Skiing is a great way to stay active in the winter. It provides exercise, excitement, and a challenge for almost anyone. However, there are plenty of ways that it can go wrong, and there are a few tips about skiing for beginners that should be followed. Skiing for beginners begins with getting the right boots and skis.
Ski boots don’t fit like shoes; they are designed to prevent ankle movement and once the boot has been latched, one’s foot should remain in place rather than being able to slide back and forth. However, it is important that the boot not be cinched so tight that it cuts off circulation. Skis are chosen based on experience and terrain type. A beginning skier should always get shorter skis than a more experienced skier, but if there is a lot of powder wider skis are recommended while the more narrow will work fine on groomed snow. Ski resorts have people on hand to help with not only fitting the boots but also setting the bindings; skiing for beginners usually involves very loose bindings so they will release rather than potentially cause injury in the event of a fall.
Getting the rest of ones equipment is the next step in skiing for beginners. A helmet is very useful, both in terms of protection and for keeping one’s head warm. It is important to layer clothing; not only can there be variances in temperature at different points on the mountain, the temperature can vary throughout the day and one should be able to adjust to that. Since skiing is very much a sport, having water on hand is also helpful. This may mean stopping for water breaks throughout the day, but it can also mean carrying a water pack. Either way, it is important not to become dehydrated.
The skiing part of skiing for beginners should begin on the bunny slope. This is a very shallow incline, generally accessed by either a rope tow or a ‘magic carpet’ onto which one steps to be carried to the top. On the bunny slope, one becomes accustomed to how ones skis moves and how to control them. Often a lesson is useful here, but it is not entirely necessary. The three most important things to learn first are the snowplow, the side step, and basic turning. When snowplowing, one’s skis are in a wedge shape with the tips close together and the backs farther apart. By varying the angle of the wedge, one can select how fast to move down a slope. The side step allows one to move back up a slope by walking sideways with one’s skis perpendicular to the slope. Turning, obviously, allows one to avoid others and is done by shifting one’s weight.
After becoming familiar with the basic skiing moves on the bunny slopes, the next slopes to try are the green runs. There is often one marked ‘slow run’ or ‘easiest way down,’ which is generally the best place to start skiing for beginners. Practice snowplowing and turning here, but remember that one is now out on the mountain with more experience skiers, and it is important to follow rules of the mountain, which include not stopping where one can’t be seen, giving right-of-way when merging onto trails, and giving skiers further down the mountain the right of way.
Nordic Track Ski Machine