Learning to ski or snowboard can be a daunting thought. However keen you are, many of us have questions.
‘Will I enjoy it’? ‘Will I be any good’? ‘Is it worth the cost’? ‘What do I need to wear’? ‘Might I hurt myself when learning to ski’? ‘What’s the equipment like’? ‘Will people laugh at my attempts’? ‘Is it fun’?
Well, the good news is that for most people it is great fun – so much so that it leads to a life long passion for the sport! Which means that it is a must have holiday each year!
Imagine gliding down a snowy mountain, feeling the wind in your face and admiring the stunning scenery around you. Experience the thrill of learning a new skill, overcoming challenges, and having fun with your loved ones. Enjoy the satisfaction of finishing a day of skiing, feeling tired but happy, and looking forward to the next adventure. This is how you can feel after skiing, and you don’t have to be an expert to enjoy it.
Skiing is an activity that anyone can learn, regardless of their age, fitness or experience. You will need the right equipment, a suitable location and a willingness to learn. This short guide will offer an overview of the basics for someone who has never skied or snowboarded before, so you have an idea of what to expect. We will explain how to get started with skiing, to finding the best slopes and mastering the essential techniques.
There is quite a lot to take in but don’t worry, it all comes together and happens naturally once you get started on your road to becoming a skier or boarder!
How to choose my first ski holiday?
When you are new to anything, we all know it is best to seek advice from the experts. Choosing your first ski holiday is no different. Where to go, when to go, what type of accommodation, how to travel from the airport and so many other questions spring to mind, so a trusted tour operator can take the hassle out of organising your first ski trip.
Choosing the right time to go skiing is key to ensure you maximise your winter holiday. One thing is for sure, the busy times are school holidays and early and late season skiing can offer fantastic conditions at unbeatable prices. If you are flexible with when you go, you may get a better deal!
Book your holiday before 30 November and get the Crystal Snow Promise. If there’s no snow on your trip, they will do their best to get you skiing. And if less than 10% of runs are open, you can change your holiday for free. (T&C’s apply)
This question has been asked a thousand times, and can be driven by many factors. Our advice would be, if you’re going with a group or have friends that take winter sports holidays that you may join at some point in the future then go with the crowd, as it is often easier to have this in common. If you aren’t sure then read more about the options here, or take a look at our section on trying out skiing before you go.
Skiing and snowboarding holidays do tend to cost more than a European beach holiday, but don’t let that put you off. There are ways to save money and there are some amazing deals to be had out there – it’s about being flexible and keeping your eyes and options open.
It is a great idea to try skiing and/or snowboarding on your nearest dry slope or indoor ski slope before you go away. Even just getting a chance to put the gear on, feel what it’s like to be on such a slippery surface and, in the case of indoor slopes in the UK, feel what kind of temperature it is and how quickly you heat up, can all be very useful before you get away to the mountains.
As with most aspects of any holiday, it’s very easy to get carried away spending lots of money on buying clothing equipment, but you can do it much more cheaply, especially if it’s not that important to you to be wearing the latest fashions from the most prestigious brands. And hiring ski equipment is a great way to go with much of the gear!
Should I rent or buy equipment for my first ski holiday?
There are some things like goggles, thermals, gloves and socks that you will need to buy, but choosing whether to buy skis and boots on your first ski trip is a no brainer – don’t do it. Our advice is to get your first trip under your belt first then think about buying after that.
Taking ski lessons is essential. The worst thing to do is to go with your pals or scare yourself before you even get going, so book in for some group lessons or 1-2-1 ski lessons if the budget allows. Try to get the morning slot, then practise what you have learned after lunch.