Are you planning your first ski trip and feeling nervous? Not sure what you need to bring, or mountain etiquette? Are you scared of getting on the ski lift, or even how to carry your skis? Don’t worry we’ve got you!
Having grown up in Austria with a ski instructor Mum and Dad, the saying holds true that I probably knew how to ski before I knew how to walk (very much to my dad’s pride). Skiing, to this day, is one of my favourite pastimes as it combines adventure, fun and relaxation in one awesome activity.
The culture around skiing, from communal ski race watching to Germknödel eating in ski huts, is just the cherry on top of what is an amazing activity that I recommend everyone try at least once in their life.
Having recently introduced my boyfriend to skiing I realized a few things that might be useful for every first-time-skier, hopefully making the day a little safer and more enjoyable for you!
1) Wear A Helmet
This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you: Wear a Helmet. Seriously. I know it doesn’t look as sexy as putting on a cute hat, but it can save your life. I’ve had a few pretty serious falls myself that I walked away from without a scratch because I was wearing a ski helmet. And I’m not the only one.
2) Your Boots Will Make Or Break Your Skiing Experience
I can’t stress enough how important this is. On the first day of skiing with my boyfriend, he was wearing boots that were too small and ended up hurting so bad, we had to stop after half an hour. After switching shoes, we had an incredibly fun time for the rest of the day!
While your skiing boots will never be as comfortable as trainers (trust me – to this day, taking off my ski boots is the best part of my ski day), they must fit properly. Boots that are too small: will hurt like hell before you’re even on your skis.
Boots that are too big: you’ll never be able to ski a proper curve. Make sure your boots are tight but not too small and get an expert to make sure they fit. It will make or break your skiing experience. Once you have a bit more experience and know that you will ski regularly in the seasons it’s worth investing in your own pair of ski boots to bring with you.
3) Get Proper Equipment
As a skiing instructor, I’ve seen all kinds of things – including people coming to class with equipment that was probably 25-years-old. Please. Don’t try to learn how to ski with your grandma’s old skies. It will just make it so much harder for you to learn how to ski, much less actually enjoy it. Modern equipment is worth the rental fee, I promise.
4) Take A Lesson
Even if it’s just half a day, take a lesson. I’m not saying this because I’m an instructor. For skiing to be fun, and for you to not be a danger to everyone around you, you need to learn proper techniques. Again – I swear it’s worth it because you’ll actually learn what does and doesn’t work, and why.
You don’t have to hire an expensive instructor – just find someone who knows what they’re doing and have them teach you – whether it be a friend or a helpful stranger. And if you’re in northern Austria, you’re welcome to hit me up!
5) Don’t Be Ashamed
Don’t feel like you’re standing out. Nobody actually cares. And secondly, the first rule of skiing is to be mindful of other skiers on the slope, whether they are total beginners or absolute pros.
Don’t worry about being “in the way” or being slow – we’ve all been beginners once and it doesn’t matter whether you’re slow or fast, going big curves or small ones – if another skier is faster than you he’ll just go around you, not even thinking twice about it. You’re brave for just going on that slope, so keep rocking it!