Going skiing but feeling nervous about your first ski holiday? Or is your skiing stuck in a rut? Either way, tuition from one of the many British ski schools will make a big difference to your learning experience.
It always helps to pick a ski school where they speak your mother tongue as a matter of course. It doesn’t guarantee brilliant tuition, of course – though in our experience, British ski schools are usually highly-motivated and painstaking in their approach. But at the very least, booking British means you’ll understand what’s going on – and not just because your teacher can manage a few more words than “Bend ze kneez”.
Idiom and culture can make a big difference too and it’s a great help to be taught by someone who’s on more or less the same wavelength as you. It’s reassuring too: for first timers especially, ski resorts can be strange and confusing places. Signing up with a native English speaking teacher is a great way to get yourself back on an even keel.
Over the last decade, the number of British ski schools in the Alps has mushroomed. Some are one-man outfits. Others employ instructors by the dozen. But nearly all offer a range of private clinics and group lessons from complete beginner to expert. But be warned, many of them book up quickly for the busiest weeks. See our features on how to pick a ski or snowboard school and How to Keep Improving for further advice.
British Ski Schools with Branches in Several Resorts
A number of schools have now branched out into more than one resort and country. New Generation is in Courchevel, Les Arcs, La Tania, Meribel, St Martin de Belleville, Serre Chevalier, Tignes, Val d’Isere, Vallandry – and also Verbier in Switzerland.
In France alone the schools include BASS which is in Chamonix, Chatel, Courchevel, Les Gets, Megeve, Meribel, Morzine and Val d’Isere. The Development Centre is in Val d’Isere, Tignes and Meribel. Ultimate Snowsports is in Tignes and Val d’Isere. LGS is in Les Gets and Morzine.
Specialising in the 3 Valleys is Ski Class in Courchevel and La Tania. The Snow School is in Courchevel, Meribel and La Tania. Momentum Snowsports is based in Courchevel and La Tania. Alpine Masters is in Courchevel and Meribel.
Resorts with One-Off British Ski Schools
Others in France include Masterclass in Alpe d’Huez. Avoriaz has Alpine Ski School and Stance – the latter is not, strictly-speaking a British ski school, but one with French and Kiwi instructors aimed at the British market. Powderama is in Chamonix.
In Switzerland, Verbier has four: European Snowsport, Verbier Ski Academy, Warren Smith Ski Academy (the latter also runs courses in Cervinia and Japan), and Performance Verbier who offer private lessons. Zermatt has Summit Ski and Snowboard. In Saas Fee there’s Optimum Snowsports, and in St Moritz it’s Ski Cool.
In Austria there is Piste to Powder for off-piste skiing in St Anton, and Kaprun has Skivolution. In Italy, tour operator Ski2 has its own ski school in Champoluc. Courmayeur has Interski. Baqueira-Beret in the Spanish Pyrenees has Baqueira British Ski School (known as the BB Ski School).