don't listen to the DIY video proponents, I already know two people this season alone who tore their ACL and meniscus trying to teach themselves how to ski. Nothing worse than wasting not only your snow season, but also a climbing season ahead. Yes, you may be a rare prodigy and gifted with excellent memory and brain-muscle coordination, but I don't think you want to chance the opposite
I'm sorry but I just have a hard time believing someone with avalanche certification, winter mountaineering experience and knowledge of self arresting would seriously injure themselves trying to snowplow on the bunny slope. Some of the best skiers that chimed in were self taught.
Again, regardless of resort a first time ski lesson will teach you three things, that you should never cross your skis, how to load a lift and how to snowplow. Most first time lessons will be in a group of around 10 people. Of those 10 about 3 figure out pretty fast that the sport the not for them, and most of instruction will be spent waiting for them to catch up with the rest. I've observed the same thing at five different resorts; Mt. Ashland, Mt. Shasta, Donner Ski Ranch, Boreal and Sugarbowl.
A “turn seminar” type intermediate lesson, where a ski instructor gives you individual feed back like, “put more weight on the downhill ski”, or something like that is probably worth it, but learning how to snowplow should take around 20 minutes on your own, and that's the extent of whats covered for a first time lesson.
Snowboarding might be a completely different story, I don't know because I've never done it and I never will, so I don't feel qualified to give advice on that.
I'm just trying to save you some cash here, as one pennyless bastard to another, don't waste your time or money on a first time lesson. I guess at the end of the day you'll decide for yourself which random internet people are worth listening to, if any, but if you do shell out 50 bucks for an introductory ski lesson could you do me a favor? Just as a personal reference could you watch the video I put up in my last post and let me know if it does an accurate job capturing the overall gayness of your first lesson. - Thanks!