Philosophy

Everyone has varying learning styles, comfort levels, and differing goals when hiring a private instructor.  I work to understand your unique needs. However, ultimately I aim to provide a safe, fun, learning environment.  

Having Professional Ski Instructor Association (PSIA) certifications and being an instructor for the Vail & Beaver Creek Ski Schools, I have received substantial formal training. However, I take a very flexible approach, picking the best techniques for any given situation.  Rather than clinical explanations and lots of time spent speaking, I believe in learning through doing, not just lecturing and following.  In the course of skiing, I include exercises that build upon the core principles of pressure, edging, rotation, and balance and quite often we are working on these specific skills, but it will feel more like having a great day on the slopes than a class.  I also take time to adapt my instruction to your learning style - some people learn by watching (visual), some by detailed explanations (auditory), some by doing and experimentation (kinesthetic). 

With many clients, getting to know the mountain better, finding secret spots, avoiding crowds, and having a "locals" experience, is their goal.  Even when teaching, I view myself as a mountain guide.  When acting purely as a guide, I guarantee we will have a great time making the most of the mountain.

Why Should You Hire Kev?

To book me call the Vail Ski School Directly @ 1-970-754-4300 and request me by name (Kevin Foote) - regardless of which Vail Resort mountain you are skiing at (Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, or Breckenridge).  

I work for Vail Resorts and solicit my own clients who ski at Vail, Beaver Creek, Keystone, and Breckenridge.  Booking a private instructor or mountain guide is an investment, but unless you have the opportunity to interview or research instructors to request one by name, you will be assigned someone you've never met by the ski school desk.  The instructor will, no doubt, be greatly qualified, but you won't get to know them until your session.

  1. I try to speak with all my clients ahead of time and give them the opportunity to interview me via phone, Skype or email (and ideally meet in person  before we ski).  I want us to know each other, so I can understand your goals.  If it's not a good fit, I will happily refer you to other great instructors.
  2. I love the Rockies and am passionate about helping people make the most of their Colorado vacations.  I am happy to share my thoughts and opinions on where to stay & eat, what to do off the mountain and will be an ongoing resource from the time you first contact me until after your vacation.
  3. I am a grown adult, with a family, who takes the responsibility of teaching and guiding seriously.  I've invested in gaining multiple certifications with the PSIA including Alpine, Children's, and Adaptive (i.e., special needs).  I am active in ongoing training.
  4. I am also a professional beyond ski instruction, which for many clients have given us many things to relate to each other beyond skiing.  I am a marketing consulting with an MBA and an undergrad from MIT, who's worked for Google, YouTube, a major airline, and several "mad-men" advertising agencies.
  5. I ski and teach because I love it!

If you are at a Vail Resort mountain in Colorado (Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, or Keystone), the final arrangements of hiring me will be made through the ski school, where I am an employee.  If anyone who does not work for Vail offers to take money for a lesson, caveat emptor. It is against the policies of the mountains and agreements with the National Forest Service; if the person is an employee of the mountain and they are caught, they will be fired.

Skill Level Assessment
Source: Vail Ski School "What Is My Level"  

Having a general sense of your abilities, will help me in initial planning for our time together and help you in setting goals.   

LEVEL 1 | Novice

You have never tried skiing or snowboarding before. Welcome to the greatest sports on earth!

Start out right! You will learn to think like an expert, and discover the techniques, tactics, and mindsets of the world’s best skiers and riders, while avoiding bad habits from Day 1.

What to expect: 
- Learn about equipment and the mountain environment.
- Discover the joy and excitement of sliding on snow!
- Learn to stop.
- Learn to get up from a fall.
- Learn to make first turns.

- Make it fun.

LEVEL 2 | Novice

You have spent a few hours on the slopes—probably a day or two. You can put on and take off your equipment and move around on the flats. You are comfortable gliding and stopping on the easiest learning terrain (carpet lifts), and you can sometimes make simple direction changes while sliding.

What to expect
- Improve your turns.
- Gain confidence, control, and freedom as you explore the secrets of expert skiing and riding!

