What would be your top ski tips for beginners? While it used to be a sport for the rich and athletic, skiing and snow activity holidays are shooting up in popularity. There’s now a wide range of safety equipment, learning styles and childcare options, and who doesn’t want to combine a great workout with a fantastic holiday right after Christmas?! If you are feeling nervous about learning, though, here’s 8 ski tips for beginners that will put you ahead.
1. Learn Your Colours…
This one might sound a bit obvious, but everything seems different on the slopes, so I listed it first of my ski tips for beginners. Each slope is color-coded according to it’s difficulty, with green being the easiest, and black being reserved for those who look like they were born zooming down the sides of mountains. Make sure your resort has plenty of green runs, sometimes called nursery runs, to help you learn at your own pace.
2. Fall over First
Okay, so nobody likes falling over, but falling over first can have its benefits. It’s almost inevitable that you will end up on the floor at some point, and it can become a big worry! Once you’ve fallen over once, you’ll lose that embarrassment, as well as realizing that you’ll be absolutely fine if you fall.
3. Eyes Front and Center!
Pistes can be busy places, especially in the high season. With so many bright colored ski outfits, hilarious activities and stunning views, it’s beyond easy to get distracted and completely miss what your instructor is telling you. Keep your eyes on the prize, and stay focused. Your skiing will come on much faster if you do.
4. Take Plenty of Breaks
Make no mistake – while skiing is definitely fun, it’s difficult too. It’ll work out body parts that you didn’t even know you had. When you are just starting out, it’ll work your legs and your mind much more than when you’ve got the hang of it. Take advantage of a break every now and then. A hot chocolate will be a welcome way to warm up and reflect, and it’ll make it feel like a holiday, too.
5. Run Tough, Fast
If you are ready to attempt some harder runs, do it as early as possible. I don’t mean throw yourself down a black run on the first day – you’d regret it! – but consider waiting ‘til the next morning to take that red run. You’ll feel fresher and your muscles will be stronger in the morning, making you much less likely to fall down. A schedule of tougher runs in the morning and gentler runs for perfecting your technique will work best.
6. Learn the Lifts
Depending on what country you are learning to ski in, there will be a variety of lift types. These can look oh-so-confusing for beginners. Let my very unladylike fall be a lesson to you all – stand up tall on drag lifts, lean forward when you are getting off a chair lift and make sure you can carry your skis right on the gondola.
7. Give Your Body a Chance
If you aren’t usually very active, skiing will be tough. You wouldn’t be the first person to be completely unable to move on the third day! Nobody wants to spend half their holiday in bed, so give your body the chance to build muscle. Walk the stairs, practice leg lunges and take a few extra walks. You’ll find you tire much slower, and can get more skiing done each day.
8. Go for the Full Experience
Booking a ski holiday can be intense. You need to choose where to go, when to go, what to wear, where to eat. There’s a whole variety of chalets and ski hotels, but for the best beginners experience, go for a package ski deal. Ski school combined with a hotel and meals already provided is a great idea, and will help you meet other people and really get into the spirit of skiing. Check out the more private residences on your next trip.
Finally, have fun. Skiing is supposed to be a holiday: don’t stress too much, and listen to your body. Ski resorts tend to have plenty of other things to do, including nearby towns to explore and spas with hot saunas, so you’ll be entertained even if you hate it – but I’ve never heard of anyone who does, yet. Got a ski tip for beginners? I’d love to hear it!