- Published: Friday, 13 December 2013 08:30
- Written by Shane Seguin
Skiing is a great sport, to enjoy in the winter, not to mention the views that should not be missed from the mountain tops. It is only natural that the first time on the slopes can be an overwhelming experience. You shouldn't ever feel intimidated if you are beginner or have never skied before. This blog entry will give you a bit of insight to help you feel more comfortable, so that your first time out is an enjoyable experience.
Almost all ski centres and resorts offer beginner terrain, which usually consists of gentle slopes that are perfect to help you learn and not go too fast.
Look for the trails that are marked by green circles. That denotes an easy trail. My advice, would be to look for ski resorts with "Magic Carpet" lifts. They are essentially conveyor belts, that carry you to the top of the beginner slope. As a result, the slopes are fairly short and not too challenging. They generally represent the easiest trails a resort has to offer, and the ideal place to learn.
If a resort does not have a magic carpet, do not worry. They most likely have appropriate beginner terrain, serviced by a t-bar, or a chairlift. Consult the trail map of the resort of your choosing to see exactly what they offer.
Every ski resort ranks their trails differently as far as difficulty, and therefore, a beginner trail at one ski resort may be more challenging at another. Same for intermediate and expert trails. The difficulty shown on the trail map is just an indication of difficulty at that one ski resort, and should not generally be compared to other resorts.
The ski resort itself can also be very helpful in guiding you to a perfect first day. They know the advice beginners are seeking, and will help you with the right equipment and setup. Whether you have ski equipment or not, the resort will rent you appropriate equipment for your skill level, including skis, boots, and poles. They can also sell you (or rent) a helmet, which is quickly becoming mandatory at many resorts, and an essential piece of safety equipment you should not be without.
I would also recommend you check the websites of the local ski resorts near to you. Many should offer a beginner package of some kind, that includes equipment rental, a lift ticket and a private 1 hour lesson, for a good price. Lessons are definitely the way to start, as they will teach you proper techniques and help you avoid forming bad habits that could hold you back. Many people talk about their significant other playing the role of instructor. This is something that you should avoid, as a real instructor at the ski mountain has the proper training and the technique that will give you the best opportunity to succeed, over someone who knows how to ski but not necessarily how to train someone else in the sport.
When your instructor feels you are ready to progress, they will advice you as to which trails are best suited for you to advance. Never rush yourself, or get yourself into terrain that you are not ready to ski or handle. With some time and patience, you will be more than ready to enjoy the best these resorts have to offer, and be able to enjoy a life time filled with snow covered mountains.
Other things to think of to fully enjoy your day.
- Properly fitted helmet (the most important item of all). This is not something that should be neglected. Be sure to be properly fitted or sized for a helmet. If you don't choose to buy a helmet right away, you can rent one at the ski resort.
- Layered clothing to keep warm and to wick away moisture. Polar fleece is very popular, as it will absorb the moisture and sweat, and transfer it to the next layer, until it emerges on the outside of the jacket where it can dry. Same for the legs and pants.
- Ski jacket and snow pants, to compliment the layered clothing above.
- Ski socks (Deal with the moisture much better than regular cotton socks to keep your feet dry). Make sure they are pulled up tight, as you don't want the sock to wripple around the calf of the leg, otherwise you will quickly get sore, and cut off circulation, resulting in cold feet).
Good luck and have a great season.