or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › Recalling the first time on the slopes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Recalling the first time on the slopes

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello,

 

This is my first post and am relatively new to the site so if there is a better place to post please let me know.

 

Anyways the reason I am on here is to ask for some help gathering general feedback on learning how to ski. I am a young aspiring entrepreneur and I have had an idea bouncing around my head for a few years now and I am finally going to see if it has any legs. I would appreciate any discussions about your first time skiing or teaching a first time skier.

 

So, what experience did you have? For myself, I started really young and only remembered hating it, it was cold, I fell a lot and had no control. Why would I leave the comforts of grandma's house where it was warm and your sandwich crusts were cut off? But I must have have taken to it because I have been skiing for twenty years now.

 

 

post #2 of 26
Learned in Austria over forty years ago, hated it. Leather boots that had arches too high for my flat feet and I needed to swap them out. Skis an arm length above my head. Every time I tried to practice a traverse, I'd lose the edge, fall onto the tails of the skis and shoot off down hill like I was on a toboggan. Longest week of my life. Hadn't snowed in weeks, every thing was ice.

Fortunately two years later went on a company bus trip and the Graduated Length Method had arrived.
post #3 of 26

Started in seventh grade at Snoqualmie Summit on one of the Saturday ski school bus arrangements.

 

My first lesson wasn't until the afternoon, so in the morning I just skied straight down the beginner rope tow slope until I got to an uphill slope that would let me stop.

 

It didn't help that I had messed with my bindings (cable bindings) and one ski kept releasing. Eventually figured out what was wrong on my own.

 

Luckily, things got better after that.

 

OTOH, I knew a guy at work that skied top to bottom at Aspen Highlands his first day without benefit of formal lessons. He was quite athletic and well coordinated and did very well with some informal guidance from one of the other people on the trip.

post #4 of 26

I spent three years riding the rope tows and then the chair at Stevens Pass before moving on to the 7th grade Snoqualmie bit.  Wood skis, cable bindings, lace up double leather boots.  I hated it for quite a while before I suddenly realized that when our group went to Snoqualimie (actually Ski Acres) I was the best skier in the bunch.  For a total dweeb in every other way (I played trombone of all things) it was a revelation that I was better at something than the golden boys.

post #5 of 26

First time skiing. Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York. YES, New York City. Took the subway up and back. Long wooden rental skis, as tall as I could reach, leather lace up boots.Rope tow tore up my gloves. Had a lesson for maybe 30 minutes. I had a yardsale every time I came down, except the skis didn't release. I was hooked!!!!!!!!! That was in 1965.

 

"You don't grow too old to ski, you grow old because you stop skiing"

post #6 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinelander View Post
 

First time skiing. Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, New York. YES, New York City. Took the subway up and back. Long wooden rental skis, as tall as I could reach, leather lace up boots.Rope tow tore up my gloves. Had a lesson for maybe 30 minutes. I had a yardsale every time I came down, except the skis didn't release. I was hooked!!!!!!!!! That was in 1965.

 

"You don't grow too old to ski, you grow old because you stop skiing"


Same here. Not sure if it was the first time but I skied Van Cortlandt Park back in the day.

post #7 of 26

Whaleback Mountain, NH, 1987, 10 below, windy.  My wife had skied since childhood, so she took some runs while I took a 10 minute "lesson."  The guy showed me how to snowplow a couple of times on the 10 yard bunny hill, and then said, "Ok, you're good.  Go on up the mountain."  So we went on up, my wife and I, and all I could think of, all the way down some terrifying green trail, was, "How do you stop?????"  After that, I quit.

 

Didn't ski again until 2005.  Then I didn't quit.

post #8 of 26

Ski Valley, Cumberland Rhode Island, 1968 or there abouts.(I was 12) I loved it, it was like sledding down a hill to me, slide to the bottom and jump off for fun. In this case it meant fall down because I couldn't jump off the skis (I think I tried to jump off at first and discovered I couldn't). After an hour or so, I noticed not everyone fell over at the bottom to stop, in fact, I was about the only one doing it. I was a good ice skater, and quickly learned I could hockey stop on skis. I was styling for the rest of the day. The fun began later in the winter when I ventured off the beginner hill with the rope tow (went through gloves pretty quickly, Mom was not happy) and onto the bigger hill with a T bar. The go straight till the bottom and hockey stop did not work. It was scary for a while until I asked a friend what other choices were there?  Gee, think I needed a lesson maybe???   Well, still skiing 45 years later and having fun.

