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Your first time with a ski instructor

Published June 26th, 2015

Don’t let not knowing how to ski or snowboard stop you from hitting the slopes with your mates in Australia this winter.

We’ve reached out to our new favourite instructors from some of the country’s best ski resorts for some hot pointers for first-timers on skis and boards.

It was a hard job, but someone had to do it. It’s for your holiday after all …

Tips from Australia's best ski and snowboard instructors: 


Mount Buller, Victoria


G’day Holiday deal: Mt Buller Chalet 4-Star or The Abom, Mt Buller

Meet: Josh Laney, ski instructor

Background: American ski instructor with 10-plus years experience. Chases winters between Colorado and Mt Buller.

Typical day: I spend my mornings ripping around the mountain with the kids then spending the afternoon teaching the basics of skiing to first-timers.

Typical class: We kick-off a lesson by getting to know the equipment before walking around on skis for balance. From there it’s a natural progression of going straight, stopping, going slow and turning. All in approximately two hours.

Who attends your classes? I teach dead-set beginners who want to see what the snow is all about, through to lifetime skiers jumping off of cliffs.

Worst thing to do in class: Not participate.

Best thing to do in class: Try things, laugh and have fun. Skiing is fun!

Is it true that ski instructors get hit on a lot? Yes, we often hit on the snow bunnies. Oh, I read that wrong… yes we do.

Lesson on lingo: You won’t impress anyone calling your poles “sticks”.

Top 3 things to do at Mt Buller: 1) ski, 2) snowboard, and 3) après.


Thredbo, NSW


G’day Holiday deal: Thredbo Alpine Apartments, Thredbo 4-Star

Meet: Moniche Hancock, snowboard instructor

Typical class for adult beginner: Even playing field, everyone is there to learn and all at the same stage. Bring the camera.

Best slope for learners: Friday Flat. Once you've got those turns down, spread your wings to the intermediate area at the Cruiser.

Is it true that snowboard instructors get hit on a lot? Hahaha. Did someone say benefits? We have the best job on the planet.

Why should people choose Thredbo for their next ski holiday? Thredbo is the greatest Alpine Resort in the Southern Hemisphere offering an unrivaled snow experience. It has the most vertical, S-XL terrain parks, best beginner friendly terrain, ski in ski out, alpine village life, best après, nightlife and entertainment for everyone.

Top 3 things to do at Thredbo: Make that 5 ... 1) snowboard, 2) heated poolside après at Alpine Hotel, 3) Keller Bar late nights, 4) breakfast roll at Friday Flat, and 5) REPEAT! Anything else? It’s never too late to start. Who said chicks can’t rip.


Perisher, NSW


G’Day Holiday deal: The Stables, Perisher 4-Star

Meet: Michael Thoms, ski instructor

Background: I started instructing at Perisher in the mid-80s. Since then I have lived and worked in resorts in Europe, America and Japan.

Top tip for first-timers: Get a lesson to learn the immediate fundamentals of skiing or boarding.

Why learn to ski at Perisher: Perisher’s ski instructors are all highly qualified and provide a really professional experience for guests. We are not only ski instructors but also people who love the sport and know that enjoying the first experience is one of the most important parts.
Why should everyone choose Perisher? Perisher is the largest resort in southern hemisphere, which means you get the most variety of terrain, breathtaking scenery and a really fun experience no matter if it’s your first or one hundredth time here.

Top 3 things to do at Perisher: 1) Get first runs in at Mt Perisher first thing in the morning, 2) go to the top of the Perisher Quad Express, get a coffee and just take in the incredible views, and 3) when I’m not working, you’ll definitely see me at Perisher skiing with my buddies.

Perisher ski instructors know how to carve it up

Jolee Wakefield

A seasoned backpacker and travel writer, Jolee has spent the past decade wandering the globe in pursuit of good vibes, unusual conversations and unforgettable adventures like cave diving in Mexico, mountain climbing in Borneo and learning (failing at) local dances in the Pacific nation of Kiribati.