Using a ski school to advance your skills

Attending a ski school can greatly accelerate your skiing technique and performance. Here's an overview of what to look for in a ski school to advance your skills.

Using a ski school to advance your skills

Attending a ski school can greatly accelerate your skiing technique and performance. Today there are hundreds of ski schools across the country that can help improve and perfect your skiing skills. Here's an overview of what to look for in a ski school.

Which ski accreditation?

To start, look for schools with instructors who are Canadian Ski Instructor Association (CSIA) members. The CSIA, a not-for-profit association, is the largest Canadian organization that sets and ensures standards for teaching ski techniques and methods, as well as promoting the importance of ski safety. They are the only organization federally recognized in Canada for accredited ski training. Also, the CSIA is a member of the International Ski Instructors’ Association (ISIA). When an instructor is at least a Level 3 CSIA member, they are automatically added to the ISIA as well. By selecting a school with CSIA certified instructors, you’re much likelier to be taught the proper skills, using a tried and tested approach.

Specialized and pro instructors

Some schools (especially those located in resorts) feature specialized or professional skiers. These instructors will typically specialize in some sort of niche. For example, one may be very well-known for teaching children while others specialize in competitive slalom racing. Expect to pay higher rates for these pros, but with regular training, you’ll see results.


Before signing up for ski school, take a few moments to do some background homework. Selecting a ski school with an upstanding reputation will help avoid disappointment.

Currently, there are no industry-specific rating websites in service. However, you can try cross-referencing the ski school on various popular user-review sites. Dig around to uncover what others have had to say about their experience with the resorts, its ski school and/or instructors.

Location and terrain

When shopping for a ski school, consider where courses are taught. Knowing which ski technique you desire to master, you should be identifying the school that has the right location, terrain and snow conditions for your optimal training results. Keep in mind that some resorts and their respective ski schools offer more double-diamond runs than others, or on the flip side, more bunny hills for beginners.

Some schools offer untracked backcountry for cross-country skiing. Other schools will have special runs designed specifically to build racing (slalom) skills. Getting yourself familiar with the resort, its terrain and runs will help you make an informed decision on whether it’s worthwhile inquiring about their ski school further or not.

Try before you buy

It can’t hurt to reach out to prospective ski schools before booking to ask if they offer any free introductory lessons. For example, many schools offer a free 30-minute assessment with an instructor. You can use that initial lesson to get a taste for the instructor’s style and methods.

If you’re serious about improving your skiing skill level, spend the money and find a qualified school to guide you toward reaching your personal skiing goals.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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