 

PS:  I just realized why so many young kids bomb straight to the bottom of the hill, they don't realize there is any other way of doing it!!!!

post #9 of 26

Berchtesgaden in Bavaria.  Christmas 1956.  The ski area was called Rossfeld and was run by the US Army Special Services.  My dad had been a competitive ski jumper in the 1930s and introduced us to downhill skiing. 

 

*

 

*

Lifts were scarce.  In most cases we hiked up and skied back down.  That's me on the left in the photo above skiing at the Rheinblick Golf Course near Wiesbaden in Germany in 1957.  I continued skiing until 1962 when I took up competitive sky diving.  Didn't get back into skiing until the winter of 96-97.  That was the same year I took up snowboarding.  Now I have three grandsons skiing.

post #10 of 26

my advice, get some qualified guidance.   As you progress, tilt the slope very slowly.  Too many newbies get over their heads, usually on the advice of well-meaning friends, "oh you can ski that"    which results in learning defensive (bad habits) rather than offensive skills. 

post #11 of 26

was a late stater. I didn't start skiing until first year university. When I could drive myself to a hill and afford a ticket.

First day (a solo trip in my unreliable $75 mini with no heater) I thought as I was a pretty good water skier the deep heavy wet snow would  be the most similar place to start. Spent all day going up and down the same intermediate run which was covered in about a foot of fresh westcoast glue

( I also thought the groomed runs were probably reserved for kids or lessons)

By the end of the day completely soaked tired and cold I finally was able to make it down without falling. I planned on quitting on what I thought was a high note.

But luckily as I rode up my last lift I shared it with an "old guy". He told me he and the other patrol had been watching and laughing at my efforts all day.

He suggested I join him for a couple of groomed runs and he taught me the basics. Skiing got a lot easier after that.  Taking advice always pays off . 

post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by yogaman View Post

my advice, get some qualified guidance.   As you progress, tilt the slope very slowly.  Too many newbies get over their heads, usually on the advice of well-meaning friends, "oh you can ski that"    which results in learning defensive (bad habits) rather than offensive skills. 

Being that the thread is about recalling the first time on the slopes, I'd say it's a kind of an over the dam done sort of deal. smile.gif in my case, it was around Dec. 1965 or 66, Hickory Hills, Traverse City, Mi. Skied holding onto my mom's legs the first trip down. Green onesy snowsuit, wooden skis, cable bindings, leather boots, blue laces.
post #13 of 26
In the 80s I skied for first time at Windham, NY as a third or fourth grader. I remember going to my mom's friend's to try on a bunch of old ski boots the night before that she had stashed away since my mom was a bit thrifty and didn't want to spring for rentals (we're talking leather boots with laces and a rat nest or two in the liners for good measure). Luckily none of them fit me.

I had to really think back to the day on the hill, but I remember being taught the "snowplow" and set loose. Every run was basically a fight with gravity, shoulders square to the fall line, knees in, heels out, lots of crossed tips and falls, but after a few hours I could "plow" my way straight down the rope tow area and graduated to the chair lift. My mom, who had found some old leather boots that fit her the night before did not do so well and spent the entire time on the bunny hill.

The bottom line is that shaped skis make it completely out-of-date for anyone to be "snowplowing" like that. Kids these days are taught to "pizza", not "snowplow" to initiate a kind of "locked in" wedge turn that is still being tracked along the curve of the sidecut, rather than driving a straight edge at and angle like a plow.

