Come the end of the winter season, you would be forgiven for packing away your kit until next November, consigning gloves and goggles to deep storage. However, there’s a compelling argument for improving skiing or snowboarding skills during the summer, so that come the snow you’ll enjoy slope time even more thanks to improved technique.
There are summer classes in snow centres around the UK, but a number of companies also offer top-notch courses on Europe’s glaciers or further afield in the southern hemisphere. Here are some of the best.
Best for ground-breaking techniques
Warren Smith Ski Academy
The Warren Smith Ski Academy, lead by Telegraph Ski and Snowboard’s ski skills editor Warren Smith, runs five day courses throughout the summer on the snowsure Cervinia/Zermatt glacier. These cater for ability levels from basic intermediate upwards and are designed to improve skiers’ confidence and develop skills such as tackling tricky terrain and moguls. The course on the glacier runs from 8:45am until 1pm, Sunday to Thursday. This is only an hour less coaching than the Academy’s winter courses and the reduced time on the pistes is made up with the addition of biomechanics and ski physiology sessions in the afternoon and video analysis on two evening.
Where: Cervinia, Italy
When: Summer courses run from June 30 to
How much: Course fees start from £329 for Academy members and £359 for non members. The price excludes travel, accommodation at Hotel Mon Reve (the main hub for the course group) and lift passes, which can be booked separately through the academy’s partners to receive discounts.
Best for all abilities
European Ski & Snowboard School
The glacier at Les Deux Alpes is open for summer skiing from late June until early September, with 11 different runs (mainly wide blues) served by 17 lifts. European Ski & Snowboard School runs three- and six-day group courses every week throughout the summer, suitable for all ages – class sizes are four or less, so instructors can tailor their teaching to specific ability levels. New this summer is a Shred Camp for aspiring freestylers. The week-long course includes four hours of coaching, on skills such as riding switch, jumps and half pipe, on six days and is open to all ages. Afternoon are left free to enjoy other summer activities on offer in the resort including swimming , rafting and mountain biking.
Where: Les Deux Alpes, France
When: Group lessons every week from June to September. Shred Camp runs on July 13 and August 3.
How much: Three-day group lessons €110 (£95), six-day group lessons €185 (£160), Shred Camp €625 (£524) for adults €150 (£130) for under 13s and €190 (165) for over 13s, including full-board accommodation, excluding lift pass
Best for adventurous intermediates
After the successful launch of new technical courses last summer Snoworks returns again this year, aiming its courses at adventurous intermediate skiers looking to improve technical skills before the snow starts to fall. This year’s courses run for five days, Monday to Friday, and include coaching in three key areas – all-terrain performance, race carving/edge control and skiing on bumps. Snoworks also runs a seven-day backcountry adventure trip to Chile and Argentina in August, dates to be confirmed.
Where: Tignes, France
When: July 1 to July 26
How much: £370, course only. Accommodation and transfers can be booked through Snoworks’ recommended partners, lift passes to be bought in resort.
Best for freestylers
Snowboard school Onyx has been putting on summer snowboardingcamps for over 10 years, combining performance coaching with improvements on freestyle. Jibbing, riding switch, boxes, rails and kickers – it’s all covered over six days of coaching, with different level groups to cater for all abilities. There’s also video feedback, plus off snow trampolining training and afternoon activities such as golf, rafting and BBQs held throughout the week.
Where: Les Deux Alpes, France
When: June 29 to July 13
How much: £495, includes tuition, seven nights’ self-catering accommodation in a shared room and social activities in the afternoons.
Best for added extras
Maverix‘s summer coaching camps for snowboarders involve six days of piste and park riding, with freestyle coaching every day from 8:15am to make the most of the best conditions. The mornings involve flatland and buttering before mastering pipe, kickers and rails, while afternoons are filled with mountain adventures including white water rafting, cliff diving and karting.
Where: Les Deux Alpes, France
When: June 22 to July 6
How much: From £699, includes six days coaching, seven nights’ B&B accommodation and a six-day lift pass. An upgraded packaged to £799 includes a new DOUK snowboard, sent to your home after the camp.
Best for a varied choice
Whistler Blackcomb summer glacier camps
Long known for its snowcamps, Whistler Blackcomb in Canada has a vibrant summer glacier scene with a wide range of different outfits offering camps, focusing on everything from freestyle to moguls to race training, as well as a female-only Girls Week from July 9. Skiers and snowboarders, teens and adults are all catered for, with different programmes ranging in length from four to 16 days.
Where: Whistler, Canada
When: June 8 – July 14
How much: Visit the Whistler Blackcomb website for the full list of options, from a number of different ski schools, and prices.
Best for venturing further afield
Instead of spending time on a glacier, heading to winter in the southern hemisphere is another summer option. SASS Global Travel runs backcountry trips in Argentina, giving advanced skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to explore new terrain in the Andes while expanding off-piste skills. The eight-day trips don’t take the form of structured lessons, instead the expert guides discuss riders’ personal goals beforehand, with a focus on taking already developed skills to the next level. Lessons on mountain safety are integrated into each day’s riding, with formal avalanche training qualifications available as an added extra. Après activities include Argentinian barbecues, Ping Pong tournaments and a tour of the local breweries.
Where: Cerro Catedral, Patagonia, Argentina
When: July 27 to August 31
How much: From US$3,095(£2,395) for eight days, including half-board accommodation with afternoon tea, seven-day lift pass and up to six fully guided days. Flights not included.