Tips For Your First Time on the Slopes

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First impressions are important. A good first day at the slopes can determine if you have a love for skiing or snowboarding or a fear of tumbling down an icy cold hill at a fast speed that will keep you off the slopes for a good long while. Skiing and Snowboarding can be intimidating or liberating, depending on your introduction to the sports. Here are some tips on what to avoid, how to prepare, and what to do to ensure you and your friends and family fall in love with winter sports.

 

Don’t Wear Jeans

Having the right clothing is pivotal to how your day will go.  Layers are important. Make sure you’re wearing comfortable baselayers (not cotton, it is not moisture wicking material and will get cold and wet quickly as you sweat). You will probably want a fleece or light jacket, too. You will need snow pants and a snow jacket with some sort of water-resistant or waterproofing material. Make sure your jacket and pants are comfortable and don’t restrict movement. Then you will need a pair of good wool socks. A nice pair of waterproof gloves (look for some that have pockets for handwarmers) will go a long way. Finally, you will need a fitted beanie (no poms, this goes under your helmet), and a good neck warmer or balaclava (no scarves, these can get caught in ski lifts). If you’re with kids, it will help avoid some meltdowns of the day. If it’s just you and your friends, it will help avoid some meltdowns of the day.

Get a Lesson

Not a quick tutorial from your friend, a lesson from someone whose job it is to teach people the fundamentals. When you’re standing on a bunny hill, little kids zipping by skillfully in every direction, it can be distracting and difficult to listen to your friend trying to tell you how pizza is related to skiing. It’s ok. Some folks start skiing at 18 months, some folks don’t. There is no shame in getting a lesson to help you enjoy your time on the slopes confidently and safely. It is worth the extra money to stay on the slopes and out of the lodge because sometimes the lodge isn’t as glamorous as you see in movies. Sometimes it’s just a loud cafeteria. Most resorts offer classes for first time skiers and snowboarders, call ahead and see what they have and ask for a schedule.

Don’t Feel Rushed

Allow plenty of time to pick out your gear, make sure it fits, fill out paperwork, and get to your lesson early. If you’re going with kids, allow even more time so they don’t feel rushed while picking out their gear. Ideally, you’re only making one trip to the rental office. This day is supposed to be fun, not stressful.

 

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Pack a Snack

You might get hungry, if you’re with kids, they will get hungry. Granola bars, protein bars, candy and anything that doesn’t run the risk of getting crushed in your jacket.  A staff favorite here at WinterWomen is a Twix.

 Know Your Limits

While it’s important to push yourself to try new things, it’s even more important to know your skills and make critically thought out assessments of whether or not you’re ready for a specific run. Ask your instructors what ski runs you might be ready for and what ski runs to avoid for now. Remember, you’re having fun!

Wear Protective Gear

If your momma didn’t tell you, I will! Always wear a helmet. Always. Wear. A. Helmet.

Always.

Wear.

A.

Helmet.

Ok great, so in addition to the helmet you are definitely wearing, you’ll want some eye protection and skin protection. We recommend goggles with adjustable straps because they are the easiest eye protection out there, although sunglasses will do. Bring lots of sunscreen and chapstick because the sun will be shining (on a good day) and sunburn and windburn are huge and common ailments of the slopes.

Go With the Right People

Sometimes businesses think, “Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome to take the office skiing?” Experienced skiers and snowboarders of the office may respond to this suggestion by excitedly saying, “Heck yeah let’s team build and shred some powpow!” While people who aren’t experienced might feel very uneasy and Google “powpow”. First time skiing with the boss? Listen, just go, and do all the things that we’ve laid out here, but maybe find your trusty office buddy, plan ahead, and ask them to do a lesson with you. Just have a buddy, someone you trust, someone whom you can be honest with and fall down in front of. It helps.

Don’t Be Afraid of Falling

In your lesson, you will learn how to fall without getting hurt. If you’re especially worried about this, pay extra attention to that part. Make sure your helmet is the right fit and make sure you’re confident in your gear. Then fall. Accept that you will be sore. No one ever said it wouldn’t hurt a little, but get back up, adjust, and try again. It’s the only way to learn.

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Give Yourself Time to Adjust/Rest

Take it slow, take it easy. Remember, it’s your first time! Being a pro takes years of practice. If you’re feeling like you need a breather, take a breather. If you need some water, get some water – nobody wants to be dehydrated on the slopes and it can be easy to forget to drink water. If you’re able, allow one rest day before you head back to the daily grind. You will be sore, it’s the sign of a fun day on the slopes.

Let Go, Have Fun

That’s it. Be confident in your gear, you’ve prepared, you took a lesson, you feel good, now glide!

 

***Thanks for reading! To help you prepare for your first time, WinterWomen would like to give you an exclusive coupon for 10% off your order (even on sale items). Gear up and get out there with code: GetReadyToSki

*Coupon expires 7/15/18

Abby Fanara

Abby joined the WinterWomen team in 2016 after moving to Colorado from Maryland. She loves cooking, dancing to live music, hiking in the mountains with her husband and dog, farming and gardening, and enjoying beautiful Colorado landscapes all year round.

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