Why is experience so important?

Verbier off piste ski lessons

It’s all about experience.

It sounds pretty obvious. But after teaching in Verbier for years (both Emma and Guy are well into their second decades here) experience is something we don’t always see when we look at ski instructors in resort. We’re not trying to badmouth anyone, but we know that for every seasoned professional up on the hill, there are a few instructors who are, in teaching terms, beginners.

So when we created Element we agreed straight away that we wouldn’t employ anyone who doesn’t have bags of experience. For us it falls into three categories:


1. Experience of teaching
2. Experience of Verbier
3. Experience of life


They are all vital and we simply won’t have anybody join the team who doesn’t tick these three boxes.


Teaching experience

We only want to work with instructors who’ve taught for years. Instructors who have bags of qualifications (you can read about ski instructor qualifications here).

Instructors who we know have the experience to look after clients, help them develop and make the complicated technicalities of skiing sound simple.

Instructors who’d spent years developing and honing their own way of teaching, and who know how to keep clients safe, happy and help them take their skiing to the next level.

So you won’t be taught by anyone with basic qualification, or someone in their first season.

Everyone here has taught for years, knows Verbier inside out and has done dozens of exams (and hundreds of hours teaching) to get where they are.


Verbier knowledge

We love this resort, and it’s full of little-known secrets. From easy places to practice bumps to the quiet way to ski into resort on a busy day. From the best snow on a powder day to the best way to avoid lift queues.

It’s also full of pitfalls – the runs that get icy, the off-piste that gets too much wind, the blue pistes that are steep and might scare a novice skier, a red piste that’s always busy and you can’t practice carving, the places that get bad visibility or attract queues.

Frankly it takes years to learn them all and you never stop learning. But having all skied here and taught here for years, we know that we have a team that know the place inside out and won’t make a rookie error – like taking you to something too steep, or taking you onto a piste before you’re 100% ready, or getting lost in a white-out. Or worst of all not knowing the way to the restaurant you’ve booked for lunch.

We know this resort so well we can ski it blindfolded – or at least in the very worst whiteout…


Life experience

We firmly believe that there’s a lot to be said for life experience. And we know that’s not the same as being older – it’s about having experience of dealing with people, the ability to talk to people, understanding different walks of life and being interested in all sorts of things above and beyond skiing.

It also means being experienced enough to be confident, interesting and friendly. To put people at ease and recognise quickly how they think, how they learn and how to makes sure their session is perfect for them.

In short we think of it as the ability to not only sit on a broken down lift for 20 minutes and still have a good chat, but also the ability to spot the signs that the lift was going to breakdown before you got on it…



If you like the sound of who we are and what we want to do, we’d love to hear from you and chat about what sort of lessons might be best for you. And if you want to hear more about the people that make Element tick, you can just click below to meet the team…

Why is experience so important?