Skiing for beginners
Taking to the slopes for the first time? We've got some top tips to help you sashay your way from a nervous newbie to well-seasoned skier in no time at all.
Preparation is key
You don't have to go all the way to the mountains to learn how to ski and if you've never skied before, it's worth getting to grips with the basics on a dry or indoor ski slope. There are dry slopes all over the UK and major indoor ski centres located in Manchester, Glasgow, Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes.
Most of these ski centres offer a day's crash course (pun intended) and while skiing on fresh snow can feel slightly different, the technique is the same so mastering the basics before heading out will save you both time and money.
Most major resorts will have detailed piste maps on their websites so you can get to know the resort before you arrive. Once you've nailed the baby slopes, the blue slopes will be your best friend. Although busier, the pistes are wider, longer and friendlier than their red and black siblings. Some resorts will also allow you to book your ski hire and lift passes beforehand, which is worth bearing in mind if you like to be prepared.
Rent, don't buy
Skiing is an expensive sport. Until you know what you're doing, hire your helmet, boots and skis when you're there. All resorts will have ski hire available and it will save you the hassle of travelling with them.
Ask for help
If you're still a little uneasy on your skis, working with a ski instructor can be a great way to improve your skills. Although they might be more pricey than the ski school alternative, you'll get more out of each session with an approach that's tailored to your needs, giving you the all important confidence needed to take those slopes by storm.
Carry a pair of shoes in your rucksack
Walking in ski boots is not easy and at some point you're going to want to take them off and walk for a bit. Waterproof shoes or boots with good grip will see you out of all sorts of sticky situations.
Always pack a snack
Keep those energy levels high with your mountain-side snack of choice. Plus, as eating on the slopes can be notoriously expensive, there's nothing better than packing your own lunch.Check out some incredible spots for the perfect lunch time picnic.
Get up and get out
The temptation to stay in bed is real when it's -10° outside and you've had one too many bières, but most slopes will close around 4pm so the earlier you get up, the better especially at the busier resorts. Equally, if you want to take a day off, do. There's plenty of fun to be had off the slopes. Après ski is all about the bars, the hot tubs and the raclette, so don't beat yourself up for taking a day to just kick back, relax and enjoy your surroundings.
Don't give up
It can be easy to feel defeated or frustrated if you've taken a tumble or things haven't quite clicked yet. The key is to persevere, take your time and go at your own pace. There's nothing better than the euphoric feeling of your best run yet.
It might seem obvious but when you're learning to ski it can be easy to forget that you're throwing yourself down a mountain for fun. So take a minute, breathe in that crisp mountain air and enjoy every second.
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