So you’re skiing for the first time and you don’t want to make a fool of yourself.
You also don’t want to come back with frost bite or a broken bone either!
You’re not alone, we’ve all been there. You’ve got to start somewhere so why not start here..
I recently went skiing for the very first time this year. I’m an athletic person so I didn’t take my preparation very seriously but boy was I wrong! Skiing for the first time calls for serious preparation. I had some near misses like avoiding injuries, not freezing to death and not passing out from starvation on the slopes. I learned a lot from my first ski trip and I’d love to tell you exactly how to prepare so that these events don’t happen to you!
Now, without further adu here are the Top 8 tips for first time skiing
1. Find a Place
Decide Where to go, preferable somewhere close!
The last thing you’ll want during your first time skiing is to arrive somewhere where the slopes are way beyond your skill level.
You have plenty of options. This is because most ski resorts have small, beginner slopes. Although, there are a few places that specifically cater to beginners. You can find those resorts here.
Another criteria I’d recommend you use when choosing a location, is to choose a place that is close by. I didn’t do this and I regretted it. I traveledfrom LA to Quebec Canada to go skiing with a college friend who drove up from NY. By the time I arrived I was so tired from delayed flights and the time difference that I couldn’t completely think clearly to LEARN to skii. You need to be well rested because you have to use your brain and body coordination to learn how to ski. I’d also recommend you not travel too far from home just in case of an emergency which is a lot more likely on your first trip.
2. Don’t Rent Clothes
When you get to the slopes there will be a location for ski clothes and gear rentals.
Rather than renting clothes..
Ask around and see if any of your friends wiIl let you use their ski gear. Do your research for ways to layer your clothes for skiing. See what you have in your closet and go with that. With layers of turtleneck sweaters, and your own ski jacket you should be fine. You won’t have the most ski fashion but that’s not important as a beginner.
Prepare your outfit for the cold weather accordingly with a face mask, hat, gloves, layers of longs sleeve sweaters, warm coat or down jacket. Ugg boats are great to wear to the slopes before putting on your boots.
I’d say the only recommended things to rent are skis, ski boots and a helmet at least (maybe sticks) for your first time. This is because you don’t know if you’ll like it or if you’ll even go again. No point in buying them and going through all the trouble wth transporting them if you’ll never go again! Also try to borrow goggles if you can, they are not available to rent.
3. Make Sure Your Clothes fit Properly
If you’re borrowing ski clothes from a friend, make sure they are your size.
As you all know I’m petite, so the ski pants that I borrowed from my roommate were a little too big. They kept falling down which made it difficult for me to make long ski strides and open my legs wide. Be sure to try on any clothes you borrow or rent ahead of time and move around in them.
4. Look at the Weather, & Take it Seriously!
Soo..when I went sking the temperature got as low as -11, yes.. -11 degrees outside.
It was BELOW FREEZING!
The funny thing is, we all knew this ahead of time..and we went skiing anyway. Let me tell you, we learned our lesson the hard way! These freezing temperatures took away from some of the enjoyment especially when we got to the highiest slope. Although we were prepared for the cold, it interfered with our experience for sure.
5. Make sure you’re in shape!
Skiing is not a passive sport, especially when you’re learning. The beginner techniques require a lot of squatting, wide strides, and pivoting from side to side. I definitely underestimated how much lower body and core strength I’d be using.
You also need a lot of stamina. The last thing you’ll want is to be stuck on a slope that you don’t have the energy to ski down. When you’re a beginner you’ll be going slow so that requires a lot of physical and mental control so build up that muscle before heading to the slopes the first time.
6. Start small
Don’t be embarrassed to start on the bunny slope. No one is watching you, everyone else is too worried about themselves to even look at you.
Yeah you’ll be skiing along side the little kids but you’ll get over it. Just make sure not to run into any of the little kids while you’re learning how to ski on the bunny slope.
I started small and advanced a little too quickly! I ended up on a pretty long, high trail La Crete within a few hours of learning and had to be emergency rescued when I couldn’t get down on my own!
DON’T BE LIKE ME.
7. Go with an experienced skier
If you’re going with a group of experienced skiers and you’re the only beginner, you might feel like the slow one….
but you’ll get over it, fast.
Would you rather go with others who are also beginners? That’s called the blind leading the blind and that would be a complete disaster.
Going with experience skiers helped me a lot. Yes I was the slow one but who cares! You’ll fall… A LOT but you’ll get better, trust me. My friends were pretty experienced in skiing and the benefit was that I was able to see what they were doing right and copy them.
I asked them specific questions about their technique. Another major benefit was that they were able to watch me and see exactly what I was doing wrong. As soon as hey pointed out that I was over using my ski sticks, I stopped using them and improve a lot!
8. Eat and pack food
Eat a full meal in the morning. You’ll be burning a lot of calories on those slopes. You’ll be burning physical but mental energy as well. You’re brain will be burning a lot of calories learning everything all at once.
The food there is pretty overpriced so pack meals and snacks if you plan to be out for the entire day. Put some bars in one of your big ski pants pockets. Their are also lockers you can use to store your food if you’d like.
So there you are, my top 8 tips for first time skiers! I hope they helped you newbee skiers out there. Leave your experiences below and happy skiing!
With Love from the Pacific,