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Ski and snowboard schools open for season

This winter season has been a pleasant surprise for ski report operators. The country's most famous mountain resort areas - Vysoké Tatry and Nízke Tatry - have already opened for the 1998-99 season, and are peddling a wide variety of ski and snowboard instruction services in addition to their regular fare.
Over the Christmas holidays and weekends in January and February, a variety of Slovak ski schools offer cheap lessons from top professionals, a far better bargain than you will find anywhere in the Alps. What follows is information about the best English-speaking ski and snowboard schools for you and your children.


Get ready for winter! Slovakia's many ski schools are open for business.
Soňa Bellušová

This winter season has been a pleasant surprise for ski report operators. The country's most famous mountain resort areas - Vysoké Tatry and Nízke Tatry - have already opened for the 1998-99 season, and are peddling a wide variety of ski and snowboard instruction services in addition to their regular fare.

Over the Christmas holidays and weekends in January and February, a variety of Slovak ski schools offer cheap lessons from top professionals, a far better bargain than you will find anywhere in the Alps. What follows is information about the best English-speaking ski and snowboard schools for you and your children.

* S/B Sport, Nízke Tatry, Liptovský Mikuláš, Senická 626/7. Reservations and information: Tel. 0867/6195-333, 0849/531-802, contact: Vladimír Onderčanin.

S/B offers ski service and sports equipment shopping. You can rent a complete ski kit for 1 day for 250 Sk ($7) for adults and 160 Sk ($4) for children. 6 day equipment rentals are 1,320 Sk for adults and 840 Sk for children. Apart from downhill skiing, you can also sample the recent hit of winter - the 'carving ski' (a narrow, short version of the classic ski) for the same prices.

S/B has ski schools in five locations around Slovakia: Pezinská Baba (60 km from Bratislava), Nízke Tatry - Mýto pod Ďumbierom, Tále-Hotel Partizán, Čertovica and Chopok-South-Hotel Srdiečko (not for beginners). S/B offers car transport for 9 people to each school as weather can change very quickly. Customers should ask S/B for advice on which school and resort would be best suited to their skill level.

S/B also offers children's schools ("detské škôlky," for children over three) at Ski Centre Mýto pod Ďumbierom and Tále. Schools for adults charge 560 Sk for a two-hour lesson and 1,090 Sk for a day of instruction. Two persons get a deal at 390 Sk each for two hours and 590 Sk per day. Larger groups go for 270 Sk and 390 Sk each respectively.

* JMG, Travel agency-ski school, s.r.o., Hotel Patria, 0059 85 Štrbské Pleso, Tel.: 0969/4492-582, 0969/4925-82, contact: Ivana Mravová.

JMG is located in Štrbské Pleso, a well-known resort in the Vysoké Tatry, and offers clients a choice of the Interski and Solisko hills. If you ask, you can also ski at Tatranská Lomnica, situated 25 km east of Štrbské Pleso. A complete ski outfit rental is 390 Sk per day or 2,106 Sk for six days. Carving skis cost you 430 Sk per day and 2,322 Sk per six days.

* Junior snowboard school, Bratislava, Tel.: 0903/724-236, 0903/468-746 , contact: Martin Pach and Braňo Orvriský.

Slovakia has a long tradition of ski schools that run year-round. In addition to winter ski lessons, this school offers children trainings on summer weekends and holidays on bikes and in the gym at a Graphic Design high school on Račianska Cesta in Bratislava. Lessons include also classic slalom technique. During the winter of 1998-99, children will make ski trips to Austria, to the mountain resort of Semmering. The instructors are English and German speaking. You can still apply in January: a whole year of instruction will cost you about 50,000 Sk ($1,400).

Other suggestions for ski schools:
* Crystal Ski, Mrs.Ermová, Štrbské Pleso,Tel.: 0969/4492-824
* T-Ski, Štrbské Pleso and Jasná, Tel.: 0969/423-200.

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