Learning the Slopes: How to Get into Skiing for Beginners
While some of us are seasoned veterans and love skiing with a passion, there are some out there who haven’t even been on a slope!
For those who fit into that category, you’ve come to the right place.
It can be daunting to jump into any activity for the first time. Questions such as “is skiing hard” or “is skiing dangerous” are common concerns for newcomers.
Don’t fret – we have a few tips for the first time skiers out there. There are ways to get yourself prepared and to make the whole experience a lot less taxing.
Here’s a guide on how to get into skiing for beginners:
Hit the Slopes Closer to Home!
Your first time skiing needn’t be on an actual mountain slope. It can actually be much closer to home!
There are places emulating actual ski slopes where you can get a feel for the actual activity, which we think would be the best place to ski for beginners – it’s comfortable, close to home, and others there are likely in the same boat.
There are artificial (also referred to as “dry”) and real slopes; dry slopes are made of either Dendex or Snowflex (Snowflex being more user-friendly) while real slopes use snow cannons and low temperatures to create snow covered environments.
Our advice would be to try either one of these and get you into a skiing groove. Real snow slopes obviously closer resemble the mountainside, but dry slopes are just as useful.
Learn to Ski
If you’re going on a ski trip with a group of experienced skiers, it’s easy to think you can just follow what they’re doing. They are experienced, after all.
Rethink this immediately.
While your friends and family may be experienced, it doesn’t necessarily follow that they’ll be able to teach you how to ski in a way best suited for you.
It’s not the job of your friends and family to teach of you how to ski – they can stop whenever they want (due to frustration or a misguided view towards how well you’re doing) and they won’t necessarily take everything you need into account.
Instead, your skiing 101 should come from a professional ski instructor. A ski instructor will have a tighter guideline in place on what he or she should be teaching you. They’ll go over the ski basics and work to gradually refine your overall ski technique in a manner best suiting you.
This environment will be the best place to learn to ski, as opposed to your friends who may give you a few loose skiing tips every now and then.
On your first ski lesson, let your instructor know of any doubts you have about skiing or your own ability. A good instructor will be able to address any worries you have and cater their lesson plans to fit your needs.
Doing this for a period of time before you attempt the real thing can work wonders for both your confidence and your abilities.
Get Your Body Ready
In a similar fashion to undergoing professional tuition, getting your body physically ready is one of the more underrated skiing tips for beginners.
We don’t tend to physically prepare our bodies before we go on holiday, so it’s understandable why many wouldn’t even consider it. However, getting your body prepared, especially for first time skiers, can put you in great stead for your trip.
In order to maintain proper ski form (which is important) you’re going to need a strong core, as well as train other muscle groups (such as arm and leg areas) to maintain your strength as you ski.
Keeping your knees bent and your core engaged for an extended period of time can be exhausting for an untrained body. The last thing you want on a holiday is to wake up one morning unable to get out of bed because your entire body is aching.
Getting ski body ready with a few easy exercises can make all the difference.
Don’t Buy, Rent!
So far, we’ve outlined some areas to consider as preparation before you embark on your trip.
So what about when you’re actually there?
You may be prepared in advance, but the actual thing could be a different experience entirely. One mistake you could make would be to buy all new skiing equipment to “get yourself in the mood”.
We would counter that sentiment by saying no amount of new gear will affect your actual opinion of the sport itself. You could own all the skiing equipment in the world and still not warm to the activity.
In fact, buying brand new gear may add even more pressure.
Instead, renting your equipment will put you in a better position. You’ll feel less pressure to like the activity, and if (for some strange reason) you don’t enjoy skiing, you won’t have to hold onto your gear (and your regret).
Ski Resorts for Beginners
In the same vein as the previous advice, as a first-time skier, picking a resort can be an overwhelming factor. Or, as a first time skier, you may think every resort is pretty much is the same.
This isn’t the case.
Some resorts are more snow sure at certain times in the year than others, and some host a range of other activities outside of skiing.
Some of the best ski resorts for beginners are those in the latter category – they provide more than just skiing. Meribel, for example, offers a range of activities, spanning from water sports to hiking routes to scenic flights overlooking the beautiful Alpine views.
Having other activities available can help keep your trip diverse and interesting. If you don’t get into the groove of skiing straight away, there’ll be other activities to keep yourself occupied before you go back and try again.
Also, these resorts offer more than just activities – you’ll also find ways to let loose and unwind after what may be an extremely active day. Whether it’s the swimming pool, the Jacuzzi, or the often rowdy après-ski, there are plenty of ways to recharge before you go back and hit the slopes again.
Do it All in Luxury
Diving deeper into this idea of relaxation and recharging, staying in the right accommodation can also help ease your nerves and keep you feeling relaxed throughout.
Some resorts, such as Meribel and Courchevel, play host to some extraordinary luxury chalets. These chalets are catered (if you so choose), kitted with amenities (such as wine cellars, saunas and game rooms) and the interiors are just as stunning as the Alps surrounding them.
Retreating back to a beautiful, private chalet at the end of the day may not make you a better skier, but it can definitely help rejuvenate your spirits and keep them lifted.
At the end of the day, you’re on a holiday doing something you’ve never done before. Keeping yourself occupied and relaxed throughout is all you can ask for.
Embrace Your Inner Skier!
With these key ideas in mind, embrace the confident skier within you and get started on your new adventure!
Grab some lessons, rent your equipment, find a resort, and book yourself a stay in a luxury chalet.
All in all, have fun skiing!