Coming skiing for the first time is a great idea whatever your age. Learning to ski as an adult can be daunting, but is also extremely accessible with just a small amount of fitness. We want to make sure you get the most out of your first time, so we’ve got a few tips for first-time skiers, to make that it’s a good one.
Top five tips for learning to ski
Here’s how you can make the most of your first time on skis.
1. Visit a snowdome or dry ski slope before you come
The first two hours of learning to ski are the most exhausting. Learning to walk and grip the slope with the edges of the skis are all essential techniques to grasp but until we start to let gravity and lifts do a little more of the work for us, it can be tiring. You might also leave your first lesson ‘nearly but not quite’ confident enough to go it alone.
This is why getting that bit over with at home is a great idea, for two key reasons:
- Firstly, Britain is full of snowdomes and dry slopes. You’re bound to find one in your area, so take advantage and book a morning before you go. Which is best for you? Here are the pros and cons of indoor & dry ski slopes.
- Secondly, familiarising yourself with the equipment and getting over the initial hump could earn you an extra day of skiing by skipping the waddling around bit.
2. Take your time on day one
Don’t be impatient to get going and most of all, don’t skip steps. A good instructor will make sure that you have learned what is necessary before pushing you on.
Skiing can be a big confidence game. If you learn meticulously and thoroughly at the start, then you will make each advance with confidence and ease. If you rush onwards and skip bits that you don’t like, then when the difficulty ramps up, you may well find yourself struggling on day three and have to go back to the drawing board. You can’t build a strong house with bad foundations.
3. Practice, practice, practice
If you are in group lessons, scout out your competition. After your first lesson finishes you are perfectly justified in patting yourself on the back and going for a drink. However, don’t hang your skis up for the day and wait for tomorrow. You can be sure that some of your crafty co-learners will be so enamoured with their new sport that they will push on until lifts are shut without even a crumb of food or a drop of gluhwein touching their lips! Then the next day, they will show you up and make you feel like you are holding everyone up! This is perhaps exaggerated but consolidating on what you have learned is really important.
If you can go back out on the nursery slope for an hour in the afternoon after your first two lessons and practice what you have learned then you will be cruising down those slopes in no time. Push hard at the start of the week. Don’t go more difficult, but do what you have learned again and again. Then once you have got to grips with it all, rest in the middle of the week if needed.
4. Don’t learn ‘from a friend who is a good skier’
You’re a beginner so most people are good skiers from your standpoint!
He or she is probably just a few ski holidays better than you. Or your friend did a season fifteen years ago in Val d’Isère but that does not always equate to them being able to offer you the appropriate advice for your current predicament. Most likely they’ll offer some well-meaning but half understood advice that they were told on a powder day by their mate Harry who was a better skier than him.
It’s a roll of the dice if that little pearl of wisdom will translate to curing your wobbly snowplough that is causing you so much trouble late on a Tuesday afternoon.
5. Don’t go it alone!
Some people do succeed and get themselves going without instruction. However, they are often fit, fearless or a number of adjectives that I had better not state here. For every person that takes on skiing and uses their wits, courage, and determination, there are multiple who end up injured or saddled with a technique suited to competing in a survival contest hosted by Bear Grylls.
Saving a bit of cash on lessons may seem a good idea, but it will generally equip you with a collection of bad habits that you will have to pay an instructor to help you get rid of. Otherwise, you will have to spend every evening of your holiday watching ski tips on YouTube and then trying to re-enact what you learned every day on the slopes. Without a mirror to watch yourself in you may end up continuously asking your spouse or friends to ‘check that the angle at your waist matches that of your ankle’. This may leave you risking divorce or with friends who may no longer ski with you next year.
There are undoubtedly numerous other tips to help that first week on skis run smoothly but these should help heighten your chances of you falling in love with this exhilarating sport!