Clubs Provide Valuable Service for Newcomers Who Want to Learn Skiing or Snowboarding


October 2016 - According to the National Ski Areas Association’s Beginner Conversion Study, “lack of time” is one of the deterrents newcomers cited for not starting or continuing to ski or snowboard. Not having anyone to go with was another, although less prevalent, concern. The study is ongoing and is being conducted by RRC Associates based in Boulder, CO.

Planning a ski or snowboard trip can be time-consuming and finding people to go with may not be easy. One solution is to join one of the many clubs or Meet Ups that are active in many parts of the country.

The web site lists clubs throughout the U.S.  

Clubs (and Meet Ups) organize ski and snowboard trips and events, as well as year-round recreational activities like canoe or white water rafting trips, hiking excursions, bicycle outings, picnics, etc.

“Trip and event organizers can save you a lot of time and money since they are planning for groups and not just a couple of people,” said Bob Wilbanks, editor of the National Ski Club Newsletter. “One trip and you instantly have friends to go with the next time”.

Clubs and Meet Ups offer well-organized trips to local and far-away destinations and they can provide newcomers with an instant group of friends, according to Mary Jo Tarallo, executive director of the national Learn to Ski and Snowboard/Bring a Friend initiative and a former president of the Blue Ridge Ski Council. They can be a conduit to learning how to ski or snowboard.

Most clubs belong to a council that forms an even larger body of potential companions and friends for skiing and snowboarding. The New York Metropolitan Ski Council, the Chicago Metropolitan Ski Council, the Far West Ski Association and the Blue Ridge Council are among the largest.

 “I have made many long-term friends, both personally and professionally, as a result of belonging to the Baltimore Ski Club,” said Luann Snyder, an active member of the Baltimore club that is celebrating its 70th year in the spring of 2017.

Baltimore is one of a few clubs that offer lesson rebate reimbursements to members who participate in club-sponsored trips.  [$20 per day on a 4/5 day weeklong trip = $80]. 

Lesson rebates are offered for all ages and abilities - from beginners to advanced skiers. Club literature notes “all skiers should learn from a certified instructor, while advanced skiers can pick up new tips and techniques from a good instructor”.

Clubs generally charge a modest membership fee to join. They typically meet once a month mostly during colder winter months. Volunteer members "govern" the organizations. They put together learning programs and turnkey affordable trips, social gatherings and other activities for colleagues and friends.

Ski and snowboard retail shops may share information about local clubs. Schools have their own clubs for youngsters. Signing up for trips is a great way to learn, get better and meet people.

A group known as the National Ski Club Federation represents clubs from all over the U.S. Information is available at

The National Brotherhood of Skiers ( represents mostly African-American skiers and snowboarders. Disabled Sports, USA information is located at www.dsusa,org.

The U.S. Deaf Ski and Snowboard Association can be reached at

 CONTACT: Mary Jo Tarallo | | 202-431-6957

Print Email