ski, snow, win

Can You Ski Without Lessons? Honest Assessment!

Last Updated on March 20, 2021 by James

These days, more and more people seem to be wondering if they can ski without lessons.

With the popularity of skiing ever increasing, the prices of ski holidays appear to be on the rise as well. Gone are the days of finding a great budget deal at a top European resort with ski in/ski out location.

Supply and demand springs to mind. Due to the limited number of resources (mountains) that our planet is able to supply, the demand for skiing has become dominant and hence the price has become high.  Is it too high?

Ski Resort
Hotel Prices In Big Resorts Keep Rising

This is part of the reason why people are starting to wonder; can you ski without lessons?

People are looking for a way to make skiing more inexpensive and therefore more accessible for all – and paying for a ski instructor is an optional extra.

The simple answer is yes; you can ski without lessons. Share on X

You can ski without lessons. You can also swim without lessons, but would you have the courage to dive into the water without ever having any real training? I doubt you would be swimming for long.

swimming, pool, water
Would you dive in knowing you can’t swim? Me neither…

Skiing Is A Dangerous Sport

The first thing you must be responsible for is your own safety. Skiing is a dangerous sport. If you ski without lessons you are taking a huge risk of injuring yourself. Ski injuries are most common among skiers who are out of control.

If you break your leg on the first day of your ski holiday I’m sure you will regret your decision!

Think Of Other People. Share on X

Unfortunately the beginner’s slope in many resorts has become like a bowling alley!

Over the years the job of the ski instructor has become more and more difficult. The task of trying to shield ski groups from the ‘kamikaze skiers’ coming down from the top of the hill has become a dangerous one.

Countless times my group members (and even myself!) have been wiped out by people who think skiing is just flying straight down a hill and hoping for the best.

If you’re not worried about your own safety, at least consider the safety of everybody else.

Skiing Is Not Natural

Some people pick up skiing very easily. The majority of people can be slower learners.

Skiing is very counter-intuitive; the body is not designed or prepared for what you will be tasked with when trying to learn skiing.

Most people will take many attempts to learn even basic skills such as sliding in a straight line and stopping. You will make many mistakes before you are competent at each of the basic elements of skiing.

With skiing, every mistake may result in injury. A good ski instructor sets achievable tasks in a controlled way, meaning that your safety is much more assured.

You Want To Look Good!

Nothing looks worse than the self-taught beginner. You can spot them a mile away.

Really tense, arms stuck in weird positions and somehow hunched over and leaning back at the same time. We all have an image come to mind…right?

A lot of the time you really do look a lot different to how you feel when you’re coming down the hill, and having somebody point that out is only going to help you look like a pro!

ski, skiing, mountains
Want to look like this? Then get an instructor!

You Can’t Learn Everything From The Sofa

The rise of YouTube has been huge for every aspect of life. It sometimes feels like there is nothing you can’t do with the endless list of tutorials you have at your fingertips – and skiing is no different.

Ski tutorials can be great. There is a great range of tutorials that can give advice to every level of skier to improve and they can be of great help to almost everybody.

However, especially when it comes to beginners, I have heard far too many disaster stories to say you can ski without lessons from an instructor.

Your first time skiing? Find out what to expect from your first day on the slopes!

I want to stress that I definitely don’t have anything against video tutorials. I believe that using these alongside a ski lesson can only improve your progression.


“Skiing is fantastic when done right – but could be fatal when done wrong. My advice is simple; stay within your limits, do the basics right and take guidance from somebody who knows what they’re talking about”.