8 Essential Skiing Tips for Beginners
Skiing is exhilarating. Watching the trees whip past you and feeling the wind whistle past your face is an experience that’s truly unlike any other. But, if you’re a beginner, skiing can also be absolutely terrifying. You may have the gear – from your new pair of dalbello ski boots to your temperature-controlled helmet – but do you know what to do when you arrive at the ski resort? That’s why we’ve compiled these eight tips for beginner skiers to help you.
1. Don’t Worry About Poles
Although you’ve probably seen video footage and photos of pro skiers speeding down the slopes and making cool turns by planting their poles, don’t worry about ski poles for now.
Your instructor will probably tell you to leave your ski poles behind for the first few times you’re out on the slopes – ski poles will only get in the way while you’re learning.
2. Pack Warm Clothing
Something to remember before you even leave for the ski lodge is to pack warm and waterproof clothes – think lots of inner layers, like thermal wear, and thick, waterproof outerwear. Don’t forget woolen socks to keep your feet warm.
Purchasing a high-quality set of outerwear that’s waterproof and fully insulated will keep you warm and dry. Thermal wear is excellent for warmth, comfort, and it also has sweat-wicking properties – experts recommend Marino wool, which is lightweight, but cozy.
3. Wear a Helmet and Goggles
Goggles and a helmet are an absolute must for safety and comfort. Goggles will keep snow and debris from flying into your eyes and protect them from harmful UV rays and glare.
Your helmet is the most important piece of equipment you’ll be wearing while you’re out on the slopes, so invest in a high-quality one.
Your helmet will protect your head from sharp objects and falls, but it will also keep you warm. Your helmet should fit snugly when you’re wearing your goggles, so make sure you try it on beforehand.
4. Go to a Beginner-Friendly Resort
Although most ski resorts are beginner-friendly, they don’t all have a lot of options for first-time skiers. A beginner-friendly ski resort should have professional instructors who are equipped to teach less experienced skiers, bunny hills and beginner-friendly trails, and gear rentals.
Luckily, there are great beginner-friendly ski resorts all around the world – from New Zealand to Switzerland.
5. Take Lessons
Signing up for individual or group skiing lessons is an excellent way to learn the basics. Your ski instructor will be able to offer support and use a hands-on approach to facilitate a good learning environment. You’ll be taught the techniques and motions you’ll need to start skiing, and you’ll be able to ski on the steeper slopes in no time.
Most ski resorts offer lessons for all ability levels, from first-time skiers to intermediate levels of experience. Group ski lessons are the most cost-effective way to learn the ropes. Look for resorts with classes in a few different levels, and where children and adults are separate. If you have a few days, take as many classes as you can to enhance your skills and sharpen your technique.
6. Bend Your Knees
While skiing, it’s natural to want to stiffen up and lock your knees – however, this will disrupt your balance and actually make skiing more difficult. Instead of stiffening up, keep your knees bent when you’re skiing down slopes.
The more flexible your knees are, the easier it will be to navigate and stay in control of your speed.
7. Learn the “Pizza” Formation
One of the first things your instructor will teach you is the “pizza” formation (or Snowplough) when you align your skis.
Although you’ve probably watched pros skiing at speed with their skis parallel to one another, you need to start slow and learn how to keep your toes pointed slightly inward – this will prevent you from losing control when you go down the slopes.
The “pizza” formation is a way to stop completely or control how fast you are going. Learning how to stop while you are skiing is a crucial lesson that you should aim to master early on because controlling your velocity is key when preventing falls and crashes. The “pizza” formation is an important technique that you’ll use every time you ski.
8. Don’t Look Down
When you are skiing, don’t ever look down at your feet. Keep your eyes ahead and on your destination so that you keep your balance and see any obstacles that may be in front of you. Keeping your eyes ahead is necessary for your and other people’s safety.