Before going skiing, we did all the typical planning – get ski gear, find our how to get to the town, sort out ski passes, figure out where to rent the ski books and skis… you know, the usual. I even went with a deluded sense of self confidence where I figured I would get so bored with the skiing lessons we’d booked and would be confidently skiing down the slopes within a couple of hours of arriving. Needless to say, within a few hours of skiing and definitely within a few days of finally hitting the slopes, I realised that there’s so much stuff that people don’t say about skiing that truly needs to be said.
1.) Skiing on ice and skiing on snow are two very different things. Skiing on snow is great and how you’re meant to ski, skiing on ice is hard and best avoided.
2.) Falling down doesn’t hurt as much as you’d think. Especially if you’re taking it slow. This is important for beginners are you will probably be taking it slow anyway and being to scared of falling can actually impede your progress and willingness to learn.
3.) The three main things you need to know as beginner are to a.) Snow plough (like forming an A with your skis) so that you slow down b.) Turn left by placing the weight on your right foot and c.) Turn right by placing weight on your left foot. It all gets a lot easier once you can do these (and they’re easy enough to learn)
4.) You will get very hot skiing and soon realise that the thermal wear that you brought is a tad too much as you’ll be sweating and stripping them off. Especially if the weather is good. At one point, I was skiing in just a t-shirt, it was that hot!
5.) You might ache at the end of it but in a good way. All that snow ploughing and holding your position is helping you keep fit and you didn’t even know it.
6.) You will need ski lessons if you’ve never ski’d before. You can get them from family or friends (if you can trust them to teach you properly) or you can pay for them but whatever you decide, definitely get them as skiing is not as natural as one might think.
7.) A little bit of courage goes a long way with skiing. If you’re too scared to try new things, you might find that it will take you longer to learn so even if it feels a bit unnatural, push yourself when you’re learning (as long as you’ve practised how to fall to your side) and you’ll find that you’ll progress very quickly.
8.) You don’t really need those poles to ski. In fact, chances are that you’ll start to learn without them. Of course you can use them and they come in handy but they’re by no means compulsory
9.) Ski boots are hard to walk in. It’s not just because they’re heavy – there’s that but they also restrict your ankles so it’s trickier to walk in them than it is to walk in regular shoes
10.) The first time you decide to ski, ask someone where the ‘nicest’ blue pistes are. All blue pistes are not equal! Some are a lot easier to learn on than other ones so bear that in mind and ask someone who knows. Or, if there are green pistes available – ask for those. Once you’ve had a couple of runs in a nice one, you can venture out to test the other ones.