Getting your ski legs back in Hanazono

Joining a group lesson is a great way to get your snow legs back

We all know what it’s like approaching the mountain for the first time in what seems like forever. Perhaps you’re a little apprehensive, thinking you’ve lost some of your ski-fitness over the summer months, or maybe you feel as if you’ve forgotten how to exit a chairlift without landing in a heap at the bottom. Either way, a little help and confidence boost at the beginning of your week, fortnight or even season can be invaluable.

For me, joining a group lesson in Hanazono was the kickstart I was looking for. Being new to the entire Niseko resort (which compromises of four main skiing areas: Hanazono, Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Annupuri), I was keen to get to know the area and brush up on my snowboarding skills.

Snowboarding in Niseko

Even though I was staying in Hirafu, it was easy to reach Hanazono in time for my lesson with the free shuttle bus. After checking in at the front desk, I found my designated instructor and fellow snowboarders at the outside meeting point. A gentle board down the green slopes not only warmed us up for the lesson, but also helped the instructors assess everyone’s levels and ensure that we were all placed into the right group for our ability level.

In our small group of four we were given plenty of attention from our instructor, which is what you want from a lesson. The observation, feedback and advice I received helped me feel confident on my snowboard again after months away from the snow. Not only did the lesson prepare my mind and body for the rest of the season, I also felt like I got to know the hill in Hanazono and make a few boarding buddies at the same time.

Bring on more snow!

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