Ongosa FAQs - all Ongosa's frequently asked questions, find the answers you need here.

Published on Fri 11 Jan, 2019

General FAQs


What does Ongosa do?

We find and book the best adventure sports guides and instructors for you.

How does it work?

You can search on our website to find and compare adventure sports sessions which suit your needs, or if you make an enquiry with us our team of experts reach out to our network of professionals and recommend the best schools or independent instructors which match your requirements, to help you reach the next level.

Why book with us?

Free expert advice and helpful service

Compare all the best options in one place

No booking fees


What sports do you cover?

Ski, snowboard, surf, kitesurf, stand up paddle boarding and some other activities you may want to try, just ask.


We work with mountain professionals across all of the European Alps, and in top Scandinavian and Japanese resorts. For surf, we work with great schools along all of Europe's Atlantic coast, plus Morocco, the Canaries and Cape Verdi.

What services do you offer?

We specialise in lessons and guiding sessions, including private and group activities for less than a day, full-day or multi-day sessions.

How do I make an enquiry? 

Search for the service you need on our homepage by typing something such as 'Ski lessons in Morzine' or 'Surf lessons in Biarritz'. Next use the filters to tell us your requirements - then compare all our recommended best options in one place, which you can request to book. Or simply submit your details using our enquiry form, by clicking 'Enquire Now' at the top of the page. One of our team of adventure experts will then find your best options and help you get booked in. You can also call us on 020 3176 7063 and speak to one of the team.

Why should I 'request to book'?

By using the request to book functionality we can increase the chance of you getting what you want. It is also a lot quicker for you and easier.

Why do you need a contact phone number? 

All our local adventure sports specialists are chosen for their passion for sports and dedication to customer service. As they may need to contact you about meeting points, issues with the weather or conditions (or just to say hi!) we promise them we will pass on your details. 

Should I book into a group lesson or get a private instructor?

See our page on group and private sessions here.

What happens once I have requested to book?

We contact schools to check availability and if they have it, we process the payment. If not, we source a suitable alternative and present it to you.

Do I need a guide or an instructor?

A guide is to show you around, and help you find areas you might otherwise have missed. An instructor is for technical lessons, to help you improve at your chosen adventure sport. Find out more here.  


How do I pay?

Payment is made by debit or credit card at the point of booking.

How much does it cost?

This depends on the activity you are booking, where and with which school. We pass on the rate the professional gives us, there are no additional booking fees when booking through Ongosa. 

What happens if I've requested to book?

We will check the availability for you. If available, we'll send you over a booking link. If not, we will endeavour to find you something else suitable and present it to you.

How do I know if my booking is confirmed?

As soon as you've paid, you'll receive a confirmation email.


How do I contact my instructor/guide?

You'll have been given their phone number upon booking and you can email them directly through our system. Log in here to see your booking.

What if I've forgotten my Ongosa password?

Hit 'Forgot your password?' on the login page.

What do I need to do before my lessons?

Double check all details, including equipment requirements etc., and familiarise yourself with the meeting point and time.

What if my instructor/guide does not show up?

You will have received a phone number for the school, or your instructor or guide, and you must make every attempt to call them. If you cannot reach them, please call us ASAP too.


What if I need to cancel my lesson?

Please see our Cancellation Policy and Terms and Conditions for further details. Schools have their own cancellation policies, which we have to adhere to.

I was forced to cancel my lessons and want to claim on insurance for the loss, what can I do? 

Please see our Terms and Conditions. If you want to claim on travel insurance, you MUST cancel the lesson you have booked in full with us. 

What if my lesson is cancelled by the school?

This very rarely happens - often we are able to give a full refund, and when it comes to finding the best suitable alternative you are in the safest hands. See our Cancellation Policy for more details. 

What if I am unhappy with the service?

We ask for feedback after the session which we may decide to pass on to the school. The best way to manage any issue you have with the school is directly with them as early as possible. This is generally the most effective way of finding a suitable outcome. Any complaints received after the end of your session will be taken seriously but the options to resolve things for you are reduced the longer you leave it.


What if I want to leave feedback?

