If you’re going on a ski vacation for the first time, you can get more out of it if you’re prepared and know the basics. Here are some quick tips so you won’t look like a novice on the slopes.
Exercise before you go, as far in advance as you can
Skiing is hard on your joints, and you’ll be much better if you’re in decent shape and have worked on the core and leg muscles used for skiing. One well-known exercise is to just stand with your back against the wall, slide to a sitting position on an imaginary chair. Your thighs will hurt, a lot. Try doing that for a minute or two, then add more time.
Power skating, roller-blading, and bicycling also work out the muscles you’ll need for skiing. Beyond that, focus on doing squats, leg presses, and deadlifts at the gym.
Rent or buy (if you’re serious) the right gear
The comfort of your boots can make or break your ski holiday. Your boots should let you wiggle your toes, but not so much that you can turn your foot side to side. Spend the time with an experienced ski shop employee to make sure you rent boots that are right for you. You’ll also need snow pants, waterproof jacket and gloves, and a helmet.
Start with something easy
If it’s your first time skiing, you’ll go on a “bunny slope” that’s meant for young children. Don’t be embarrassed; everyone started learning this way. The best way to prepare is to practice on an indoor ski slope that’s close to home and take classes. Choosing the right resort can help too – look for a place with several “bunny slopes” so you can work your way up, and look for wide rather than steep slopes.
You’ll definitely fall. Just don’t get hurt
Don’t worry; the snow is pretty soft and the right gear will protect you. That being said, try to fall backwards on your butt or sideways. Try to stop yourself so you don’t’ slide down the slope and run into something or someone. The leg muscles that you’ve hopefully honed from doing squats will be very helpful in getting back up. You can also get pads to protect yourself.
It’s not comfortable, but bend your knees
Skiing is all about shifting your weight and centre of gravity. Bending your knees helps you control your skis, get over small bumps and uneven terrain, and control your centre of gravity. It’s not easy at first, that’s why you should do squats to prepare.
Top 5 tips on skiing etiquette
Don’t go alone. Really, this should apply to all outdoor sports. Even if you’re an expert skier who knows the trails inside and out, it’s fun to share the experience with a friend. If you’re new at this, what are you doing out there by yourself?