Skiing is a thrilling and enjoyable winter activity for people of all ages. Whether you’re looking for a day of excitement and exercise, or a weekend getaway in the mountains, skiing is a great way to experience the outdoors in winter. Like most sports, it takes time to learn. So before you hit the slopes, make sure you’re prepared with these Learn to Ski Tips for Adults!
Ski Gear and Clothing
Skiing requires special gear and an outfit that will help keep you safe, warm and comfortable so you can best enjoy your time on the slopes. Start with proper apparel, such as waterproof pants and jackets, moisture wicking base layers, insulated gloves, hat or helmet, neck warmer, goggles, and ski boots.
See our list of what to wear skiing or snowboarding.
It’s also important to have all the “gear” like skis, (or a snowboard), poles, and bindings properly adjusted to you specifically by a ski shop technician. If you don’t own any gear, but plan on skiing frequently throughout the season, it may be more cost-effective to buy your own gear (consider buying used to save money) rather than renting it each time. Otherwise renting (try before you buy) is easier and only sets you back $50-$100 a day versus new skis, boots and poles that can cost over $1000.
Know Before You Go
Do some research before heading out on any skiing adventure. Determine which type of skiing is best suited for your skill level. You don’t need steep Black Diamond terrain until you have more experience. You’ll want a ski area with beginner terrain, and surface lifts, to start, plus a learn to ski programs. Also check the weather report and ski conditions ahead of time. Is there sufficient snow for example, is the weather going to clear, not too windy or cold? You want a positive first experience – not turn into a popsicle.
Safety Tips for Skiing
Your safety should always be your #1 priority skiing. Always stay within your skill level and practice proper etiquette on the slopes. Be aware of other skiers around you, and always ski in control.
Remember never to ski alone and to stick close to friends or family members when hitting the slopes. If visibility is poor or weather conditions are uncertain, it’s best not to take any risks and head inside for some hot cocoa!
Tips for Skiing Technique
Skiing technique is essential for a successful and enjoyable day on the slopes. We highly recommend you get an intro lesson to start with good technique and skills. If you insist on DIY, start off slowly by just sliding on your skis, build up to a snow plow (on skis), practicing turning and right, stopping, and side-sliding. Make sure to keep your weight centered over your skis, an athletic stance, to maintain balance and increase control. Relax and breathe too – this is supposed to be fun!
Practice skiing in both directions across an open field before heading down any trails, gradually taking on more difficult terrain. Start green, after a few days graduate to blue, and black runs will take time to conquer. Once you feel comfortable with tackling small hills, gradually progress onto larger ones while keeping in mind the appropriate techniques for each level of slope. Always stay in control, and Know the Code of skiers safety responsibility.
Take Breaks on the Mountain
No matter how much experience you may have skiing, it’s always important to take regular breaks throughout the day to let your muscles rest and recover. These breaks should include hydration (water not Fireball), nourishment (healthy snacks) and stretching and to keep your body in the best conditions on the slopes.
It’s also important to rest when you feel tired or if conditions become too difficult, or visibility diminishes, for you to safely ski down. Taking breaks can help prevent any potential injuries or accidents while skiing as well. More incidents occur end of day when skiers are tired, and conditions diminish. Besides, there’s this tradition called après ski that’s rewarding and fun.
Ski Maintenance and Care
Proper ski (or snowboard) maintenance and care of your gear is important. Have your skis and bindings professionally inspected annually! Binding settings and boot fit are essential for safe and effective skiing.
At the end of the day, dry your equipment, especially your boots, and properly store everything in a dry place. Having your skis (or snowboard) waxed skis regularly helps keep them in good condition, prevents rust on the edges. Taking proper care of your equipment improves your ski slope time, and the longevity of your expensive gear.
Adaptive skiing is a great way for those with physical challenges to participate. There are adaptive skiing programs at ski areas that are amazing like Sunday River Maine and Breckenridge – even blind skiing and sit skis for those who cannot stand. With specially trained guides and custom devices, people with physical disabilities can enjoy the freedom and joy of skiing.
Avoid Common Skiing Mistakes
To ensure a safe and enjoyable skiing experience, skiers must always be aware of their capabilities, stay in control (always able to stop quickly) and stick to trails that match their skill level. Trying risky maneuvers or terrain park tricks beyond your ability could lead to serious injury, so it’s essential to know your limits. Ski resorts offer different trails based on difficulty, so make sure you understand the signage – green, blue, and black, before heading out. Don’t be a gaper and learn the ski lingo!
Pay attention to ski patrol warnings – they’re the police on the hill- and they can pull your pass if break the rules, they’re also the medics and are available to help. Never ski closed areas or trails, and always follow the rules of the resort for your safety and the safety of others.
Crowded Slopes Should be Avoided
It’s always a good idea to avoid crowded slopes as they can increase the risk of collisions or injuries. Consider skiing during off-peak hours or midweek days when the trails are less crowded. This also means less lift lines, and better availability or ski lessons, and a table for lunch in the lodge.
With these tips in mind, progressing slowly and positively with some practice, you’re on your way to a lifetime sport! Skiing is a fun, healthy, social, outdoor activity that can bring you to magnificent, beautiful, snow-covered destinations all over the world, for both experienced skiers and beginners alike. So why wait? Grab your gear (see how to pack for skiing), check the forecast and get ready for some fun in the snow!