We have partnered with Feefo, so there is a place for you to review Ongosa's service. You will be emailed an invitation to leave a review by Feefo after you book. We can then see this feedback, and learn what we can work on in future, or enjoy hearing about more happy customers.

Who can leave feedback?

Only people who have had a lesson booked through Ongosa can leave feedback.

Can anyone see my feedback?

Only if the person leaving feedback is happy to make it public.

What should I put in my feedback?

Anything you think is relevant - We are very happy for feedback of any kind, good or bad, either helps us know how to keep giving the best service we can in future.

Why should I leave a review?

You have the chance to help other adventure sports fans find their next level! Tell people looking for lessons how easy it is using Ongosa, and that might just be the reason they come to us, find their perfect instructor, and have the experience of a lifetime!

My friends are good, why can't they just teach/guide me?

Even if your friends are qualified, it is illegal in some countries for them to teach/guide you. Ongosa work with highly trained and qualified professionals, whose day job is teaching adventure sports; read our article on why you shouldn't let your friends teach you here.

Winter Sport FAQs


What level am I?

Read our article on identifying your ski level here. Level classifications do vary between schools - when you search Ongosa our levels are written out in detail so you can find the right one for you, we then equate these general ability levels to a specific class the school offer.

How much can I expect to pay?

Prices are available on our website if you use the filters to search for the lessons you need. Alternatively, to get an idea of a guide price you can see this page.

Will the resort be open and lessons running on Christmas day?

This depends on the school and resort, but almost always yes, lessons continue running on Christmas day. 

Should I have private lessons or join a group?

See our page on group and private sessions here.

How many will be in my group?

When you search for lessons, group sizes can be seen - these vary depending on the type of lesson or the school. Groups are usually between 4-10, the higher the value of the lessons, the smaller the group and the more attention you will receive.

Can I join a group lesson mid-week?

Usually no, especially if you are a beginner. Some schools may have more flexibility if you are a more advanced skier. It is more likely that you will be able to book a private lesson mid-week than join a group.

Is it possible to change groups mid-week if I am progressing faster than everyone else?

Schools try their best to harmonise groups at the start of the week, to ensure the best progression and avoid changing classes midweek.

Is it a guide or an instructor that I need?

A guide is to show you around, and help you find areas you might otherwise have missed. An instructor is for technical lessons, to help you improve at your chosen adventure sport. Find out more here.  

Can we share private lessons? What if we are at different skill levels?

We do not recommend sharing lessons if you are of different ski abilities, especially if there is a beginner in the party. More intermediate/advanced skiers may wish to share a guiding session rather than a lesson. Instructors will take different abilities on different pistes, and structure lessons differently. It is best to book separate lessons to suit your abilities.

Why can I not book a specific time for private lessons (such as 12:25)?

You can in some cases, but in high season instructors work to set time schedules, for both private and group lessons. The days are normally split into mornings (for example 9am-12pm), afternoons (for example 1pm-4pm) and full day lessons. The mornings are the more popular and so tend to book up first. 

How long will it take me to get the hang of skiing/snowboarding?

For first-timers, either a few private lessons, or several days of group lessons - we recommend at least 1 week! Take a look at the How to Ski section of our website for help getting off the ground.

Do I need to be physically fit?

Different levels of fitness are required for different levels of skiing or snowboarding. Read our introduction to ski fitness here.

Why shouldn’t I just book an instructor with my tour operator?

Tour operators often just work with one school in a given resort - we have the local knowledge and expertise to look around for the most suitable option for you.

Can’t I just wait and book a guide or instructor when I get to resort?

There are a finite number of lessons/instructors available in a given week, in a given resort, and more demand than supply! So we highly recommend you book your lessons or guiding prior to travelling along with the rest of your holiday arrangements. Read our article on Why You Need to Book Lessons Early here. 

Which days of my holiday are best for lessons or guiding?

Group lessons usually run every day for 5 or 6 days. For private lessons, you can do a few days at the start, or every other day (to recover and practice in between). In peak weeks, you might have to book every day of the week to guarantee the instructor.

Can Ongosa help with kids’ lessons?

