Snow falls as ski enthusiasts head to the Hirafu Gondola at Grand Hirafu in Niseko

Guide to Private Ski Lessons in Niseko with GoSnow

If you’re a complete newbie to skiing, private ski lessons can be really helpful. You can learn the basics of moving around, how to trek through the snow on skis, and just stay safe. If you’re heading to Grand Hirafu on your virgin ski trip, consider private ski lessons conducted in English with GoSnow. Here’s a guide to private ski lessons in Niseko with GoSnow.

Types of Private Classes

Type of ClassStart TimeEnd TimePrice
Private Full-DayAnytime between 8:30 AM – 10:30 Am6 hours from the start time¥61,000
Private Full-Day PlusAnytime between 8:30 AM – 10:30 Am8 hours from the start time¥81,000
Private (AM)09:00 AM01:00 PM¥49,000
Private (PM)01:30 PM03:30 PM¥22,000

Pricing and information here are from 2019

I personally found the morning private ski lessons to be the most cost-effective class to be shared among two people and chose that, and I opted for 2 days worth of private ski classes with GoSnow.

What to Expect from Your Private Ski Lessons

You’ll meet with your instructor and they’ll evaluate your ski abilities. I had to start from absolute basics, because I had never skied at all prior to my Niseko trip.

Our assigned instructor was an Australian ski instructor. Private classes allow for the pace to be dictated by lesson-goers’ ability to continue with the exercises and practice.

You’ll also need to settle your ski equipment before going to lessons. You can read this guide to renting and buying your ski equipment.

What were the GoSnow Private Classes Like?

An asian couple gets ready to ski down the slopes of Grand Hirafu while snowing

Day 1

  • Learn how to use the ski pole, how to fall safely, and get up after falling
  • How to glide downhill, go uphill in skis, control speed, come to a plough stop

Day 2

  • Refresher of Day 1
  • How to get on and off the gondola safely
  • Try to ski down the slope with actual crowds and practice in “real-world” conditions
  • Learn to ski with both skis parallel while practicing doing an “S” turns

How Difficult is Skiing?

I only managed to get on the gondola and go down the slope once under the guidance of our instructor, because we needed a lot of rest breaks during the lesson on both days. I was not at my fittest, so I was often breathless having the drag my ski boots through snow and carry the skis which are so crazy heavy.

So on top of actually needing time to commit the skiing moves to muscle memory, not being physically strong enough to carry the skis and plow through thick snow definitely affected how fast I progressed.

Tip: Don’t skip your core and leg days. Really. You’ll need some help from your muscles on your ski trip, so don’t neglect them. 😮‍💨

Will Two Days of Private Ski Lessons Be Sufficient?

An asian man is excited to learn to ski with GoSnow at Grand Hirafu in Niseko

Two days is sufficient to get the basics of skiing and to build some confidence to get on and off the high-speed gondolas. I had five days to ski, so things started looking up from Day 4.

After two days of half-day ski lessons, I was more or less comfortable on the beginner slopes and able to enjoy myself. That said, it’s very unlikely that two days of lessons will be enough to get you comfortable to ski on all pistes.

Taking half-day ski lessons in the mornings also allowed me to practice what I had learnt outside practice areas. That’s really great to get in more ski time to build muscle memory and get more comfortable to push more in the next class.

It’s tough but rewarding. If you’re a beginner on your first ski trip, Day 1 to Day 3 is mostly warm-up. From Day 4 onwards you can really start to enjoy your surroundings and not panic while riding the ski lifts and high-speed gondolas!

If you find this guide useful, you can buy me pasta!


One response to “Guide to Private Ski Lessons in Niseko with GoSnow”

  1. […] We chose to do Private Lessons and you can read our guide to private ski lessons with GoSnow. […]

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