Friday, September 24, 2010

Women's Ski Clinics

Chicks on Sticks
2010/11 Ski Season

Academics are taking a second look at new research showing that boys demand, and get, teachers’ attention more than girls in grade school through grad school. But remove the boys from the classroom, and girls are more likely to participate in discussions, to achieve more and to hold themselves in higher self-esteem, the studies show.

The concept also has proven effective in ski schools. The trend toward all-women ski classes is snowballing in the ski industry.

Chicks on Sticks, Babes on Boards, Thelma & Louise on Skis— call them what you may—participants of these clinics know a good thing when they ski it.

All-women classes remove the pressure to ski like men. Women learn at their own pace, in their own way. Dancing with the mountain rather than attacking it becomes a unified goal. Men like to Rambo down the mountain while women take it slower, concentrating more on technique. With everyone sharing the same objectives and strategies, the class becomes an ideal learning environment. It breeds success.

Former Telluride Ski School Director Annie Vareille Savath said all-women classes work because most women are not as confident about their athletic ability as men. “In coed classes, women tend to ski defensively, and lose quality,” Vareille Savath said. “But competition on the same level pushes them to be better and builds confidence.

“In Women's Week, we show women how to accomplish goals, how to recognize and deal with fears and to coordinate mind and body,” Vareille Savath said. “What they learn skiing, they carry throughout their lives. It’s better than psychotherapy.”

Women-only programs owe much of their success to the quality of instruction. Ski schools select the crème de la crème of their fully-certified women instructors who are well-versed in the latest teaching methods and equipment technology, and capable of setting examples in a non-condescending way. Their skiing definitely presents a visual, achievable model.

A male instructor for these specialized classes just won’t do. Feedback questionnaires from participants who’ve completed women’s clinics indicate they prefer the women-taught-by-women format. The presence of even a single male is like having a “gal” go out for beers with the guys after bowling. It’s just not the same!

Besides mastery of skills and building confidence, women come for the sheer fun of it. A spirit of camaraderie sets these clinics apart. The multi-day seminars can be a slumber-party-sorority-house-Girl Scout-camp rolled into one great getaway. “Let’s Do Lunch” takes on a whole new meaning: Picture a sun-drenched mountaintop deck where new friends celebrate their skiing breakthroughs over a bottle of wine.



  1. This is a great idea and I think girls are better students all around.

    Learn to ski and relax over a bottle of wine would be a great reason for the girls to get together.

    So much for the male instructors having fun tutoring the ladies! ;-)

  2. Shame the link to the list of resorts doesn't work!