Skiing basics for beginners
Skiing is a great sport to learn, whatever your age. It’s fun, exhilarating, skilful, burns a lot of calories and, most importantly, takes you to beautiful mountain locations.
First, you need the right equipment for skiing. It’s worth renting and borrowing the kit until you are sure you will take up the sport. If you then decide to go on a skiing holiday, you’ll need some warm clothing, including a ski jacket and pants, as well as thermal baselayers, ski socks and good quality and affordable ski gloves.
You can hire the skis, ski boots, poles and a helmet. For the best comfort, buying your own fitted ski boots is a great asset if you have the money.
Skiing basics for beginners
1. Learn to stand up
When you start off, make sure your skis are facing along the side of the slope, not downhill, or you’ll start skiing quicker than you expected. You will be shown by an instructor how to dig in the side of the skis to “grip” the snow.
Listen carefully to the instructor so that you avoid falling over too often.
2. Bend your knees and lean forward
The skills for skiing can be tricky to start with and might seem a little odd. Taking lessons will help you to avoid making life a lot harder. They will tell you all about where to place your hips, how to bend at the knees and what makes you ski forwards, turn and stop.
3. The snowplough
To get moving from a standstill, using the snowplough you must bend your knees and push your weight forward while facing downhill and you will start to move.
The snowplough (like a pizza slice shape) also allows you to easily control speed and come to a stop. Point your toes in and push your heels out slightly and you will feel yourself slowing down.
It is likely that at some point early on you will cross your skis while practising this manoeuvre. Don’t panic, slowly lift the top ski using your whole foot and separate them again.
To make yourself turn, you will need to learn how to “weight” and “unweight” your feet in the boots and on the skis. It’s a lot to do with balance, weighting and lifting. This is why you need an instructor to explain!
You’ll start with the snowplough and then progress to parallel skiing across the slope and then snowplough turns and then parallel turns. It takes time and practice but it is worth it.
Also remember to face the way you want to go and don’t stare at your skis, rather look ahead at where you want to go.
Much of skiing is about confidence. Know your limits and keep safe but stay confident in your abilities. As soon as you panic or stop committing to your manoeuvre you are very likely to fall down, and no one wants that.
Skiing is one of the most fun activities to enjoy on a holiday but it does take time to learn. Be patient and listen carefully to your instructor.