I think you’ll agree with me when I say the first ski trip can be hard. But does it have to be that way? Well, it turns out that by following these handy tips you can dramatically change your first experience of skiing In this blog, we’re going to tell you everything you need to know if you’re new to skiing. To give you a headstart on your first ski trip.
New to Skiing: Everything You Need To Know
What do you wear skiing?
Waterproof Jacket & Pants – Invest in a ski jacket and salopettes (ski trousers in French) that are waterproof.
Socks – You need a thin pair of long socks that come up just below the knee. We recommend socks that are made of Merino wool as it not only keeps your feet warm but they also have moisture-wicking properties keeping your feet dry too.
Thermals – (Thin layers i.e. leggings and a long-sleeved top to keep you warm.) You want thermals that are comfy and ultra-breathable to keep you warm and dry in changing temperatures. If you want to know more, then check out how to layer for skiing blog.
Gloves & a Hat – You’ll need a waterproof pair of gloves, preferably made of leather or Goretex. Top tip: be sure to pack a cosy beanie hat for when you take your helmet off and you’ve got crazy helmet hair!
Good Footwear – For walking around the resort you will need a suitable pair of boots or trainers. We recommend a pair of leather or Goretex boots to keep the wet out.
Sunglasses & Goggles – You will need sunglasses for bright sunny days & goggles for low visibility days. The snow alone is very bright and goggles keep the top half of your face protected. Don’t forget to pack suncream too otherwise you’ll get a goggle tan.
What equipment do I need to rent?
Skis – Skis are two planks that help you glide on the snow. There is no left and right, they are the same. The tip of the ski goes at the front and will be more rounded. The tail of the ski goes at the back and is usually more square in comparison. The edges will be sharp to help you grip on the snow. There will be a rigid binding in the middle that connects your ski boot to the ski.
Boots – Correctly fitting boots will transform your skiing or snowboarding experience. Ski boots are a bit strange to walk in, to begin with, but you soon get used to them. To connect your boot and ski, you put your toe in first, make sure your boot in inline with the ski, then push down on your heel until you hear a click.
Ski Poles – You will need to rent poles if you choose to ski. You may not need them in your first lesson as you will be focusing on what your feet are doing. Poles are great for helping you balance, pushing yourself along the flatter sections and just being another point of contact with the snow. But when you develop your skiing further, you will find the poles useful for keeping rhythm when turning.
Helmet– Wearing a helmet is compulsory in many resorts now – especially for children. You can either bring a helmet out with you, but it might be easier to rent one in the resort for very little money. It is vital you wear a helmet to protect yourself and we believe in setting a good example to our younger skiers.
How many lessons will a beginner skier need?
We recommend you take a week’s worth of lessons your first time skiing. This way you get a bit of tuition each day to help you progress throughout the week. You will likely need more than one or two lessons to nail down the basics. Hence why our adult group lessons are perfect for beginners. Not only are they great value for money, but with two hours of instruction each day, you’ll still have plenty of time to ski with family and friends.
A lot of people choose to go skiing for a weeks holiday a year. If you think about it, it’s hard to progress at anything if you only do it for 1 week a year. So be patient with yourself, give everything a go and don’t take yourself too seriously. Although you may fall when learning to ski, the majority of beginners don’t actually take any tumbles on their first time skiing. But if you do fall, you’ve got to laugh at yourself and try again.
Everyone progresses at different rates and some people learn faster than others. But on average you should start to get to grips with the basics of stopping and turning by the end of the first week. Cruising about the mountain on easy blue & green pistes.
Want to know what lessons are actually like? Watch our VLOG on learning how to ski
Is learning to ski or snowboard difficult?
Learning anything can be tricky at times, but with a positive mental attitude, you can achieve anything. With skiing, we firmly believe you should prioritise having fun over anything else. If you fall over, laugh it off and try again. Like any new skill, you need to practice to be perfect. If you are willing to put the time in to improve, you will reap the benefits. Everybody will progress at different rates, but if you are patient and give things a go, you will find learning to ski easy.
How to get over the fear of falling?
Falling is part of learning, like anything in life. If you fall, you get back up and have another go. Your instructor will be there to help you and tell you how to get back up. They can advise you on what happened, and how you can learn from it. If you ain’t falling – you aren’t trying hard enough!
By following your instructor’s tips on how to stand correctly on your skis, this will minimalise your falling. You need to be balanced over both your feet so stay upright, so we suggest practising some balancing exercises before your trip.
Do I need to be fit to try skiing?
Anyone with an average level of fitness can learn to ski, however a little fitness before your holiday goes a long way. A few simple balance and core exercises will benefit your performance greatly. Our friends at Peak Fitness have created some youtube videos for you to have a look at. If you have a previous injury you must tell your instructor and wear a support. We have instructors, specifically trained for teaching people with learning disabilities or physical disabilities, so whatever your level, we can cater to your needs.
What age should I start skiing?
Anyone can try skiing, no matter your age or ability. You can be a beginner at 85, a beginner at 3 years old or even try skiing if you have problems with your sight. There really are no limitations. Skiing is for everyone and we encourage everyone to discover the joys of skiing.
We suggest children start skiing from three years old at the earliest as they have not developed certain muscles to support themselves before that age. It is also hard for children of that age, as their head grows faster than their body and they are a little top-heavy with a helmet on too!
Concerned about taking your kids skiing for the first time when you’re a beginner yourself? How to keep your family happy on the slopes.
Ready to Learn to Ski?
We hope to have answered some of your questions and put your mind at ease regarding your first time skiing. The next step is to start planning your ski holiday by deciding which resort to go to, where to stay, travel & ski lessons. Ski holidays these days are so flexible, so if you’re on a budget you can still have a fantastic holiday. For some ideas check out our blog on budget ski holidays.