I won’t lie, I’m pretty new to the whole skiing scene and am, by far, no professional; but I have picked up some great tips along the way from some pretty great skiers. Just like some of you (especially first time skiers), I knew nothing about trails, clothing options or skis for that matter. But finally I took the plunge my senior year of high school and took on the adventure of learning how to ski. As a born and raised Vermonter, I always dreamed of learning how to ski, and finally that senior year, I learn how to in a more inexpensive way. But before getting into skiing, there are some things you need to know before embarking on this adventure, and that is this:
1. Raid your closet before you buy a whole new wardrobe. Most of the time you’ll find clothing that can keep you perfectly warm. As long as you have a fleece, turtleneck, or sweater, solid winter jacket, insulated ski pants, warm socks, and mittens you should be fine. However, I will say this, invest in warm winter mittens that are insulated, gloves WILL NOT keep your hands warm. Also, get high and thick socks because if your sock falls down or your feet are cold, you’ll be trying to fix it ALL DAY. Always wear a helmet and goggles, they both are vital to safety. On the colder days you’ll need a face mask, so always be aware of the weather.
2. Get a lift pass. You’re going to need one to get on the lifts no matter what, so this is something you’re going to have to invest in. Many ski resorts offer discounted lift tickets for children, teens, and senior skiers, as well as early or late season tickets.
3. Rent skis and boots. These are a necessity, however I have always found ways to save money. I get that renting skis and boots can be expensive, not to mention you’ll need poles. So if you aren’t exactly looking to rent everything, see if your friends possibly have some skis and boots you can borrow. There are also ski sales that always happen in the ski shops where you can find things for half the price they once were, and sometimes even less. Purchasing skis and boots will save you money in the long run and give you the possibility to go skiing even more. Always make sure your boots are your size and if borrowing, never go more than a half size up from your natural size.
4. Take a lesson. Don’t down play skiing. It’s hard to learn and dangerous, so be cautious and safe in your learning process. Don’t try to act like you know how to ski if you don’t. I learned through my friend who had been skiing all his life and who would soon go on and become a ski instructor. If you’re serious about learning, go with people who are willing to take the time to teach you and are experienced, or just get lessons. Also, don’t push yourself on the first day. You’re learning, so who cares if you go down the bunny hill 20 times, the important thing are that you’re learning, you’re not putting yourself in danger and you’re not putting anyone else in danger.
5. Stay hydrated and get a snack. Speaking from experience, you DO NOT want to be dehydrated or hungry while trying to ski down a mountain. First of all you’ll be miserable, and second of all you can get hurt due to fatigue or loss of energy. Skiing is an extremely physically demanding sport. First-time skiers will get tired and that’s perfectly fine. You don’t need to go down the mountain 20 times on your first day. Take it slow and drink a lot of water. Eat a good breakfast and take breaks when you need to. Skiing is supposed to be fun, so don’t stress yourself out.
Caroline Perry can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org