A Better Way to Book Your Ski Lessons or Guide
Thankfully, gone are the days, when booking your ski lessons or mountain guide was something like Russian roulette.
Would your instructor turn up? How long did you need to make it to their meeting point in time? Would your guide know the area as well as you do? In short, would they be any good and worth what you were paying them? It was almost impossible to know in advance – perhaps just by personal recommendation if you were lucky enough to have the right connections.
But now, as is the case in many aspects of our lives on and off the slopes, there’s an online service that circumvents all those issues, and dramatically improves the whole process of booking ski lessons – group or private – or a ski guide.
Now ski instructors and mountain guides present themselves in videos you can review online, and at the same time you can read how others have rated them. Then cross check the ones that score highly in the resort you’re heading to with their availability and your travel dates, and the on-snow match is made, via SkiBro.
“After years of frustration booking ski lessons and guiding adventures for ourselves, our friends and families, often ending up with a provider that wasn’t a great fit, we thought there must be a better way,” explains SkiBro’s Matt Carr.
Taking inspiration from the multitude of platforms that make our lives easier in other walks of life, from Airbnb to Uber to Urban Massage, SkiBro gathered a team of mountain-lovers and moved to the Alps to set up the world’s highest tech company!
“We’ve been delighted by our first two seasons, as have our customers, as reflected in our near-perfect customer reviews. In helping our customers find the perfect provider for them, whether they’re looking for a ski school for their kids to learn to ski for the first time or a mountain guide with whom to go on an epic adventure, we’re aiming to reinstate the ski lesson as the absolute highlight of the ski holiday,” Matt adds.
SkiBro’s growth has been rapid and it continues to be so, constantly adding new resorts, ski school partners, instructors and guides. For winter 19-20 around 50 new resorts are being added across France, Switzerland, Austria and Italy.
The list includes French faves like Flaine and Alpe d’Huez, some awesome Austrian areas like Mayrhofen and several swish Swiss stations such as Crans Montana and Verbier, as well as idyllic Italian option Courmayeur.
“We’re aiming to have every major resort in the Alps online by the start of the winter and a few of our favourite hidden gems to boot!” says Matt.
SkiBro’s aim is to provide a single and complete view of the ski lesson market, whether you’re looking to book a private lesson or a ski school class.
SkiBro differs from other sites which seem similar in that they are a one-stop shop for any kind of lesson booking, whilst others act as aggregators for ski school lessons, or work with independent instructors for private lessons, SkiBro offer both.
SkiBro also offers instant automated booking confirmation in most cases, once you know a guide or instructor is available and offering their services on the day you want them, other platforms can tend to leave you hanging if the instructor/guide doesn’t manually confirm a booking request. Meaning you may not know for sure for a while if you have a confirmed booking or not.
“It’s that easy one-stop shop which has allowed us to establish partnerships with tour ops and travel agents, which is also a point of difference vs the other platforms, who haven’t had success in those channels,” says matt, continuing, “That aside, we also have an English customer support team on hand via live chat seven days / week and pretty much 24/7 through the season, versus some sites which farm their customers out to a call centre in Eastern Europe or rely on individual instructors themselves interacting directly with the client- great in principle, often not so great in practice.”
“A big part of that is broadening the number of ski schools we’re partnered with and to that end, we’re furiously uploading new ski school classes as fast as our keyboards will allow,” explains Matt, adding, “We’re adding new schools every week and within the next month or so we’ll have over 250 schools offering over 2,000 classes across the Alps!”
SkIBro also feature 250 independent instructors with flexible pricing and multi-day packages for bespoke private lesson bookings, meaning maximum flexibility and value for money.
“We’re the only platform or school that shoots profile videos for the instructors we work with, enabling you to get a real sense of personality and teaching style,” Matt adds.
The platform is unique in providing a profile video for each provider, giving clients an insight into the instructor’s personality, teaching philosophy and specialist coaching areas.
New for this year is flexible pricing (cheaper outside peak periods) and multi-day packages, helping your money go further on longer bookings.
More Guides On the SkiBro App
“Many of our clients have requested that we bolster the quiver of mountain guides we work with. So we’ve been scouring the summits and recce-ing the ridgelines of the Alps in search of the best guides,” Matt explains, concluding,
“For the start of the winter we’re looking to have a much lengthier roster of guides in place in the resorts to favour the adventurous skier or snowboarder. We’ll also be working with the guides to offer some amazing adventure experiences including overnight refuge stays and multi-day / multi-resort tours. Watch this space!”
As to the future, well Matt sees the potential as still more exciting,
“Our long-terms ambition is to deliver technology that actually materially improves the ski lesson itself, notably in allowing users to easily meet wherever’s convenient, and enabling instructors to record and share the highlights and learning from each lesson with the client, essentially building a “skier profile” that clients and future instructors can refer back to and build on.”