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Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,846 posts
66 reviews
Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Sine I have gotten 2 separate PM's regarding the proper tipping custom for Ski/Ride Instructors I thought I'd post publicly.

Yes most people tip the instructor. The amount varies dependent on private versus group, kids, little kids, adults. Yes it can get confusing.

For most groups $10.00 per person is OK, more if you've left a little one kicking and crying and generally being a pain. If they did not call you to come pick up the little darling then you know the instructor did a great job! Consider tipping a bit more. If you are lucky enough to get a private lesson when signed up for a group consider tipping more too.

In a private lessons tips are more $50.00+

Some people feel awkward passing out bills, if you do then bring along an envelope to put the cash in.

In the end it is up to you. If you had fun and improved to me that is worth a little extra $$$

Edited: 2:39 pm, December 16, 2010
Loveland Pass
Points of Interest & Landmarks
Arapahoe Basin
Ski & Snowboard Areas
Keystone Ski Area
Ski & Snowboard Areas
USA
Level Contributor
9,465 posts
44 reviews
31. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

I really support this thread & appreciate the great info, alli.

I see those instructors with all those sliding, falling, mitten-losing kids & it's like watching a cartoon. They deserve big tips!

I just did so for a private lesson.

Let's keep doing snow dances xxxxxxx

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,846 posts
66 reviews
32. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

<<<I see those instructors with all those sliding, falling, mitten-losing kids & it's like watching a cartoon. They deserve big tips! >>>>

LOL. Yes that sounds about right! I hope you are having a great time!

Princeton, New...
Level Contributor
34 posts
27 reviews
33. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Glad this was posted... I don't think I ever tipped my kids ski school instructors before. I guess I thought of it less as a service provider and more like a teacher or coach... who you might bring a gift for but would never expect to "tip", per se. But now that I am mindful of it, I will!

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,846 posts
66 reviews
34. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Good for you

neverhomeschooler! Hope you have a great trip!

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
9,616 posts
197 reviews
35. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Last week my better half did a half-day on mountain tour with another guide for a group of 15 people. They provided pointers, helped people collect their gear when they fell, and answered questions about everything from restaurants to demoing gear. Tip? $0.00.

*groan

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,846 posts
66 reviews
36. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

sigh and groan....

Aiea, Hawaii
1 post
2 reviews
37. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

So while I understand tipping is a nice gesture, I have worked many hours as an instructor private or group with no expectation of tips. I have taught swimming, tennis, SAT tutoring, etc through companies like Kaplan, YMCA, etc. As an instructor, certified and having gone through training and all, I never once in many years received a tip. We were paid hourly as well, and you better believe Kaplan does not pay the instructors what they take from SAT classes, or YMCA for swim instruction, or clubs for tennis. I was paid (prices in last decade or so) anywhere from $8-$20 an hour and was also spending plenty of one-on-one time with kids and adults, mixed privates and groups. I guess I wonder why a ski instructor is different. I will tip my instructor for my upcoming trip, but why is a ski instructor special? Swimsuits and tennis equipment are expensive too, as is the time spent lesson planning for SATs. Plenty of ski instructors are young college / high school aged fellows as well, especially in the east coast. I know the money is not great, but tis the life of the job you chose. Isn't tipping getting a little out of hand? Do I have to tip the gym teacher for teaching me dodgeball, the little league coach for the summer of baseball, and my piano instructor every week? Which instructors get tips and why? Being poor and friendly isn't enough to warrant a tip. Unlike restaurant waiters, they aren't being paid below minimum wage. It's certainly not a high wage, but tips were really the norm, wouldn't all instructors earn $2/hr and the rest from tips because you know management would exploit that if they could claim such.

Frisco, CO
Level Contributor
159 posts
2 reviews
38. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

My kids were in the bombers program (8 saturday lessons) for multiple years and we always tipped $100 at the end of the session. They also did the unlimited ski lessons pass also at Breck, and we gave $10 each time they visited. These young instructors work hard, take care of your kids even during lunch time, carry their gear, pick them up all day, help them on the lift and encourage them all day to continue to ski. They have earned it.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman, Crested Butte, Gunnison
Level Contributor
9,616 posts
197 reviews
39. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

Swimbaby,

My better half works a volunteer position giving tours in exchange for a free ski pass. I'd say $0.00/hr is substantially below minimum wage.

As far as your own experience, I worked as a swim instructor for a solid decade (15-25) and, while I didn't get tipped from everyone, MOST people do tip their instructors. Sorry if you had a different experience.

Colorado
Destination Expert
for Colorado
Level Contributor
14,846 posts
66 reviews
40. Re: Tipping Your Ski Instructor

swimbaby26, most instructors see a student once perhaps twice. Not the same as a piano teacher, to whom my parent gave a tip/gift to at the end of each semester. Similar to Summit Lodgings 8 week classes.

People teach skiing for a variety of reasons. While it might have been for the pass, decades ago, ( passes in Colorado are pretty cheap these days ) most that I know do it because they love skiing but also they need to earn a living. They are NOT the trust fund babies of days long since past. At least that is the case for the instructors I know in Colorado.

Again, anyone who can afford a ski vacation, can afford to tip.