LEVEL 3 | Novice

You are very comfortable gliding and making turns on beginner terrain. You feel almost ready for easy green runs on the mountain. Skiersprobably make “wedge turns,” but you may make “parallel turns” too. 

What to expect:
- We will assess your technique and get you up to speed.
- Develop confidence with different sizes and types of turns, with rhythm and consistent speed.
- When you’re ready, ride a chairlift and ski or ride on the mountain!

LEVEL 4 | Intermediate

You ski or ride comfortably and confidently on “green circle” mountain terrain. You can ride chairlifts and link smooth, gliding turns on all but the steepest green sections. Skiers may be parallel, but probably use a slight wedge much of the time, especially when it gets steeper. Snowboarders can link heel & toe turns.

What to expect:
Refine your fundamentals, skiers becoming more consistently parallel.
- Build confidence to glide at slightly higher speeds or steeper slopes
- Explore all “green circle” runs and perhaps easiest “blue square” runs.

LEVEL 5 | Intermediate

You ski or ride comfortably and confidently on all “green circle” and most groomed “blue square” terrain at Vail. You can link turns (mostly parallel for skiers) of varying sizes and you can control your speed in most situations by adjusting your line, with little need for braking.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Explore higher speeds and more vigorous movements for shorter, complete turns.
- Develop higher edge angles and discover the control and sensations of carved turns.
- Gain confidence on steeper, more challenging groomed blue terrain.
- Venture into easiest ungroomed terrain.
- Skiers learn to incorporate pole use for better timing and precision.

LEVEL 6 | Intermediate

You are comfortable and confident on any groomed “blue square” terrain, and capable of skiing or riding easiest ungroomed and moguled blue terrain. You can link turns of varying size at moderate speed. If you are a skier, you are usually parallel, and you may use a pole swing or plant in most of your turns. Snowboarders are beginning to skid less, with the tail of the board following the tip, for more control of their line.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Refine your balance, technique, and consistency.
- Explore technical options for more versatility, from pure-carved turns to braking. Skiers learn to use both skis independently, with step turns, stem turns, and one- or two-footed movements. Snowboarders develop rhythm and build your bag of tricks with more varied movement options.
- Explore tactical options for confidence in more challenging blue terrain and conditions, including the steepest blue square runs and easy moguls.

LEVEL 7 | Advanced

You are comfortable and confident on all blue square and easier black diamond terrain, including moderate moguls and ungroomed snow. You can modify your technique and tactics from a growing quiver of options, linking dynamic carved turns with consistent rhythm on blue groomed terrain. Skiers usually ski parallel, with effective pole use. Snowboarders can mix carved and skidded turns.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Continue to refine balance and develop skills and versatility.
- Learn to manage the changing forces of higher speed, short, medium, and long carved turns, and uneven terrain.
- Explore tactics and technique options for enjoying the whole mountain, including moderate moguls, steeps, powder, racing, carving, crud, ice, or freestyle.

LEVEL 8 | Advanced

You ski or ride with confidence and flair, with offensive tactics and techniques on most terrain. You can carve arc-to-arc turns on easier groomed runs, and you handle moderate mogul runs with consistent speed and rhythm. You are competent, if not always confident, in moderate ungroomed conditions, and you can handle all but the most extreme in-bounds terrain. You may lack the needed confidence or particular technical or tactical options for true virtuosity in all terrain and conditions.

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:
- Solidify your fundamentals while expanding your limits with versatility and confidence at an ever-growing range of speeds, terrain, and conditions.
- Refine your technique for efficiency and strength at higher speeds and longer runs.
- Identify your strengths and growth areas for continued learning and improvement.

LEVEL 9 | Advanced

You can ski or ride almost anywhere, almost any time, with confidence, flair, efficiency, and offensive movements and tactics. You fear no terrain. The challenge is no longer merely to survive, but to continue to improve, and you can challenge yourself on even the easiest green, groomed runs. You are becoming a true virtuoso, enticingly close to earning the title “expert.”

What to expect—depending on your needs and goals:

- Explore any of the challenges of the mountain, from steepest and gnarliest double-black diamonds to easiest corduroy-groomed greens, to the Freestyle parks and race arenas.