It was a windy, overcast morning as I set out for the meeting point of my first ski lesson here in La Plagne. Despite the weather, my spirits were high with the prospect of learning the secrets that would suddenly turn me from a novice skier into a professional in just one lesson! Yes, its fair to say my expectations were a little high but its always best to air on the side of optimism
Reflex Ski School in La Plagne
Christophe is the name of the guy who runs the Reflex ski lessons. I met him and his merry band of instructors, and headed to the top of the Grand Rochette lift for what felt like Olympic tryouts, but what was, in reality, a short section of a blue run to ski down which determined what skier ability level you were at. I ended up taking the intermediate class despite regularly enjoying a bit of off-piste skiing and the occasional black run. This turned out to be a very wise decision…
Despite being able to get down any run put in front of me I had, until that day, never had a ski lesson before. Well, as it turns out, I seem to have a lot of technique issues which will inhibit my skiing progression. I think JC, my instructor, summed my problem up to the group rather well “Take Andy, for instance, he is a very fast and confident skier… but his technique c’est terrible!”
What was really interesting about the lesson were the exercises we were given to help our positioning when coming down the slopes. A really simple one to correct posture was to hold your ski poles together horizontally and at arms length in front of you, and ski down the mountain without them moving from this position. The exercise encourages you to keep your body facing forward and turn with your hips.
I was also really impressed with JC’s ‘no nonsense’ approach of pushing you (not
literally!) to improve and providing critical feedback. This may not be to everyone’s taste but it certainly gets results!
After my lesson, my skiing has greatly improved. I’m finding skiing less tiring
and achieving more fluidity in motion. All the specialist team of Reflex instructors have been skiing in La Plagne for between ten and thirty years, some of which have skied at Olympic level. The result of this is that their skiing is effortlessly impeccable, and that they know exactly where to take each skier in order to get the most out of a
Its my birthday in March and to celebrate I will be treating myself to a one-to-one lesson with one of the team at Reflex, as I genuinely believe it’s money well spent!
By Andrew Brown
Chalet Host, Chalet Genepi, 2013-14 season