Here are some do’s and don’ts for skiing and snowboarding first-timers.
So you’ve got the gear, booked the trip and planned a few dry runs before you jet off for a fun, snow-filled (hopefully!) adventure, where you’ll put on your specs, skis and insulated ski jacket, and breeze down the black slope like a pro.
Okay, so we’re thinking it might be a little bit more Bridget Jones style than that (minus the work colleagues and the pregnancy test, of course!). But no fear, we’ve got some hints and tips to get you having fun and help lead you towards ski success.
Tackle the slopes that most suits your ability.
It sounds obvious, but start easy and work upwards. Most nursery and beginner slopes may not look that steep but once you get on them, you’ll notice skis and snowboards don’t need a huge gradient to get moving. Their bases are designed to glide easily over snow, so there is no need to think you’ll be having less fun on the smoother slopes. Of course, you’ll probably need to move up as you gain experience, but don’t hurry- enjoy yourself!
Be Comfortable and Confident.
Talking of enjoyment, if you are scared of heights, don’t panic! You are most likely to start on the lower slopes and stay there for as long as you feel comfortable with your instructor. You never know, you might just feel ready to push your limits and up a gradient, but the most important thing is that you are confident and having fun! Don’t forget, you’ll have a ski or snowboard instructor that can help you out and, hopefully, help you tackle your fears too!
Just as you wouldn’t take your driving test without a few driving lessons, skiing lessons are a must if you want to make the most of your time on the slopes. You could opt for individual lessons (private tuition) that may help you progress faster or you can go for group lessons that make for a more affordable alternative and often more fun as you are with others of the same standard. This communality will help you in developing and conquering fears.
Hire Your Equipment.
We love skiing and snowboarding here at Snowfinders and we’re pretty sure you will too, but as the old saying goes, try before you buy! Ski equipment is expensive and, for first timers, you will probably want to rent the equipment before you throw a lot of money into it. In all honesty, you won’t re-sell it on eBay for the price you paid for it.
That said, make sure your boots aren’t painful and are properly fitting- there is nothing worse than sore, blistered feet troubling you on your ski holiday.
In addition, make sure you have the correct essentials. Nobody should ski or snowboard without a securely fitting helmet and goggles! waterproof ski pants (you should probably buy these new!) and a hat are always useful too!
Skis will be shorter to start with and as you gain in ability they will get longer, the same applies to snowboards too. In addition, don’t rent equipment that’s meant for the experts! Softer skis and boots, or an entry level snowboard, will be much easier to learn on than expert gear and will help you progress more quickly.
Chairlift and T-Bar Tips.
At first, you probably won’t even use a chairlift, as you’ll be walking whilst you learn on the nursery slopes. You’ll probably get to grips with this pretty quickly though, so when it comes to mounting the lift, here’s some advice…
T-bar lifts, a specific type of rope tow or dra lifts, are made for two skiers to ride together, while button lifts feature a small button between the legs that is attached, by a metal pole, to a moving wire. Both types of lifts run slowly along the ground on a gentle slope and are easy to mount and dismount (make sure you are definitely at the top though!). Button lifts are the easiest to use, as long as you don’t try to sit down on it or hang from the pole! T-bar lifts are still simple, it’s just that you should lean towards your partner slightly, rather than lean away from them, for a balanced and comfortable ride.
So even if it is your first time skiing, you can still enjoy yourself and have a fun-filled, exhilarating holiday. In fact, we’re pretty sure you’ll catch the ski and snowboard bug on your first day. Addicted? Me? Never ;)
For more information on skiing or snowboarding, contact Snowfinders.