Most of us unfortunately didn’t grow up learning how to ski. We know that learning things as children just seems to be easier; we absorb everything like a sponge and we can fall a billion times without even wincing! However, skiing as an adult can prove to be a bit more challenging.
We’re going to go a bit more in-depth here and talk about just how difficult it really is to learn how to ski and what kind of results you can expect after your first few times and first ski season.
Seasoned skiers can definitely give the impression that skiing is a graceful, smooth experience, that isn’t going to be the case when you first start out. These pros have practiced for years to gain this level of skill and comfort.
When you’re first getting the hang of things, you can expect it to feel like you ran a marathon! Your legs and abs, most notably will be feeling very sore the next day. Exhaustion is to be expected as well – you’re definitely going to sleep well the night after you first go skiing!
What to Expect Your First Few Times
The great news is, skiing is notoriously easy to start with – however, more challenging to master. That means that the majority of adults who are complete newbies can start to ski on their own on bunny hills and even intermediate slopes after just a couple lessons! What will you learn in these lessons? Let’s take a look at a general guideline:
- Day 1: Here, your instructor will teach you all about your equipment, the mountain, surroundings, etc. You’ll learn how to properly stand and navigate on flat land. You may also start to learn slow, wedged turns on very small inclines.
- Day 2: You’ll begin to slowly link left and right wedged turns on slightly steeper inclines (though still very basic). Depending on your progress, you may even be able to hop on the ski lift!
- Day 3: You’ll continue linking left and right snowplow turns on more challenging terrain.
Throughout the next couple of days you’ll simply practice these skills until you’re more confident and can take on slightly more difficult runs. If you’re catching on quickly, you may even begin to learn parallel turns!
If you don’t have an instructor, that’s perfectly okay! In fact, you may fare better going up with a friend or a family member who’s willing to show you proper technique and skills.
Mind Over Matter
If you’ve never gone skiing before, it can be a scary thing! After all, you’re quite literally soaring down a snowy mountain with two planks attached to your feet! However, if you think about it, we also regularly drive 2-ton motor vehicles at high speeds, too! While learning how to drive may be scary at first, we quickly gain confidence and get used to it. This is how it will be with skiing, as well.
Just remember that your mind is incredibly powerful. You’re going to be just fine, and having someone who you trust there with you will ease your worries. Everyone was exactly where you are at some point in time. The best way to conquer fear is to not even think – just do!
A huge aid here is to stay properly clothed and warm. Layers are your best friend and will help to keep you warm while preventing you from sweating. Make sure you have a high-quality ski jacket or hardshell jacket to wear, too, that is properly waterproofed. Remember: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing!”
How to Make Skiing Easier
This is the part you’re waiting for! How exactly can you make skiing easier? Well, we have to say that there’s nothing that can replace real-world experience out on your skis. The more time you invest in practicing, the better you’ll become; it’s simple. Here are a few tips that will help you out:
- Choose the right ski resort: This is a big one that can make or break your initial skiing experiences and one that many people often overlook. When you’re learning, it’s important that you are in an area with easy to access beginner hills or dedicated beginner zones. These spaces should provide free or reduced-rate lift passes or pulls (though these can also be tough to get the hang of).
- Prepare yourself physically: If you didn’t already, you now know that skiing is physically exhausting and demanding. To make it easier on yourself and to ensure you don’t tap out after a few runs, try hitting the gym or training at home at least a few weeks beforehand. We recommend a combination of cardio and strength training. 30 minutes of cycling or elliptical a few times a week will help with endurance. Strength training that includes explosive movements like jumps and leaps, along with lifting weights will also help reduce that thigh burn!
- Make sure your boots are properly fitted: This is crucial to having a positive experience. Ski boots aren’t something to take lightly and involve much more than just buying a pair of shoes. You’ll need to consider how much you value comfort and performance, and if you’re just starting out we recommend placing preference over the former.
- Don’t give up: As adults we often are more embarrassed learning new things and not immediately being great at them. You’re absolutely going to see kids skiing past you at lightning speeds while you’re sitting on the snow after crashing. It’s not about anyone else, though. It’s all about you and having fun! If anything else, it’s a time to really take in this unique experience and the beautiful nature all around you.
Now that you know all the best tips and how difficult skiing really is, are you ready to get up to the mountains? We sure hope so! Remember, it’s all about having fun and improving at your own pace. Over 30% of beginners are over the age of 40, so there’s no such thing as “late bloomers” either! We hope our guide helped you out a bit and you’re even more excited about getting on a pair of skis! Thanks for tuning in and we’ll see you again soon.