6 Things To Know Before Going On Your First Ski Trip
Not a natural ski bunny? That’s okay — you can still hit the slopes with your friends this winter. Here are six things to know before packing your bags or even booking your holiday.
1. Pick your destination carefully.
At bigger and more commercial ski spots, you’ll be more likely to find hills specifically catered toward beginners. On the flip side, smaller resorts have fewer people speeding down the slopes, which can also be nice. So before picking your first ski destination, make some phone calls and ask the resort staff whether they’d recommend their mountains to a first-timer.
2. Rent rather than buy.
You need a lot of equipment for skiing: skis, poles, hats, gloves, snow pants, coats and goggles. But for your first time, it’s probably best not to rush out and buy a pair of everything. Instead, rent (or borrow!) your gear. If you’re totally hooked, you can look into how the cost would balance out for a winter filled with trips to the slopes.
3. Ask for help in fitting boots.
The most important piece of gear is your boots. Everything depends on your boots. They’ll keep you upright, they’ll keep your feet warm and they’ll keep your feet on your skis. If you’re wearing two layers of socks or sliding around in your boots, your feet will be very unhappy. So don’t hesitate to ask for help when trying on boots to rent for the day. (Boots are also a piece of gear we wouldn’t recommend borrowing.)
4. Thick snow pants are your friend.
They might not be the most stylish options out there, but thick snow pants will help cushion your falls — and friend, you are going to fall. Probably a lot. That first day or two, the thicker the better for those snow pants. Once you’re confident in staying upright, you can upgrade to some snazzier ski pants.
5. Layers are life-saving.
Skiing is a cold weather sport, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be freezing all the time. In fact, you’ll probably work up a bit of a sweat. And too much sweat can actually make you even colder once your body cools down, so dress in light layers. When you feel yourself beginning to sweat, remove one at a time until you’re comfortable.
6. Pay for a lesson.
Your friends are not going to be the best ski teachers. We’re sorry, but yes, even the one who claims they’re ready to walk you through the easiest of slopes isn’t going to give you everything you need. Skiing is pretty hard to teach, especially for experienced hobbyists. The basics are second nature to them now, so you probably want to pay an official teacher to get you going at first.