CULTURE

Skiing for Beginners – A Guide for Before You Head to the Slopes

BY

When the snow comes and there’s a mountain nearby, especially in Canada, you can be sure that many people will be heading there to do their skiing, but what if you’re skiing for the first time? There’s no need for you to miss out on all the fun. Anyone from any age can learn how to ski, so here are some tips so you can better experience the mountains in new and unforgettable way.

What should you wear for skiing?

troll skiing with a big hatFirst, you should make sure you’re wearing the proper attire. Typically, you start with a base layer which is there to keep you dry and to make sure sweat doesn’t stick to your body. A mid layer is there to keep you warm, but if it’s not too cold, you can skip this layer. Lastly, your outer layer should be windproof, waterproof and breathable. Also don’t forget your gloves. They’re not just there to keep your hands warm, but also to protect them from the sharp edges of your skis. For everything mentioned above, try to use whatever you have, borrow from anyone you may know, and only buy if you really need to.

Should you buy or rent equipment?

skis boots and polesThe short answer is you should rent first. As a beginner, you may not know what you’re looking for in your skis or boots yet. So don’t risk it. You may end up spending a lot of money for something that doesn’t suit your needs. You may be asked a lot of questions before you get your gear, but remember, they want to make sure you’re comfortable. Rental places will usually have a variety of equipment to choose from and they usually have new ones every season. So you can try the top of the line stuff without having to commit to buying just yet! Also please don’t forget to wear a helmet. It’s always better to be safe, especially if you’re new to the sport. There are places where you can rent helmets, but not all. Be sure to check beforehand.

Should you take lessons?

family skiing in the forestThe short answer to this is yes. But it will be worth it. The safety of everyone should always be a priority and having a lesson will teach you the best way to do this. Besides, after one lesson, you’ll be able to navigate on your own. If you’re afraid to fall, don’t worry. It’s all part of it. Additionally, you won’t be able to learn something like proper form on your own. They’ll also know which slopes will be the most appropriate for your level. If you’re in Vancouver, you can take advantage of the lessons offered at Grouse Mountain or even the world famous Whistler.

Don’t go alone

two women on skis

As a safety precaution for yourself and everyone else, have someone with you. It doesn’t even have to be someone who’s an expert. It’s always better to have someone who is aware of your situation if something unexpected happens.

Things you don’t think about

almondsWhen it comes to skiing, you probably think that since it’s cold, sun protection is the furthest thing from your mind. But don’t be mistaken. Sun protection is very important because you will be out for a while. Even your eyes will need protection so try to make sure you have polarized goggles or sunglasses. Skiing is a physical activity and it does get tiring so make sure to pack some food and water with you. You’ll be surprised how thirsty or hungry you’ll get out there.

Now you’re ready

woman skiing near treesAs mentioned, you should definitely take a lesson, but here are some tips to keep in mind for when you’re actually skiing. Bend your knees, lean forward, and put your skis in a “V” shape with the front skis closer together. This is called the snow plow position. If you’ve tried skating before, follow that movement of kicking away using your instep. It’s important to lean forward as this improves your balance so you’re less likely to fall. To turn, put more weight on one leg while in the V position. To stop, put equal weight on both your legs, as if you’re pushing the snow away from you.

If you’re skiing for the first time, falling is really a part of it. But don’t worry. Everyone has fallen. Even experts still fall so the fear of falling shouldn’t stop you. What matters is you get up and keep going and improving. With skiing, you’ll be able to explore a mountain and see some epic views that not everyone will be able to see. It will be an exhilarating ride, so enjoy it while the snow is still there!

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