Flickr Photo: Harald Groven
Experienced skiers are no sooner unpacked than they’re taking to the slopes, flying by in bright jackets, expensive eye wear and on freshly waxed skis. However, for beginners, the idea of hurling yourself at top speed down a snowy mountain can seem, well, more than a little intimidating.
Book Your Own Instructor
Firstly, if you’ve never even touched a pair of skis let alone worn them you might be tempted to let a friend, or family member teach you. One, you’ll think it’ll save money and it will but you may not have the most pleasant experience and two, because you think it’ll be easier to learn from them than an instructor. It’s a bad idea. Why? Because even the most patient partner or friend in the world is going to get frustrated. Ski instructors are friendly, professional and qualified individuals who have years of experience, not to mention countless ski seasons with beginners.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Falling
We know the ground looks hard, and to some extent it is as it’s comprised of layers of compressed snow but you need to learn how to fall properly. Skis are attached to each foot via your ski boots, so they can get tangled and falling incorrectly could lead to a serious injury. To minimise tangling, if you feel yourself falling then go with it always trying to lean to the side, so it’s easier to get back up. Your ski poles act as both balancing aids and horizontal ice picks so you can pick yourself off the snow without taking your ski boots off.
Stay On The Nursery Slope
Bespoke ski resorts like Whistler have many slopes that are used use by skiers of different abilities. Make sure that when you’re filling in the visit Canada ETA, the electronic form all visitors need to do online that you mention skiing in the ‘vacation’ tab as it can affect travel insurance claims. When you first arrive, you’ll soon learn who’s a fellow newbie as beginners tend to look like deer in headlights being led towards the nursery slopes. We know it seems a little weird to be in the same area as little kids but people are going to be far nicer if you crash into them while there than out on a blue run. Not to mention you stand less chance of hurting yourself while mastering the basics.
Practice Getting On The Lifts
To the uninitiated ski lifts can look incredibly difficult and having to fumble around for your ski pass, we suggest clipping it to your jacket, while figuring out how to get on can be quite daunting. Seat, or stool lifts that’ll take you to the top of easier runs require you to grab on with one arm, hoist yourself on what looks like a barstool suspended from a cable and let the momentum carry you up the hill. Warning, this takes a few goes to get used to and will build plenty of muscles. Chairlifts are slightly different in that you sit down fully, on a bench while the lift takes you to the top of a long run. If you’re new to skiing then find lifts you’re comfortable with and stick to them as chairlifts take practice.