There are a lot of activities that you can enjoy in the winter. If you live in a snowy area, you can simply head outside and go sledding and have a snowball fight. If you’re looking for a simple way to be active in these cold months, you can go snowshoeing. If you want to challenge yourself to do something more extreme, why don’t you try skiing?
Skiing means gliding onto the snow with the use of skis, which are attached to your feet. It is a mode of transportation, but also a competitive sport, as well as a recreational activity. Skiing was also used for military purposes between the 14th century and WWII. It then went on to spread as a sport, and is now gaining popularity.
If you haven’t tried skiing before, here is our beginner’s guide to skiing.
How can you learn to ski?
You should always start by warming up. This is essential because it is a sport that uses a lot of different muscles. After warming up, start off on a flat area, or a terrain with a gentle and beginner-friendly slope. You then need to learn the proper stance, the proper way of falling and getting back up, and then proceed to learning how to glide.
Once you have all the gear and other necessities to take with you, you are ready to head to the slopes and start skiing. For beginners, it may be dangerous to start skiing without proper training. So, to give you more information and techniques on how to ski, read our friendly guide below.
Owning your own ski gear will save you money in the long run and will make your time on the mountain worthwhile and all the more delightful. There are plenty of them out on the market, and our list of the best all-mountain skis of 2022 will help you narrow down your options.
Start on the right type of terrain
For a beginner, it is best to ski on Green runs because they are groomed, flatter, shorter, and not as steep as Blue and Black runs. Plus, there are fewer obstacles on them, and factors that may hinder proper learning. It is best if the resort that you chose has a Poma lift or a magic carpet, so that you can build up your skills before heading to a chairlift. Patiently hone your technique before advancing to the next level, because this will make you a better skier overall.
Learn the proper ski stance
Maintaining a proper ski stance will keep you balanced and will put you in a better position to be able to control your skis. To do so:
- Stand tall; your feet should be about shoulder-width apart.
- Then, flex your ankles. Your shins should be pressed against the front of your boots to stay forward and balanced.
- You should keep your shoulders slightly before your hips, and your weight should be centered over both feet.
- You should keep your arms slightly out in front, and off to the side. Remember to hold your poles with the tips pointed back, behind your feet.
- Always look where you’re going, and not down at your skis.
Remember to bend your knees when skiing to be able to gain more control, and to be able to keep your balance.
Learning how to fall and get back up
If you master the correct way of falling, you can reduce the risk of injuries, and may also overcome the fear of falling.
The key point is to make sure to fall sideways, and not forward nor backward. Falling forward or landing on your behind is very dangerous, because you might break a bone. Therefore, follow the technique of falling sideways, to prevent injuries and reduce the impact on your body.
When getting up, your body should be facing sideways, and then, you should get up using your knees. The point is to bring the tips of the skis together before you stand up. If you get up without doing this, you might lose balance and fall backward. So, be patient, and slowly try to get up.
One of the first things that a beginner at skiing should know is how to put on and take off skis. This can be quite frustrating at first, but with time, practice, and a few tips and tricks from us, you’ll be putting on and taking off your skis like a pro in no time.
How to ski/glide?
It is best to start on a flat terrain, and start off by:
- Pushing yourself using your ski poles — one on each side.
- Flexing your ankles.
- Keeping your shins tilted forward. Your weight should be centered over your feet, as you slowly move with your skis.
Next, glide down a gentle hill. This will enable you to get familiar with balancing on skis that are sliding down a slope.
- Glide down by pointing your skis downhill, push yourself with your ski poles, and glide to a natural stop.
- You should practice gliding and balancing on short distances, and on small slopes or inclines.
You should also keep your legs squarely under your torso, and your shoulders should be pointing downhill to give you a stronger technique and more control. Keep your body weight directly over the narrowest point of the ski to have the ski work for you.
How to ski in a wedge/triangle/pizza?
Once you know how to start moving on skis, you should learn how to control your speed, and how to stop by forming a wedge with your skis. This is also called the triangle or pizza technique. Forming a wedge can help you control your speed, make turns, and stop. Therefore, you should practice this a lot too.
- Practice making a wedge on a flat terrain. Your ski tips should be fairly close together, and the tails further apart. Your skis should also remain moderately flat on the snow.
- Practice holding the wedge stance as you glide down a short gentle slope with a flat runout, until you finally come to a natural stop.
- Next, walk up a small hill, make a triangle at the top, and go down. Control your speed by changing the triangle size; remember that as your wedge gets wider, you go slower.
- To come to a stop, you should make your wedge wide enough. To start going downhill again, you should make your wedge narrower and push yourself with your poles.
- You have to practice maintaining a consistent speed, slowing down, and stopping.
Skis and snowboards are not only expensive, but they are fragile as well which is why transporting them can be quite tricky. Lucky for you, we have a guide on how to choose ski and snowboard racks, the very things that you need to transport your equipment safely. We’ve listed the things that you should consider when choosing a rack as well as a few of our personal favorites.
How to turn (wedge turn)?
Once you’ve discovered how to glide in a wedge, you may learn how to do a basic turn. Learning how to turn will help you control your speed and direction.
- While you are gliding in a wedge, you should use your legs to twist both skis in the direction where you want to go. However, make sure to keep your skis in a wedge shape the entire time.
- Put a little more weight on the outside/downhill ski to turn. To turn right, put more weight on your left foot. And to turn left, put more weight on your right foot.
- To stop, make a turn, so that you are positioned across the slope.
Skiing is definitely an intimidating sport, especially for beginners. There is a very likely chance that you will be spending more time falling rather than skiing in your first few runs, but don’t be discouraged. Remember that there is a lifetime of improvements ahead of you. So, start slow, practice, and hone your skills to be able to get to a more advanced level.
Our guide is solely for supplemental information. Remember that your safety is your responsibility, so make sure that you have practiced safety requirements and proper techniques before trying out any outdoor activity.