Venturing into the snowy unknown for the first time?
Perhaps you’ve been tempted to visit the slopes for years and now’s the time. Or, you’ve never considered it but have been persuaded by your group of friends!
Particularly if you’re with experienced skiers, it helps to know what to expect beforehand. Here are some skiing tips for beginners to assist you along the way.
How to Ski for the First Time
Feeling daunted at the thought of approaching the slopes? Here’s a mini breakdown to help you get to grips with your skis.
Here’s the beginners guide to skiing:
- Ensure your ski boots fit properly. If they don’t, it will dampen your enjoyment on the pistes
- Point your skis downhill
- Keep your weight on your poles
- ‘Walk’ by sliding one ski in front of the other
- Layer up your ski clothes
- Always wear a ski helmet
- Shift your weight until you find your balance
- Keep your skis parallel
- Thin ski socks are better as they’ll allow for more airflow
Do I Need Ski Lessons?
Unsurprisingly, for those looking to get into skiing, the easiest way to perfect your technique is to get lessons. A ski instructor will be able to give you unrivalled guidance and support.
Lessons are also useful for building confidence. When you hit the slopes, you want to know you can really make the most of this ski holiday. Beginner skiers can feel completely out of their comfort zone at first, but patience and guidance can make the ski slopes feel like home.
Across the Three Valleys there are a number of excellent ski schools – so you’ll be spoilt for choice on places to learn to ski.
Of course, skiing without lessons is possible. However, if you’re looking to become an expert, this isn’t recommended.
Top 10 Skiing Tips for Technique
Time to get down to detail. In the early stages, getting the technique right is often the toughest part of first-time skiing.
Following these ‘how to ski’ basics might help you stay upright for longer – much more quickly.
Control Your Speed
Controlling your speed can be tricky, which is why it’s highly recommended to stick to the gentle slopes in the beginning stages.
To slow down, you need to create resistance against downhill skiing. To do this, slide your ski tails apart (keeping the distance equal). While doing so, bring the tips together. This is known as a ‘gliding wedge’.
To stop completely – make this wedge wider.
Find Your Balance
Try avoid leaning too far forward or backwards. Instead – centre your bodyweight. This gives you the best chance of falling over as few times as possible.
When turning left, use your left ski. If turning right, do it vice versa.
Put Pressure on the Bottoms of Your Feet
This will help you guide yourself much more easily.
Turning can be a challenge that’s difficult to overcome for fledgling skiers. This is sometimes because they put their weight on the toes and therefore lose control.
Feeling the bottoms of your feet allows you make more precise movements.
Shoulders Over Knees
Want to keep your balance? In your skiing stance, have your shoulders slightly over your knees. Don’t topple forwards, rather, maintain an ‘athletic’ position.
Use Your Outside Ski for Balance
Lead with your outside foot! The harder the snow, the more pressure you should put on this ski.
The softer the snow, the easier a two-footed movement will be. However, the outside leg will usually be more dominant.
Use Your Poles
Regain balance with your poles! These will help stabilise your movements, particularly in the upper body.
Keep Your Core Tight
Here’s a tip – keep a tight core. Without realising, you’ll be using this part of your body to maintain your balance and keep a good posture in the upper body.
Make Sure Your Legs are Loose
While your legs should never collapse underneath you, ensure you maintain some flexibility.
You’ll be relying on these for smooth turns, so make sure they’re not too stiff.
Absorb the Bumps
Hit a bump? Flex your legs to stop yourself from falling over.
Push your feet forwards and pull them backwards in one smooth motion. If you approach any rough terrain, push forwards in anticipation.
Avoid Robotic Positions
Being overly stiff isn’t the recipe for making a great skier. Being fluid and flexible in your body will help you navigate the pistes much easier.
This is where some of the fun is to be had! To perfect your technique, you’ll need to practice moving your body and joints in different ways.
Is Skiing Dangerous for Beginners?
For some adrenaline-seekers, skiing is synonymous with thrills and dizzyingly high speeds. However, this isn’t the case for all of us.
In fact, thanks to the stunning scenery (particularly in places like the Three Valleys) coupled with the gentler, winding slopes – skiing can be a relaxing activity.
It’s a sport that caters to a variety of individuals. So, regardless of what you’re looking for – you’re sure to find it.
Skiing for Beginners – How to Make the Most of Your Experience
One vital factor that keeps keen skiers returning to the slopes year after year is the all-round ski experience.
Your enjoyment off the slopes is just as significant as on them! This is why your ski resort choice is of paramount importance.
Ensure you’ve researched your destination thoroughly. Is it somewhere you’d enjoy spending your time? Consider the après options, any extra winter activities you’d like to try and whether there’s anything exciting happening in the area at the time.
Stay in a Luxury Chalet
Accommodation is vital! Skiing goes hand and hand with luxury, therefore where you stay should reflects this. Whether you’re looking for the VIP experience or the perfect setting to relax in after a long day on the slopes, a luxurious lodge is the perfect choice.
We have a range for you to choose from, ideally located in the world’s largest linked ski area – the Three Valleys. Each lodge comes equipped with a range of facilities to further your enjoyment, from a sauna to a swimming pool.
Tempted? Let’s make this first ski holiday an unforgettable one! Browse our catered chalets in France and get your trip of a lifetime started today.