Anyway, even though I had a relatively good experience, it was nothing that special, and since my mom, who was going to be the one buying the passes and driving up the mountain, didn't really take to it, I had to wait another four or five years to ski again which happened with school ski club in Jr. High. Us lowly beginners still were taught using the "snow plow", but we didn't really care and quickly learned that it was more fun to just copy the older kids who were but-wiggling and zooming down the mountain using the moguls to slow themselves down. Ah, the 80s!
post #14 of 26
Winter of '45-46, standing on the toes of my father's leather boots in WWII beartrap bindings on wood skis sliding down a hilly meadow beside a rural road in Northern Michigan. Got hooked on the wind-in-the-face circumstance. Next couple years, high school girls from our neighborhood would take us little kids the few blocks to a gully on the country club golf course where we could ride down one side and see how far up the other we could get, then climb up the other and repeat. The girls pulled a toboggan loaded with skis (I had some Northlands with a leather strap to go over the toes of my rubber boots), sleds and one of those seats with a ski under. We'd all take turns riding the various conveyances up and down the gully. Then the town recreation department established a rope tow on a hill owned by the school district and had a staffer giving ski lessons. That's where I learned the snowplow. By then I was using those terribly oversized wooden skis my dad never used again because he had polio. The ski bowl was so successful, the recreation department developed the Hickory Hills area Marko mentioned above.
post #15 of 26
Sometime in the early 60's, a good looking Austrian ski instructor put me between her legs and changed my life.

You never forget your first time, even if you're only three!
post #16 of 26
I skied once on 29th December 2013. I haven't been again as I kept falling down which made me want to quit. I'm a complete beginner to the sport.
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thara View Post

I skied once on 29th December 2013. I haven't been again as I kept falling down which made me want to quit. I'm a complete beginner to the sport.

 

Hey Thara - did you take a lesson while you were there the first time? You aren't the first person to say their first experience was poor enough that they didn't want to do again. Almost all ski resorts have a beginner lesson program that can at least get you snowplowing down the hill and making turns.

 

When I first started in my teens, I was a snowboarder and got pretty good at it (about level 8), then gave it up for a while. Once I was married, my wife was interested so we both took up skiing together at the same time, so that we were both starting fresh. Couple years later, I am not completely hooked and still have a LONG road to travel to get where I need to be, but couldn't be happier. I will say that starting the sport later in life can be harder on the body. One of the best instructors I ever had was at Steamboat in Colorado, and he said that with his adult learner, roughly 75% will never try again if they fall more than once. The body doesn't take the bumps and bruises as easily when it is older, so it makes sense. 

 

Give it another try and I am sure you will come to love it!

post #18 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thara View Post

I skied once on 29th December 2013. I haven't been again as I kept falling down which made me want to quit. I'm a complete beginner to the sport.

Thara, try it again.  Go on a nice/decent day weatherwise so you won't freeze.  Take a lesson first thing so you can learn the basics; how to fall, how to get up, how to put your skis on, how to stop and slow down and how to turn.  Stay on the bunny hill and enjoy the new sensations. 

 

Let us know how it goes.

post #19 of 26

45yrs ago.  My wife and I taught our neighbors how to water ski all summer, had a lot of laughs.  For Christmas we got from our neighbors two lift tickets to Soda Springs ski resort (tahoe).  We went and they had some good laughs, it was very icy, not crowded, took a lesson lst thing and had a ball.  We were hooked and have been ever since.

post #20 of 26

First time for me was an 8th grade trip to Quebec that included a overnight stay and ski day at Mount Saint Ann. It was spring time and the beginner run was closed so someone showed me how to snow plow at the top of an intermediate run and also told be that stopping was just like on ice skates. I never made it down the hill once without crashing and thought to myself, "How could I be so rotten and yet still have an absolutely smashing (literally) good time.

 

Oh yeah, it was 1961, so leather lace up boots and wooden skis with no metal edges. I twisted both my ankles so I didn't know which leg to limp on.:D

 

I never got to ski again until 3 years later, the city of Hamilton, Ontario, installed snow making and 2 T-bars and a chairlift on Hamilton Mountain. It is not actually a mountain but rather part of the Niagara Escarpment where 40 miles away the Niagara River drops over the Escarpment creating Niagara Falls.

 

You could take a city bus to go skiing and student mid week lift tickets for night skiing was 50 cents. The lifties were all unionized city employees who worked at the civic base area golf course in summer and they didn't care about checking lift tickets, just loading lifts so I skied all season for 50 cents.

post #21 of 26
My first time was a 7th grade ski day, only I was a teacher / chaperone, 42 years old. Went straight from ski rental to learn to turn class with my 2 boys (ages 5 and 6). Great instructor, great time. I still try to ignore the ego bruising when my boys are so much better and fearless than I am.
post #22 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareu View Post

My first time was a 7th grade ski day, only I was a teacher / chaperone, 42 years old. Went straight from ski rental to learn to turn class with my 2 boys (ages 5 and 6). Great instructor, great time. I still try to ignore the ego bruising when my boys are so much better and fearless than I am.


