The temperatures are dropping, the snow is falling, and it’s time to hit the slopes! If you haven’t considered skiing or have only recently explored the possibility of schussing downhill, here are some things every beginning skier should know. With the proper preparation, equipment, and foresight, you’ll enjoy a fun and thrilling sport while ensuring your safety.
Forewarned is forearmed! Sit down with a book that provides a more detailed collection of skiing basics or visit several online skiing sites and communities. Read all you can about skiing, with a special concentration on safety, equipment, and the best spots for beginners. Your best source for first-hand knowledge, of course, is an experienced skier, so find one among your friends and family who’s willing to talk about the sport with you. More likely than not, they’ll be happy to teach you and bring another skiing fan on-board.
Prepare With Exercise
You don’t want to hit the slopes without being physically fit. Skiing requires a lot of stamina, strength, balance, and a strong cardiovascular system, so in the months before (and after) you strap on your skis, pursue a regimen of running, squats, lunges, and exercises that feature hops and jumps. Of course, any basic physical fitness program will do and will make the skiing experience even more enjoyable.
Get Your Gear
If you’re just starting out, renting skis and boots is a smart, convenient way to discover whether the sport is really for you. But you’ll need to pick up a few essentials on your own as well. Naturally, thermal underwear that wicks moisture away from your skin and keeps you warm is necessary. These are followed by layers of warm, water-resistant winter clothing, topped with a ski jacket and pants and gloves. Head protection is an absolute must. Invest in a soft or hard-ear ski helmet, and make sure to match it with properly fitted goggles to cut down on glare while protecting your eyes from snow and ice.
Skiing seems simple enough—just point your tips down the hill and slide. But there’s so much more to it than that, and an experienced instructor can teach you the things every beginning skier should know to stay safe and have fun. Beginner lessons will cover the basics of safety, teaching you how to avoid obstacles, control speed, and even fall if need be. You’ll learn what the most common injuries are and how to avoid them, and what the colors for different ski runs (or pistes) mean in terms of difficulty. Even experienced skiers take a few lessons to stay educated and pick up new skills.
Stay Balanced, Bend Your Knees, and Have Fun!
Rest assured, you’ll hear these words more than once from your instructor and other skiers around you. But commit them to heart, and your time on the slopes and ski runs will be much more satisfying and memorable!