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Jan
22
2019

Tips for first-time skiers

Top tips for a first time skier

Taking to the slopes for the first time can seem like a daunting experience, especially when you see other skiers gracefully slaloming down the piste. Fear not, we have put together this article which is full of tips to help you enjoy your first ski holiday.

Tips for a first-time skier:

  • Don’t panic
  • Sign up for some lessons
  • Choose a resort with plenty of activities
  • Make sure your ski boots fit properly
  • Take plenty of changes of clothes
  • Bring little extras
  • Buy ski travel insurance

 Don’t panic

Emily Sarsfield, a ski cross athlete who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.

There will be plenty of other beginners on the piste, you won’t be the only newbie.

Emily Sarsfield, a ski cross athlete who competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, said skiing is a physical and mental activity. She commented: “You really need to approach both aspects when learning. A good instructor can help you conquer those feelings and help you feel at ease. Don’t forget to look around, you are in the most amazing, beautiful location. Take it in and enjoy the views.”

Emily also suggests investing in some good ski-wear before heading off on your holiday. She said: “Being warm and protected on the mountain is so important. It will make it more of a pleasure on those colder days.”

Sign up for some lessons

Person skiing down the slopes

Having some lessons before you venture out on your own is a good way to help you find your feet and grow in confidence.

You could book a set of lessons in the UK at the SnowDome in Tamworth, or at an artificial slope like The Guildford Ski Slope. You will be taught the basics from putting on your boots and clipping skis, to knowing how to stop safely. Many ski and snowboarding activity centres in the UK have private and group sessions. By doing this you can go on your holiday confident that you aren’t starting completely from scratch on the snow.

Choose a resort with plenty of activities

Husky ride in the snow

Your first skiing holiday can be exhausting which is why it is a good idea to visit a resort with lots of other activities. Les Deux Alpes in France has plenty of things to keep you busy when you aren’t heading for the slopes. Les Deux Alpes is a lively resort and one of the oldest resorts in France.  There are lots of bars and restaurants along the resort’s main street that will suit all budgets and tastes.

Lucy, keen skier and blogger at On The Luce said having other activities to enjoy on your holiday like sledging or a husky ride, helps give you a rest from skiing. She said: “Don’t feel like you have to ski all day. Once you get tired it’s easy to make mistakes, so take your time – have a long lunch and soak up the views. And a chalet or hotel with a hot tub is a great idea to soak those aching muscles.”

Make sure your ski boots fit properly

Man wearing ski boots

Pulling on a pair of ski boots for the first time can feel a bit strange and it can take a while for your feet to acclimatise. Whether you are buying your own boots or hiring a pair on holiday, your sales assistant will be able to guide you through the options and help you make the right decision.

Afshan, travel blogger at Afshanesque said her top tip for anyone going on their first ski holiday is to make sure the ski boots fit correctly. She told us: “Go for ones that aren’t too tight, otherwise they can have bad consequences on your feet and therefore hinder skiing.”

Don’t worry if the boots feel snug when you put them on. You need to give the inner lining time to warm up and soften in order to mould to the shape of your feet. The liner will also start to compress which means your feet will have a little extra room.

Give yourself time to wear the boots in, if you buy beforehand then this will give you a little extra time to get used to wearing them around your house. If you hire a pair on holiday give yourself a day or so to get used to them. If you are still unsure then you can always go to the fitter on the resort for advice and adjustments if needed.

Afshan had another piece of advice for first-time skiers: “Don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t get it in one go. Be confident but take it slow. It will come. If you’re not confident, try your best and enjoy the experience. At the end of the day, not everyone will be a perfect skier. Try to enjoy it and learn as much as you can. Enjoy the atmosphere, the weather and of course the best part – the après ski.”

Take plenty of changes of clothes

Ski jackets

It is best to take lots of changes of clothes, including a few pairs of thermal tops and bottoms. Essentials include a waterproof ski jacket, trousers and gloves, a couple of fleeces and a few pairs of ski socks as well as your regular socks.

Remember to pack shoes with a good grip for venturing around the resort as well as a swimming costume so you can take advantage of the hotel swimming pool and sauna.

Rebecca, who is from Cambridgeshire and runs the blog Rebecca’s Reviews, said: “Take plenty of clothes, you get surprisingly hot and sweaty when skiing.” You don’t need to buy expensive clothes for your first skiing holiday. Simply raid your wardrobe for anything that you’re happy to layer. Items like jumpers, turtlenecks and fleeces will do the job.

We highly recommend wearing a helmet when you are on the slopes. The rules change between resorts, but some may fined you if you are without one. If you don’t want to buy a helmet for your first trip, most resorts offer hiring services.

Bring Little extras

Ski bags

It is worth taking a light-weight rucksack up the mountain with you to so all your little extras are to hand. Mollie, a personal trainer living in London, runs the blog PTMollie. She suggests packing sun cream, lip balm, tissues and snacks. The chances of sunburn due to the altitude is high and the sunlight will also reflect off the snow, so taking a good sun cream to protect your skin is a must. Wearing sunglasses or ski goggles will also protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

For first-timers Mollie has this advice, “everyone looks silly on skis and snowboards, so you don’t need to feel self-conscious”. She added: “Try to have fun. Stepping outside your comfort zone is a great way to learn about yourself, meet new people, and perhaps discover a new passion.  You will probably fall, but the snow is soft to land on. Be confident enough to stay safe too and stick to the slopes where you feel comfortable.”

Buy Ski travel insurance

Pair of skis

Making sure you book the appropriate holiday insurance for your ski trip is a must. Ski holiday cover is travel insurance which gives you protection specially designed for ski holidays.

Moneysupermarket.com states that this type of insurance generally offers the same coverage as standard travel policies, but it includes extra protection for ski-related equipment, medical treatment and other potential costs.

The price comparison website states: “Ski holiday insurance can be useful as a standard travel policy may not be enough to cover certain situations you might run into on the slopes. For example, your medical treatment costs might not be covered under standard insurance if you injured yourself skiing as it’s seen by many insurers as high-risk. Likewise, your ski equipment may not come under standard personal possession cover – this means if it’s lost, damaged, or stolen you might need specialist cover to be able to claim.”

Going on singles ski holidays are a great way to learn a new skill, meet new people and make new friends. So, once you’ve read these tips, wrap up warm, pull your boots on and enjoy yourself.

Image Credit: GB Snowsport, On the Luce, PTMollie