Of all the adventure sports available to adults, skiing can be the most exhilarating. From the glistening white slopes to your breath misting as you gaze in the wonder of your surroundings, there is much more that you gain out of planning a skiing trip. At the end of it, you will either come to love it or absolutely hate it.
The best thing about skiing is that you could be in your 40s and it will still not be too late to begin skiing. A ski holiday does not have to be an activity left unchecked from your bucket list if you are a beginner skier. Here are a few first time skiing tips:
First things first
For a beginner skier, you may be trying out easier slopes rather than the Black Diamond. While learning may not keep your attention hooked all the time, staying consistent in practice definitely will. Here’s a little guide that tells you all that you need to know if you wish to add skiing to your list of hobbies:
Where to ski
Skiing terrains differ across various regions. There are many ski resorts that offer various skiing terrains for individuals with varying expertise. You may also find ski schools that offer first-time skiers the lessons they need before attempting the sport.
When to go skiing
The best time for skiing completely depends on the kind of skiing experience you wish to enjoy. If you want to engage in skiing while basking in the snow, the best time would be in the month of January or February. This is when the slopes would be powdered for sure.
Learn skiing the right way
Like learning any other sport, choosing the right ski instructor will play a key role in your journey towards mastering the sports. You will need a ski instructor that has enough experience with beginners of various ages and can deal with the difficulties you face as you attempt to learn the basics of skiing. You can opt for group or private lessons to boost your confidence as you try to become an experienced skier.
Keep the right attitude towards skiing
Attempting skiing requires a lot of patience. You may find yourself frustrated with all the instructions and cues as you try to assimilate the new instructions. You may even see those younger to your skiing way better while you still find mastering the basics difficult. It is vital to remember that everybody learns at their own pace. Falling and failing would be an essential part of the experience.
Skiing entails a certain amount of physical exertion that goes along with any sport. It is thus important to ensure you prepare yourself physically before you begin your lessons on your ski trip.
Work on your upper body and lower body strength to ensure you can endure the physical strain of skiing. Overall fitness, flexibility, and strength are important attributes worth working on before you attempt skiing. While you may not need to engage in extreme fitness activities, a moderate amount of physical activity that keeps you at optimal health will do the job.
Like any physical activity, skiing requires you to eat well. You need to eat the right amount of food to maintain your fitness levels and to provide adequate energy for the activity you attempt. You may ask your nutritionist to help you make up for any nutritional deficiencies with vital supplements if needed.
Make sure you drink enough water and carry some with you when you go skiing. Keeping yourself hydrated will ensure you suffer less fatigue and are able to effortlessly work towards your goals with falling short on hydration.
Gear Up the Right Way
Skiing requires you to gear up adequately before you can enjoy the various terrains. Ensure you have the right equipment and learn to use them in time as you work towards becoming a practised skier. Here are the items you need to look into before skiing:
Choose to rent skis the first time instead of buying them so you can learn what would suit you best. Learn to carry and hold the skis effectively without straining your arms or back. Ensure the skis are placed on a flat surface when you put them on. Secure the straps and make sure they don’t give. Make sure your heels rest in the groove for your heels when you ski.
Holding your ski poles correctly is essential learning. Make sure you put your hand through the straps on the pole correctly. Check your grip on the ski poles and hold them lower. As you begin skiing, you will learn that the ski poles will follow you closely as you cover many square feet of snow.
Choose a helmet of the correct size so you feel comfortable and secure. Fasten the strap of the helmet correctly to make sure that it is placed well. A good helmet will make your ski experience easy while keeping you safe from unexpected accidents.
A ski jacket is made from waterproof material and often has pockets on the inside that lets you store your valuables. You can wear this jacket on top of your clothes without the fear of overheating.
Ski goggles will help you keep high visibility when you use them well. Ensure the insides of the goggles are clean and dry before putting them on. While removing the goggles, make sure you do not let snow enter the inside of the goggles so you can use them as you ski.
Get yourself the right size of ski boots. The right size will make attempting various moves and turns effortless. A wrong size will make the same moves painful to attempt and cramp your legs during and after your activity.
Ski pants are special pants made to make skiing activity comfortable. They are waterproof pants that ensure even if the snow sticks to the pants, it will not melt and make the pants wet. The area around the ankle is reinforced with extra layers of fabric to ensure that you do not injure your ankle with a ski coming from the opposite direction.