This is my biggest concern... my daughter will be a better skier than me by next year at this pace. She is 5.

post #23 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdtotten View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jareu View Post

My first time was a 7th grade ski day, only I was a teacher / chaperone, 42 years old. Went straight from ski rental to learn to turn class with my 2 boys (ages 5 and 6). Great instructor, great time. I still try to ignore the ego bruising when my boys are so much better and fearless than I am.


This is my biggest concern... my daughter will be a better skier than me by next year at this pace. She is 5.

 

That will be your proudest and your saddest day on ski. 

post #24 of 26

1st time was at Breckenridge, CO.  My friend had a timeshare there and asked me to join them around Thanksgiving time.  1st lesson, the instructor told us to ski down a bunny hill, everyone else was able to ski down in a straight line except me!  One time, I "ran" into this short pole, my legs caught between a pole and fell. The lift guy helped me up and asked: "ma'am you ok?" I said: "yes." He replied: "boy, I am glad you are not a man."  That was the end of my 1st lesson.  I went back the next day for a 2nd lesson, rode a lift to somewhere that's relatively flat (since it was early in the season, we had to go higher up in the mtn.)  Again, I could not stop and ran into a snowboarder who was just sitting there.  Then the instructor had us to take the "T" bar to go up.  That was another struggle, coz I would fall every single time.  Eventually, two people had to push me behind to get me going on that T-bar.  At the end of the day, I told the instructor that I did not think I would be able to ski down the green slope myself. So he arranged a snowmobile to pick me up.  That was my 1st slope experience.  Because of this 1st awful experience, I waited 2 yrs before trying again.  2nd time skiing was at Snowshoe, WV.  I actually took a beginner lesson again with my friend, as if I never skied before. The following day, I had a good instructor and it definitely helped me to appreciate this sport a lot more.  The rest is history.... now I am a here, a frequent visitor to this website to try to learn more about this sport.  

post #25 of 26

I have two answers, but I'm not sure the first one counts.

 

1. I went on a ski trip with a youth group to Hidden Valley, PA.  I was (probably) 11 or so.  I got my skis, could barely lift my legs due to the weight, and then the pulley system dragged me up the bunny slope on my stomach.  They had to shut the lift down and rescue me.  I wound up at the top of the hill, no idea what I was doing.  Started down, made it about 30 yards, and experienced my first ski crash.  I noped on out of there.  Spent the rest of the trip in the ski lodge.

 

2. My first real skiing experience happened this Sunday (1/8/17) at Appalachian Ski Mountain.  I took 3 lessons and a class over a 3 day period.  I ended up going down a easy green run 6 or 7 times (fell 4 times on those runs), but spent the rest of my time on their tiny bunny slope, drilling turns.  It's frustrating, because I'm an athletic 33-year old -- but I have a paralyzing fear of tearing up my knees, so I refuse to push myself.  It wouldn't be so bad if I could slow down (pizzaing doesn't work for me)!

 

So, those were my first experiences.

post #26 of 26

 5 years old at Nashoba Valley in MA.  Parents enrolled me in after school lessons.  Mom dropped me off on a snowy afternoon, my instructor was (in my 5yo eyes) so cool and fun.  I didnt know anything about what I was about to get into, but after the lesson (on the bunny slope, learned to do a "pizza pie" basically and turn and stop in the wedge, barely) i was hooked, left the bunny slope and went to the top of the hill (the 240 ft vert back then was quite imposing! - it was a mountain to me!) and barreled down, fearless, and ended up in a yard sale close to the end of the trail....lying there with a huge smile and ROFL'ing.

 

Mom wasn't happy (but shame on her staying warm in the lodge while i was out in the snow) about me taking off, but man, I was hooked, and still am.

 

My 4yo sold started last week the same lessons...hes been hooked ever since I took him out on his lucky bums @ 2yo.  Hopefully its a lifelong passion for him as it is me, because I cant wait for what the future holds.  

 

this is a great thread. hopefully more people chime in as I'm sure some members have great stories.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Beginner Zone
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › Recalling the first time on the slopes