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“Amelie is a gem!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of SkiCool

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Place de l'eglise, Val Thorens, France
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Ranked #4 of 19 Attractions in Val Thorens
Type: Classes/Workshops, Sports
Attraction details
Frankfurt, Germany
Top Contributor
105 reviews 105 reviews
Reviews in 57 cities Reviews in 57 cities
77 helpful votes 77 helpful votes
“Amelie is a gem!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 8, 2014

My husband and I just had a fantastic week of private lessons with Amelie. Her english is excellent and easy to understand. Her instruction was kind and supportive. And most importantly, she was very good at explaining and demonstrating the techniques in a way which was easy for us to understand.

As a local she knows the mountain backwards and forwards and was able to plan the best routes for all types of weather. At the end of each lesson she gave us tips for where the best skiing would be that afternoon, and also gave up some fantastic recommendations for where to find the best food.

All in all, we had a great experience and would highly recommend Amelie as an instructor.

Visited February 2014
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15 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Top Contributor
53 reviews 53 reviews
16 attraction reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
“Small classes”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2014

Two children at different skiing levels with different needs. Daughter loved it but probably not the right choice for my son.

I booked with skiCool after a couple fo poor experiences with ESF in other resorts. We always have to go at peak times which means the childrens ski classses are generally full. With ESF this means 14 in a class is the maximum permitted and generally because of the time we go 14 is exactly what we get. Last year two children in my daughters class got "left behind" for a while. Basically they fell over - no one noticed and it was only at the bottom of the run that the instructor did a head count realised he was two down and had to leave the others at the bottom and go looking for the two that he'd left behind. Whilst it wasn't my daughter she became increasingly anxious that it would be her and her skiing suffered. When we skied in Canada we had had much smaller groups and it worked much better so I looked for individual lessons this time but even in October the only lessons I could book privately were at lunchtime which really suited none of us!!

I looked at the ski cool website and thought I would give it a go.

Ski cool advertise a MAXIMUM of 10 children - they are a bit more expensive than ESF but they have lessons for 6 days. Afternoons on a Sunday and mornings for the rest of the week which as we were expecting to arrive late on Saturday suited us fine.

Our experience was that the maximum number of children that either of the children encountered in their SkiCool classes was 6 and generally in my daughters class there were only 4. I work in primary schools and I have to say in the UK at this age you are not allowed a ratio of more than 8 children to one adult when out in the field (and in this case the field is as dangerous as a trip to the British museum) so it seems bizarre that we are all happy to allow one individual to care for 14 children (and I witnessed more) whilst going up a mountain where the dangers are much more evident!!.

My daughter thrived on the extra attention and the security from knowing that the instructor soon got to know each of them personally and loved her week and progressed well.

My son on the other hand didn't enjoy it so much. He is naturally a very good skier and is already beyond gold level. Because skiCool is quite a small ski school the ability gap in one class can be quite large (If it was ESF I think they probably have so many classes they can much more finely tune them) so I think there were bronze silver and gold skiers in his group. Whilst I'm sure this pushes the bronze skiers on I don't think it was too helpful for my son who found it lacked a bit of a challenge and excitement. Luckily or unluckily he had had flu over Christmas and missed two days of lessons and was exhausted still when he went for his classes so I think on this occasion it was OK that he wasn't pushed too much.

Also his group really didn't gel. This I am sure is luck of the draw but on this occasion because it was a small class the two protagonists were forced together and even had a fight at one point. Clearly this distracted the instructor and I got the impression that he spent most of the week acting as mediator and crowd control not ski instructor!!

I would definitely use them again for my daughter and wouldn't dismiss them for my son but I would want to make sure he was skiing with people as capable as he is.

Visited January 2014
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Southampton, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“Excellent tuition - thank you Begnat!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 23, 2013

Having spent 2 days falling over on a snowboard and hating the damn thing, I was ready to thow it down the mountain!! Then my girlfriend and I booked a 2 hour private lesson through SkiCool (only about 90 Euros for 2 of us!), with an instructor named Begnat. After 2 hours of Begnat patiently showing us where to put our weight, the correct stances and how to control our speed, we were able to safely make our way down the whole slope and link turns together. Finally we really started enjoying snowboarding!

Begnat was an excellent teacher, his English was superb and he made the lesson really fun and gave us confidence in the activity. The best part of the teaching was he was able to board down the slope ahead of us - facing our direction - calling instructions and encouragement as we came towards him. This approach allowed us to instantly adjust what we were doing and learn how it should feel when we had our weight and posture correct.

We just wish we had had the extra time to book another lesson! After the lesson we fell in love with the sport and can't wait to go again. if we return to Val Thorens, we will definitely take a refresher lesson with SkiCool and request Begnat as our instructor!! Just an all round cool guy and excellent teacher.

Visited April 2013
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Haifa, Israel
Top Contributor
55 reviews 55 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 19 cities Reviews in 19 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“What a teacher, Philip !!!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 28, 2013

We had the pleasure of spending the full week with Philip, private lessones for my father-in-law and myself. Philip was VERY nice; we managed to change a lesson's schedule (due to weather). Philip took us onto great slops, adjusting himself to our limits, and pushing through the limites to get us a bit further up from where we were. He also gave a lesson to my son, who reported he was great in overcoming his off-pist resent, and had fun with him on some off-pists.
So, while not cheap (Italy was far cheaper) - I would recommand SkiCool, and specifically thiws instructor - Philip ! Thanks you !

Visited March 2013
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14 reviews 14 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“New Boarder comes along great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 2, 2013

15 year old son wanted to board. He has had ~ 4 hours on UK snowdomes. I put him in group 1 - just above beginner, he was moved up to level 2 ASAP. By the end of 6 days he was free riding powder faster than me ! Little bugger. Easy to find meeting point, numerous sub-offices in town. Good instructor who made the week fun for all.

Visited February 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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