Wear good quality ski socks when you ski. Avoid doubling up on socks for fear of cold so you don’t overheat your feet. Wearing uncomfortable socks can cause unnecessary friction and cause blisters on your feet.
Gloves and Mittens
Both gloves and mittens are preferred by many skiers. Gloves provide effective grip, while mittens give adequate warmth. You may choose either of them to suit your specific needs as you gear up.
Get Busy Practising
Like every other hobby, skiing takes practice. You cannot simply decide to ski one fine day and be perfect at it. From the posture to the terrain, every little thing needs to be taken into account if you wish to stay on the ski for longer than a few seconds.
Learn to correctly bend your knees when you ski. Not many know the importance of bending the knees into the right posture and keeping your legs parallel to gain control of the ski. Learn the correct posture you need to stay in while you practise.
Learn to prop yourself correctly in your gear when you ski. It is important that you learn to balance yourself well while you are geared up so you can move over the various terrains you wish to brave.
Prepare yourself to react quickly while you are on the skis to keep yourself from falling. Skiing is all about quick reflexes and you can’t be lax if you wish to get better with time. As you learn to react and right yourself, you will be more prepared to correct your posture on every terrain.
Be alert as you go down the slope. While the wide expanse before you may be free of any stragglers, there is always a chance of someone else bumping into you if they are beginners themselves. You certainly don’t want to faceplant into the snow.
Research in advance
Plan ahead and find out which place would best suit your needs. If you are a group of people with varying experiences in skiing and different likes and dislikes, it is better if you look for resorts that provide varied terrains, ski schools, and other amenities. Compare ski resorts on the basis of the utilities they provide as well as the travel time and cost you will have to bear.
Find your comfort pace
Make sure the resort you choose allows you to partake in activities at the level you feel the most comfortable. Attempting something you feel scared in or doing an activity that does not fulfil you defeats the purpose of skiing altogether.
While you may not feel the need to protect your skin from the sun when surrounded in snow, this is an activity you should not skip. Make sure you apply an effective sunscreen so you do not have to suffer from sunburns and the uneasiness it ensues.
Renting vs buying
Think over before you buy any skiing equipment. You may feel the need to splurge in excitement when beginning to learn skiing. Refrain from doing so. In time, as you practise, you will learn that some kinds of equipment are better suited to you than others. Until you have enough information and insight, wait before you buy equipment. Most ski resorts and ski schools have new equipment you can rent so you don’t have to worry about inadequate or old equipment.
Keep your lift ticket safe
Your lift ticket is your access pass when you go skiing. Make sure you learn all the safe places to store your lift ticket safe. Ensure your lift ticket stays dry and keep it on your person at all times.
Keep your cell phone safe
Make sure you keep your cell phone safely secured in your pockets. You may need to use waterproof covers when the weather is humid or when there are chances of rain.
How to prepare before skiing for the first time?
- Prepare your mind to be patient, expect that you may fall many times before you learn to balance yourself.
- Be confident in attempting what you learnt and practised.
- Do stretching exercises and warm up to avoid cramps.
- Carry food and water to keep yourself fueled and hydrated.
- Make sure you learn to use your equipment the right way.
How should I dress for skiing the first time?
Ensure you are warmly dressed. Make sure you don’t wear too many layers that either restrict activity or make you feel overheated. You don’t have to spend a lot on expensive or fancy skiing clothes and equipment for your first time.
What to expect while skiing for the first time?
The first lesson will help you familiarise yourself with a skiing environment. You will learn your bearings while holding and carrying equipment. You will also learn to enter, ride and exit ski lifts efficiently. You will be introduced to basic activities at a slow and steady pace.
What should I not do while skiing for the first time?
- Avoid wearing clothes that may get wet if the snow that sticks to it melts.
- Do not expect the lessons to be easy to master.
- Avoid clothes and shoes that restrict movement. Keeping yourself moving will allow you to keep your body warm.
- Avoid comparing yourself with another person. You may not necessarily master techniques at the same pace.
- Avoid going alone. Make sure you find a companion that will stay with you on the first day and be patient with you as you learn. Having a patient person around will keep your spirits up and help you through learning
- Avoid steep slopes meant for experienced skiers. You need to stick to a slow and steady pace.
Skiing can add much value to your holidays and ski trips can make all the difference to add a little adventure to an otherwise mundane routine. A good experience will make a ski trip enjoyable when you heed the advice given to you by experienced skiers. Your time skiing can be the best part of your holiday by making the right set of choices.