You’ve wanted to ski for years and finally, you find that you have the time and resources to do so. But this might be the first time you’re trying the sport out, never having been out on the slopes. It might seem like a big task but with the right tips and information, your experience can be really positive! As long as you keep calm and acknowledge that you might have a few spills or falls as you start to get better, then you can take the next step in your skiing adventure.
Even if you go with a friend, make sure to brush up a little on what your first day will be like. It will benefit you more than you know and you’ll be prepared for the day ahead.
What To Expect
You should be excited that you’re not only learning a new sport but that you’ll be creating fond new memories too! That being said, it’s important to know it’s ok if you don’t have it all down right away. No one says you have to master the sport in a few short hours. If that were the case not as many people would enjoy it.
As previously mentioned, one thing that’s bound to happen is that you’ll fall. More than you’d like. When you do, it may be difficult to get back up. But don’t ever feel weird about it because it happens to ALL new skiers! Ask around if you’re not convinced but it shouldn’t be a deterrent. And you should never give up right away. You have to learn to draw before a masterpiece can be created, right? So this should be the same mentality!
Also consider that if you’re either a young adult or adult, there will be younger skiers who might be much faster than you. Again, you shouldn’t let that stop you. While it’s hard to admit you’ll be carving turns like a pro soon enough.
Finding the right speed and learning how to stop are two things you’ll slowly pick up on. But you might not know how to do it right away either. You’ll find that you might be either too fast or moving too slow even on gentler slopes, and that can be quite intimidating. Just know that it’s normal and make more sense the more times you attempt it.
What To Wear
Staying warm out on the snow is a feat on its own. This is simply due to how many layers and items of clothing you need. Always check the weather at the resort you’re skiing at first to make a judgment on just how cold it will be. If it’s warmer than expected, you can just remove a few layers. If it’s colder, at least you’re bundled up enough to curb how chilly it can get.
Be sure to wear the basics:
- Absorbent socks- Try to not wear two layers of socks or ones that are too thick. This can cause bunching or fail to properly keep your feet warm.
- Insulated gloves-It gets cold out there, and if your hands aren’t properly protected it can spell trouble for them as the day progresses.
- Hats or Helmets- Keeping your head warm is one of the most important things you can do while on the slopes. Hats are one option, but helmets can keep your head safer in case of any spills.
- Jackets & insulated pants- This is an easy one! Just make sure both can keep you warm, and if you need to wear extra leggings, and a long sleeve shirt underneath
- Goggles or sunglasses- Sun hitting fresh, white snow makes it incredibly hard to see sometimes. With goggles, you’re protecting your eyes and ensuring you can see where you are skiing and to avoid any accidents from happening.
While it’s generous for friends or family to offer to teach you to ski, you may want to opt in for a quick lesson or two. Resorts typically offer private or group lessons to skiers of all ages. Ski schools like the one at Copper Mountain Resort have knowledgeable ski instructors that can help you work on techniques, basic moves, and confidence to tackle the task at hand!
Taking a lesson helps to also ease some of the nerves that come with learning something new. Especially when you think about what skiing entails as you glide down a slope, even if you’re not going fast.
To Rent, Or Not To Rent
It can be tempting to purchase all of your equipment for this new sport right off the bat. The trouble with that is that you’ve never stepped foot on the mountain before. You’ve never experienced a too-snug or too-loose fitting boot, and you’ve only imagined what the snow and bumps feel like that you’ll be gliding over.
Try to reign in your excitement because buying before trying can actually lead to a lot of headaches! Instead, investigate the selection that resorts or local ski shops have. If their inventory seems plentiful then take the opportunity to rent out a few pieces. The benefits of renting your ski gear are that you’ll be able to test out products before you commit to spending more money. It also means you can rent some of the “latest and greatest” equipment without worrying about it being obsolete or outdated. Every season most rental shops have new equipment so you can really enjoy your time at the resort with properly fitted boots and skis for you!
Extra Things To Bring
Much like hiking, you need energy to ski to keep up with the demand you put on your body. You can bring your favorite snack and it’s highly recommended to bring plenty of water to stay hydrated all day. If you’re not able to bring your own water, there are places around the resort you can purchase some!
For snacks, you can bring things like fruit, granola bars or even a little dark chocolate. You can store things in your backpack if you have one or in pockets, depending on what is easier for you. As long as you have something with you, it’ll help to continue your positive experience on the snow.
Have Fun & Stay Safe
No matter how old you are, skiing for the first time is a big deal. But being prepared and taking the necessary precautions can make it less stressful and more enjoyable overall. Make sure to do your research, and take things slow at first. There’s no rush and you don’t want to cause injury or leave feeling deflated if everything didn’t turn out exactly the way that you planned. Skiing hopefully will become a lifelong sport you partake in, and one that (over time) will become easier as you become more familiar with your technique!