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Is skiing hard

Learning to Ski at Any Age

If you want to learn to ski but are worried you’ve left it too late. Think again! We’re here to answer your questions and tell you that it’s never too late to be a beginner skier. You’re not alone in wondering …

  • Is it hard to learn to ski?
  • Is learning to ski dangerous?
  • Is it possible to learn to ski as an adult?
  • Is 40 too old to learn to ski?
  • Can a 50 Year old learn to ski?
  • Is learning to ski or snowboard easier?
  • How long does it take to learn to ski?
  • At what age can kids start skiing?

Of course, it is easier to learn to ski as a child, as you’re more subtle and have fewer physiological worries. But, many of our guests only started skiing at 50, and we regularly teach families over 80 years old. So, the only thing preventing you from learning to ski is yourself.

Ski Tips for Beginners

Read on to find out more about learning to ski at any age…

Is it hard to learn to ski?

Is skiing hard? Skiing is more accessible for physically fit people with a can-do attitude. But don’t let that put you off. If you’re willing to give it a go and be open-minded to learning new things, you’ll love skiing.

Taking the ski lift for the first time can be challenging, but it will be second nature after a few goes. Read our expert tips for overcoming your fear of chairlifts

Skiing can be more congested during the school holidays (peak season) as the slopes are more crowded, so make sure you get out early to enjoy the quiet slopes. We’d also recommend skiing through lunchtime whilst most migrate to the mountain restaurants to refuel.

If you’re serious about becoming a good skier, take a snack in your pocket and grab a later lunch.

Everything you need to know about learning to ski

Is learning to ski dangerous?

Skiing can be dangerous if you don’t learn the basics first, like how to control your speed, ride the ski lifts and use your new equipment. Far too often, we see beginners at the top of the ski slopes on their first week with no idea what to do. Skiing is a sport, and the mountains are a vast playground that needs to be respected.

We highly recommend booking a professional instructor, even for a short 2-hour lesson, to help you find your feet on a nursery slope. The equipment can be clunky, the ski resort is unfamiliar, and you’re in a new environment.



In beginner lessons with most ski schools, you’ll learn how the equipment works, how to control your speed and move about on your new planks! You’ll learn how to snow plough, safely use a chair lift, and navigate the ski area based on your ability.

If you’re new to skiing, a green piste is the most leisurely graded ski run, followed by a blue piste. When you first arrive at the resort, get a piste map from the tourist office and focus on where the green and blue pistes are. These are the slopes you’ll start on.

Before long, you’ll move away from the nursery slopes and progress onto blue and red runs. This is possible in the first week, but for others, this can take years. Please don’t compare your progress to someone else, as we all learn at different speeds.

A ski course of group lessons usually works out cheaper, considering the progress you’ll make in the long run, but even a few lessons with a private ski instructor will vastly improve your confidence and give you the head-start you need.

Book lessons with our ski school based in 19 resorts across the Alps.

The right equipment

Make sure you’ve got the right equipment for your first-week skiing. If you’re a beginner and have booked lessons, the instructor will check your boots and gear before starting the class.

Most importantly, you need correctly fitting ski boots that are snug but not hurting. We recommend wearing one pair of thin ski socks, not multiple pairs of thick socks, in your ski boots. You can buy heated socks, gloves, and even ski underwear, so you’ve no excuses for bad clothing!

Pull your ski trousers over the outside of the ski boot, don’t tuck them in, as you might find the material rubs against your leg under the pressure of the boot. If you’re unhappy with the ski gear you’ve rented, go back to the rental shop and ask to change your boots.

To rent ski equipment at a discounted rate, we have an exclusive discount code for Skiset in France, Hervis in Austria and Ski Service in Verbier. We work alongside these established companies passionate about snowboarding and skiing equipment. They’re the experts, so go ahead and book yours online to get organised before you arrive at the resort.

Use our discount code on ski gear.

Tips for a successful family ski trip

Is it possible to learn to ski as an adult?

Yes! No matter your age or ability, you can learn to ski at any age. Skiing is such a great sport and a source of exercise during the winter months.

Watch our VLOG on what it’s really like in ski lessons.


Is 40 too old to learn to ski?

If you and your friends are first-time skiers at 40, there is still so much great skiing to enjoy! The fresh air of the mountains is too good to miss, and 40 isn’t too old at all! You can learn and become a great skier at 40, so what are you waiting for?

Young active woman skiing in the mountains.

For general leg-strengthening exercises for skiers, click here.

Can a 50-year-old learn to ski?

Are you in good physical shape? Do you exercise regularly? You’ll likely pick up skiing very quickly. If you think skiing at 50 is a bit scary, book some time with a professional ski instructor.

It’s essential to look after your body and take a lesson to ensure you receive proper instruction to prevent any wrong technique which could lead to injury.

It’s good to note that many ski resorts offer complimentary lift tickets to beginners over 60’s and children under a certain age.

Is learning to ski or snowboard easier?

As a total beginner, learning to ski is more manageable than snowboarding. Skiing is more familiar to most since your legs remain separated, and you’ve separate skis. You also have a straight-on stance.

Whereas when snowboarding, you ride sideways and need to be aware of your surroundings as you’ll always have your back facing in one direction. To snowboard, both your feet are strapped to one board, which many people find tricky to navigate.

But once you’ve picked up the basics of snowboarding, the learning curve is much steeper, and you can explore more of the mountain quicker with only a basic set of skills. Whereas in skiing, it does take longer to build up to exploring the whole mountain.

skiing parallel

Ski tips for your first-time skiing

How long does it take to learn to ski in ski school?

It depends on the person’s physical fitness and mental ability to learn something new. For some, it can take years. For others, they can get up and about by the end of a week skiing.

But even advanced skiers have bad habits, so there is always more to learn and improve. Everyone needs ski lessons, no matter your level!


There is no set amount of lessons you need for your ski holiday. If you want to actually ski and ski well, it could take a couple of years. It could take a couple of hours if you wish to survive a green run and keep up with your more experienced friends.

Read more on how many lessons we suggest for beginner skiers.


At what age can kids start skiing?

Choosing ski lessons for your children for your next ski trip can be daunting. There are many things to consider, from age and ability level to interests and budget. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. With our handy tips, you’ll be sure to find the perfect Children’s ski lessons for your family.

We love teaching kids to ski, as they have so much fun and can pick up winter sports quickly. Ski resorts are well prepared for kids with specific ski areas with easy slopes just for children, various activities, interactive games and hot chocolate stops. The learning process for kids is all about fun.

It’s crucial to ensure your child has dressed appropriately for skiing. They will need a waterproof ski jacket and trousers, waterproof gloves, ski goggles and some base layers to wear underneath. We highly recommend these merino wool base layers (thermals) for children, available at Ellis Brigham.

The weather can change quickly in the mountains, and the smaller the child, the quicker they get cold. When bad weather strikes in a ski resort, make sure your child is wrapped up to ensure they have the most fun on the mountain!

kid drinking hot chocolate

The best age for kid’s to learn to ski.


We would highly recommend booking your child into ski school. Your child will progress much faster in group lessons than if you try to teach them.

You may be an advanced skier, but it’s important to note that children learn differently from adults. You need to make sure you play plenty of games and challenge them! You can’t just tell them to apply pressure to their downhill ski, as they won’t understand which ski is which!


kid ski lesson snow plough

The importance of ski lessons for kids

If you’d like to book your children into ski lessons this winter, take a look at our kid’s ski lessons and teens’ lessons. We know how important it is for kids to be in the suitable age group for their level, so we have a wide variety of groups and levels to cater for everyone’s needs.

You can check out our live online availability and prices by clicking here.