Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's Learn a Snow Sport Month - And We Mean It!

Cold and dreary January -- what used to be Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month -- is back for 2014 as Learn a Snow Sports Month. This wonderful initiative to make snowsports affordable, available and family-friendly is still managed by the National Ski Areas Association in an effort to create awareness of America’s favorite winter pastime.

Wild Thing takes to the slopes at Big Bear, California

With 34 states and hundreds of resorts offering huge discounts and free lessons just to push beginners onto the slopes, we want to highlight a few of the best options.

And since a recent TripAdvisor Ski Index survey found that Western ski resorts cost an average 33% more than Eastern ones, let's start on the East coast.

In New England, several learn to ski and ride programs are focused in Vermont, with resort members of SkiVermont.com participating with a variety of deals that include lessons, lift tickets and even rental equipment starting at just $29 per day.  Bolton Valley is working with children ages 4 and up to introduce the sport. At the Trapp Family Lodge, guests can take advantage of free lessons and gear for cross country skiing.

In Utah, where we joined a Learn to Ski group of never-evers last January at three different resorts, every single one of the state's resorts is participating with cheap lessons, lift tickets and beginner gear packages.  It's a great place to learn, as you can see from this Learn to Ski in Utah account

At Big Bear Mountain Resorts in California, both Bear Mountain and Snow Summit are offering free rentals with purchase of a group or private beginner lesson package, valid any day during the month of January excluding holidays. Both resorts pride themselves on working with never-evers, beginners and intermediates to improve skills and make snow-play more fun.

“Now is the perfect time to get acquainted with one of the most fun activities known to man, which of course is skiing and snowboarding,” said Bear Mountain Resort General Manager Brent Tregaskis. “We have one of the best learning environments for snow sports in California.”

Big Bear Resorts have qualified, professional instructors, plenty of gentle terrain for learning (including the longest green run in Southern California) and between them, six 'magic carpets' (outdoor conveyor belts) to transport beginners back up the bunny slope to practice, practice, practice.

Little Bear Kids Ski School at Big Bear, California

Toddlers from age 3 and up can join the Little Bear Camp at Big Bear, or the Little Bear School at Snow Summit, and take skis out to the bunny slopes. At Bear Mountain there is Riglet Park, where kids from 3 to 6 years-old are introduced to snowboarding on miniature park features by using Burton’s innovative Learn-to-Ride Technology.

Despite the huge innovations in gear for little children over the past few years, industry professionals acknowledge that lessons are most efficient with older children. “Kids in the 8-12 age range are the perfect target for learning a new sport. They are at the age where they are more motivated, and have developed better physical abilities,” added Tregaskis. Novice adult classes for ages 13+ provide more focused instruction in skiing or snowboarding and adult participants won't pay for their gear rental in January either.

Learning at Big Bear's Riglet Park

And the grandparents?  “This is one winter activity where you can teach an old dog a new trick!” said Tregaskis. “We’ve taught people in their 70s how to ski for the first time.”

All photos courtesy of Lee Stockwell, Big Bear Mountain Resort

1 comment:

  1. My favorite game is skiing, its amazing game to spend vacation perfectly, but we have to take care of few things like accessories and clothing required for this.