I’m that person that people refer to when they say, ‘If so-and-so can do it, then so can you…’ in regards to anything athletic, so if I survived my first ski holiday, I’m positive you can, too! And hopefully these tips for first-time skiers that I’ve learned from veteran skiers and from my own {humbling} personal experience will help you out a bit, too!
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
Before You Go
Decide what kind of holiday you’re after. Do you want an all-inclusive resort with all the bells and whistles, or will you be fine staying in a self-service apartment? Do your research and read as many reviews as you can and then…
Book your trip early! This is especially important if your holiday falls over a school break. Resorts and inns fill up quickly, sometimes a year in advance due to annual recurring visitors, so the earlier you can make preparations the better!
Don’t buy professional-grade gear. You’ll need up to three layers of clothing on the slopes – a base layer, a mid layer, and your waterproof jacket and trousers, plus a scarf, hat, helmet, goggles, ski gloves, and tall socks. You’d be crazy to go out and buy all of that for your first time – just use what you already have or borrow things from friends. {This does not apply to skis, boots, and poles – rent those, don’t borrow them!}
Book a ski class for at least your first day. They’re not just for kids! I know it’s expensive, especially after you’ve already paid for equipment rentals and lift passes, but I also know from experience, you will waste a lot of time on the slopes if you try to teach yourself. You don’t want to spend all this money on your perfect ski holiday just to spend half of it on your back in the snow. Save yourself the headache and book the class.
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
Get in shape. You don’t need six pack abs, but skiing is hard – if you’re not in good shape, you’re not going to last very long on the slopes, especially as a beginner.
When You Arrive
Rent your equipment from a reputable service. This includes skis, boots, poles, and a helmet if you didn’t bring your own. Here is an excellent guide that will help you make sure you’re properly fitted for your ski gear. Don’t leave until you’re satisfied!
Eat a good meal and go to bed early. Maybe this is a little too obvious of a tip, but the temptation is definitely there to stay up late by the fireside chatting with others in the resort. Go to bed early and you’ll feel a lot better the next morning!
A base-layer. Nothing made of cotton since it’s the layer next to your skin and it won’t be able to keep you dry. I used wicking running clothes I already had and those were perfect.
A mid-layer. This could be anything that’ll keep you warm. I just used my running jacket. A fleece pullover would work, too, as long as your outer layer is waterproof.
Outer layer. This is your waterproof trousers and coat. This is also where you could spend a lot of money, but you don’t have to. You’re just going to look big and bulky like everyone else, so you might as well save some cash and either buy cheap, or use what you have. One thing, though – you’re going to need…
Good ski trousers that vent. Besides goggles and ski gloves, nice trousers were the only thing we had to buy. We bought them from a discount store to save a little cash. It ended up being warmer on the mountain than we expected and I was so grateful for the zippers on the inside legs of my pants that allowed some air in. It’s easy to take your top layers off, but your trousers? Not so much.
Hat & Neckwarmer. Make sure your hat fits close to your head and bring it with you when you get fitted for your helmet. A scarf is all you need to keep your neck warm. Also, If you’ve got long hair, bring something to tie it back with. I left my hair down the first day and ended up swallowing more strands than I cared to. After that, I started putting it in a side braid. It kept it out of my face, and it looked cute. {Most important part right?}
Ski socks. Or any tall, thick socks. They’ll make your boots feel more comfortable around your feet and on your calf where the boot presses into your leg.
Goggles or sunglasses? How about both? On a sunny day without a lot of wind, you’d be fine with sunglasses that wrap tightly around your face. I didn’t care for skiing with goggles because I felt like I had limited peripheral vision with them, but they were absolutely necessary when it was snowing hard like this…
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
Gloves, the proper ski kind. This tip comes from my helpful instructor, Hans. He told me I could ski in a bikini if I wanted to, but to never take off my gloves. The edges of your skis are sharp, and he’s seen many fingers sliced right off in a fall. Thick ski gloves will help prevent that.
Regular gloves under your ski gloves. The ski gloves are big and bulky. When you’re not skiing, like say at lunch at the ski bar, you’ll want something covering your hands, but you’ll still want to be able to pick up your food. Regular gloves will come in handy!
Your helmet. Even if you’re skiing at a snail’s pace and you’re not leaving the bunny hill, someone else could be reckless and plow into you. Like your momma always said, ‘Better safe than sorry!’
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
Sunscreen. Or a balaclava if it’ll be cold enough to wear one. You just need something to protect your skin from the sun that reflects off the snow. I saw a lot of sunburned faces in Alpbach!
On The Slopes
Try to get on the mountain early. The less crowded the slopes are, the more confident you’ll feel. Plus, if you look like an idiot, less people will be around to see it. :o)
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
Always underestimate your abilities. You don’t want to get partway down a piste you can’t handle because there’s no going back after you get started. Stick with the beginner slopes until you’re confident enough to move on. No one’s judging you!
Never go off on your own. I know you’re smarter than that, but I still needed to mention it. Always have at least one other person with you, just in case.
Know your signage. In Europe, greens are for beginners, blues are for novices, red are for intermediates, and blacks are for experts. In North America, it’s slightly different and also incorporates shapes. The point is, know how to read the signs.
Bring a backpack. You may need to shed layers, and you’ll need somewhere to keep them. It’s also smart to bring a few snacks – skiing burns a lot of calories! Alternatively, if you don’t want the bother of extra weight, you could rent a locker, if available, from the ski station.
Bring a map. For two reasons – first, you won’t get lost. Second, knock on wood, if you do have an accident, you’ll be able to mark where you are on the map and whoever you’re skiing with can take the map to the nearest ski patrol. They’ll have an easier time finding you if they know your exact location.
Stay hydrated. We were so thirsty all the time! I think skiing makes me more dehydrated than running does. Bring a couple water bottles in your backpack and then you can keep filling them up at the ski stations or restaurants.
And a bonus 26th tip…Have fun, and don’t give up. You’re going to fall down. You’re going to do it in front of other people. And then you’re going to stand up and laugh it off. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Everyone you see skiing on the slopes started just like you did. You will get better!
25 Helpful Tips For First-Time Skiers
If you’re nerdy like me, when you fall down you can use the opportunity to take a selfie. Although, if I’m not aimlessly looking off into the distance or raising a sassy eyebrow, does it really count as a selfie?
source: http://www.thewanderblogger.com/2014/03/25-helpful-tips-for-first-time-skiers.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed:+thewanderblogger+(The+Wanderblogger)