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Learn more about the French Ski School (ESF)!

Our story
In 1937 Georges Blanchon, Emile Allais, Charles Diebold, Paul Gignoux and Léo Lagrange founded the Ecole Française de Ski, the forerunner of the Ecole du Ski français.

It was Georges Blanchon, general secretary of the French Ski Federation (FFS) who presented the plan for the School and the single skiing technique at the FFS congress in October 1937.

A second proposal by Georges Blanchon regarding ski instruction was also passed unanimously; this was the teaching method known as the "Ecole française" (French School).

French world champion Emile Allais was appointed technical director of the Ecole française. Instructor training was linked with this organisation and from then on instructors received a national diploma on qualifying. The instructors for the ski schools were appointed from among those qualifying through a competitive examination.

However, this was not an attempt to create a monopoly. Consequently, any schools that did not want to join the new organisation were perfectly able to continue to operate, without the benefit of the major publicity surrounding the "Ecole française du ski". And they no longer received the patronage of the FFS.

It was on 15th October, at the founding general assembly of the Ecole nationale du ski français at the casino in Aix les Bains in the presence of none other than the minister for sport Léo Lagrange, that it was announced that 300,000 francs would be released (the equivalent of 45,735 euros, a considerable amount of money). Charles Diebold, who set up the first ski school in Val d'Isère (not counting the Vosges ski school), considered that unifying ski instruction in France was an urgent necessity.

During the Second World War, ski instruction remained under the aegis of the French Ski Federation. An official regulation issued by the Vichy government on 7th November 1940 fixed the principles and precepts by which instructors were obliged to abide.

esf today...

From 1945 to today, the size of the Ecole du Ski Français has increased from 200 instructors in 41 schools to 17,000 instructors in 250 offices: an 85-fold increase in the number of instructors.

Today, the Ecole du Ski Français is the largest ski school in the world, with 2,000,000 pupils taking 800,000 tests every year.