Yes! We can help find the best lessons for everyone including children of any age, depending on minimum ages of ski schools (see below). Just enter the ages of all those you are booking for when enquiring.

What is the youngest age that my child can go into ski school?

Most schools start at 3, but for a 3-year-old 1-2 hours of skiing is enough in one go. Full-day provision is available but this is more childcare with some skiing. Meal times can be included, this varies with school, we can advise so please ask when booking.

Does the ski school provide transfers to the slopes?

Usually no, you need to get to the school's meeting point for the start of your lesson yourself. However, this can vary with schools in specific locations, be sure to check all the info we provide when you book.

What is included in the price?

You can see details of all that is included when viewing a lesson page online. The price you pay with Ongosa is the price of your lessons/guiding sessions. Please note lift passes and equipment hire are not included in the price of a lesson. However, when booking a lesson with us you are automatically entitled to discounts on lift passes, equipment hire and more from the likes of SkiSet. For more information, please ask when you make an enquiry.


What do I need to do before my lesson or guiding session?

Details will be on your booking confirmation, be sure to read all the information beforehand. Take a look at our article on getting fit for skiing here.

Do I need a lift pass? Or what lift pass do I need?

This is resort specific, some resorts have a beginner area which you don't need a lift pass to access, some you will need a pass from day 1. See the lift pass page on your resort's website for more information.

What if I want to alter my booking?

You'll need to ring Ongosa to let us know what changes you wish to make. Ability to make changes can depend on terms and conditions of specific schools, changes might not always be possible.

What if I am in the wrong level of group?

It is your responsibility to fully read and understand the levels before purchasing the lessons. Schools will do their best to harmonize groups but in some cases they might not be able to (for example in high season all other groups may be full, or in low season they may not have the correct level of group running). If in any doubt call us to discuss. 

What clothing should I wear?

See our Top 10 Tips for Beginners for advice on what to bring, and other pointers here

What happens if the weather is bad?

Snowing (or raining) is not seen as bad weather, lessons will still go ahead. Very strong winds however might result in certain lifts being closed, which might effect your lessons. Please see our Cancellation Policy for details.

What if there is no snow?

If there is not enough snow for lifts and pistes to be open, lessons will be cancelled. However this is becoming more and more rare with the snow-making facilities modern resorts have, especially in beginner areas.

Do I need insurance? 

Yes you have to have appropriate insurance when booking services through Ongosa.com - see T&C's here.


Summer Sport FAQs

Does my lesson include the hire of a wetsuit and surfboard?

It is likely that hire is included, however this is dependent on the school so do check at time of booking.  

Can I keep my board and wetsuit after my lesson to practice?

Generally if hire is included with your lesson you will not be able keep your equipment to practice, however this is at the discretion of the school.

What do I need to bring with me?

Where wetsuit and surfboard hire are included, you will just need to bring swimwear, suncream and a towel.

Where can I store my property/valuables when having a lesson?

This will be dependent on the school, however many schools do have changing facilities and lockers, please ask when you book.

How long until I am able to stand up on a board?

This varies from person to person but most schools aim to have you standing up by the end of your first lesson.

Why do I have to provide my height, weight and date of birth?

This helps the school get all their equipment ready in advance for your lesson thus saving you time. They may also require your date of birth for insurance purposes.

Will I be in the water for the entire duration of the lesson?

No, you will normally spend some time at the beginning of the lesson both warming up and practising on land, as well as learning about the tide and where is best to surf. 

Will I get on the water on my first lesson?

Yes, you will normally spend around half an hour warming up and learning the basics on land but then you will get in to practise on the water.

Can I use my own equipment?

Generally yes you can use your own wetsuit and surfboard.

How many people will be in my group?

This varies by school, country and number of instructors working. Check your booking details for more information. 

If I cannot swim can I still have a surf lesson?

No, you need to be a competent swimmer.

Should I book a private or group lesson?

You will always progress more quickly with more personal attention from a private instructor.  

Will there be somewhere to get changed before and after my lesson?

This often depends on the school running the lesson. If they have facilities you can typically use these before and after your lesson.