1* to 9*.
These awards teach kids all the skills they need to get around the mountain and also the International FIS Safety Code of conduct for skiers.
If you have attended a French Ski School before you can find their levels here so you can compare with the above.