Skiing is a wonderful pastime: an energetic and thrilling sport performed amongst some of the most breath-taking vistas known to man. Yet to the uninitiated, there is always an element of fear involved. This fear is propagated by anecdotes involving broken limbs and events involving mountain rescue teams. Of course, there are inherent dangers in skiing, as there are in any sport, but do not let those risks put you off what is an immensely enjoyable activity which gives a sense of freedom and oneness with your surroundings that not many other sports can offer.
As a first-time skier, there are a number of things to know which will make your experience that little more enjoyable, safer, and more productive. Following these tips should see you getting the most out of your very first ski trip.
Do your research
Different ski resorts cater to different abilities of skiers. On a mountain, different color codes are applied to ski runs signaling their difficulty, with green being the easiest, and black being the hardest. Obvious as a beginner you will want to avail of easier runs – trying to run before you can walk, so to speak, is really not a good idea when it comes to skiing or snowboarding. Choose a resort that really caters to beginner skiers, and you will find the experience much more conducive to learning.
As a first-time skier, it makes no sense to buy equipment. This is an unnecessary cost and then you need to transport your equipment with you too, which also becomes problematic and expensive. Renting your equipment will not only be more cost-effective, but it will also ensure that you receive the right kind of equipment for learning. Beginners’ equipment can vary slightly, but most importantly you will get skis, poles and boots that suit your size and shape, which is really important when it comes to feeling comfortable on the mountain. That can really be the difference between learning quickly, and struggling.
Avail of ski lessons
Nearly every resort will offer some sort of ski school option, but again make sure you to your research first and choose a resort which really offers the biggest variety of beginner slopes and ski school options. You may think that you will be able to learn yourself or even be taught by friends, but the fact is ski school, even for a couple of days, can make a huge difference. It’s immensely sociable too.
An alternative option would be to avail of private one-to-one tuition. This is the fastest way to get yourself up and running, and although it may be a little expensive, just a couple of days should see you able to get confidently down beginner slopes, and really start to enjoy the experience.
Wear the right clothing
As a beginner, expect to have your fair share of insignificant tumbles. We are not talking about the broken bone varieties because the vast majority of falls will simply see you leaning over too far where you are standing. Your pride will be the only thing that is hurt. That said, you must make sure you have the right clothing that is waterproof, and keeps you warm. When it comes to staying warm, layers are best, rather than a single thick jacket, for example. Layer up, get yourself a fitted hat and goggles, and you will feel much more comfortable and ready to enjoy the experience. With the right clothing, you shouldn’t even feel the cold.
No one can ski perfectly the first time. In most cases it will take at least three or four days to get yourself up and going at a reasonable speed, and from there you will be truly surprised at your level of development. Getting frustrated will only take away the enjoyment from the activity, and setting yourself unrealistic expectations will also have a detrimental effect.
The truth is that being out on the mountain, and getting small wins in terms of making it down gentle slopes without falling will actually give you a huge buzz and you will get plenty of enjoyment out of that. Do not compare yourself to others, as if you go in a group there are bound to be different levels of ability and experience. Experience is really key when it comes to skiing ability.
And from there, just try to enjoy yourself as much as you possibly can. A ski holiday is as much fun off the slopes as on them too, and at the very least you will spend a few days surrounded by stunning scenery with good food and drink to enjoy. What’s not to like?