EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Beginner Zone › So You Want to Ski - For the First Time
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

So You Want to Ski - For the First Time

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
OK, You've decided you want to ski for the first time this coming winter.
What do you do? Well here's a few tips from an Epic member that
will help you along.

1. You're in the right place EPIC SKI contains a whole lot of ski information, take a look around, join us and post a question etc. most of us here on Epic would be all to glad to help you.

2. My boyfriend, girlfried, husband, fiance, wife, father, brother are going to teach me how to ski - NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! Do the following instead.

Rent some beginner equip. (skis, boots, poles) and go straight to a lesson on the hill. Check out some of the other infor. here in the Beginners Forum as to how to rent, where etc.

Your husband, brother, boyfriend etc. may be a good skier or even a very good skier - but does he know how to teach a lst time skier? Unless he's an instructor probably not and in some cases DEFINITELY NOT. The worst scene I have ever seen on a ski hill was a boyfriend berating his girlfried on the beginner run at Homewood Ski Area in Lake Tahoe.

Remember you don't have to spend a fortune your lst day on skis. Do you really need to spend 70 or 80 dollars on a lift ticket to ski maybe one or two beginner runs. No you don't. Ask around, there are a lot of Ski Areas that have lst timer beginner packages that are reasonably priced and sometimes include everything. Ask around, here on Epic or your local good ski shops or upcoming ski shows. Check the brochure rack at your local shop and look at the smaller areas and read the brochure, you'd be suprised. Example: Northern Idaho has a $99.00 beginner special that includes 3 lift tickets (one person 3 different days), rentals and lesson and this is for 4 different areas).

Go skiing on a decent weather day, you will have more fun and enjoy the day more if you aren't fighting mother nature. As the years go bye and you become a "died in the wool" skier you'll collect all the right equipment and clothes to weather the storms etc.

SOME BASICS. Ski for the lst time on a decent weather day.

Take a lesson don't learn from a significant other or
relative.

Check out all the information here in regards to
clothes, equipment etc.

Have questions just ask away, EPIC is a great place
and our people will help you.

WELCOME TO A WINTER LIFESTYLE THAT YOU WILL GROW TO LOVE!!!!!!!

Above all keep and have fun.
post #2 of 18

First Time To Ski

I agree with Pete. Take a lesson from an instructor. Don't try to learn from a boyfriend, spouse, friend, etc. That person may be a very good at skiing but will he/she know how to show/teach you what you need to do? Not likely, in my opinion.

It's true that skiing is expensive and even group lessons aren't inexpensive. Although, most resorts do offer good deals to beginners starting out (i.e. packages that include lift ticket, equipment rental and lesson for a lot less than normal).

If you take advantage of the full package, I think you put yourself in the best position to really learn how to move forward..ie. trust yourself in the hands of a professional who is paid to teach people how to ski and who understands more clearly how and what to teach to beginners and will also be patient with you.

My first day skiing I took a lesson at Alpine Meadows. It was Xmas day 3 years ago and it was so much fun, I got hooked on the spot.
post #3 of 18
mgmc, any specific recollections about your first day and lesson?
What did you do? What were the big accomplishments of the day?
Anything you would do differently to prepare?
Recall who was your instructor?

As a recreational skier, I see far too many first-timers, with poorly fitted equipment, taken by their friends or family up a lift and challenged by terrain and conditions that they not prepared for. This is a huge mistake and probably leads to more people quitting skiing after the first time out, than any other cause. Invariably this occurs on a busy holiday or weekend. Tragic.



post #4 of 18

First Day Skiing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
mgmc, any specific recollections about your first day and lesson?
What did you do? What were the big accomplishments of the day?
Anything you would do differently to prepare?
Recall who was your instructor?
It was Xmas day. My husband's favorite resort is Alpine Meadows so that's where we went. I don't think I would normally recommend Alpine as an ideal first time lesson resort (not that much available for beginners).

As mentioned, the only reason I went was because my husband begged me to. I had tried downhill skiing once about 20 years ago. As I hadn't prepared to go downhill skiing (a group of friends were staying at a cabin and the people who downhill skiied asked me to come along and try it). I had jeans, which they said would be fine---absolutely wrong!!! I fell down a lot, was cold and miserable and vowed never to do it again.:

So that first day, my husband made sure I was well outfitted. A friend loaned me a hot pink ski suit to wear; we rented equipment and I had all sorts of other stuff from my husband to ensure that I had what I needed (Xmas presents devoted to ski stuff).

We got off to a late start, so I took the 1:30 PM lesson. The instructor's name was Walter and the class had 3 other Asian women in it.

Walter asked why I was there and I told him it was only because my then boyfriend had asked me to try it. You can imagine what he was thinking...

We worked on very simple things, like just feeling comfortable moving around with long sticks attached to your feet. We made our way around the small green area around the Subway lift. We got on and off the subway lift a couple of times--which was very exciting!:

I remember that it was a powder day. Not a huge storm but just enough to feel like you were floating a little. It was very cold but I was very comfortable in my outfit. I forgot that I was sick with a cold. I remember thinking how beautiful everything looked and how fresh the air felt. I was amazed at how comfortable I was.

I wasn't particularly adventurous. But the three Asian women and I were having a lot of fun and laughing a lot.

Our biggest accomplishment at the end of the lesson was to go down a little hill. Top speed no doubt very slow...but nevertheless thrilling. Walter was surprised that I "went for it". I had a small feeling of success but more than that was really surprised at how much fun the whole thing was.:

It was a very different experience from the one 20 years before. Most notably, I was dry the whole time, totally comfortable temperature wise and having a lot more fun. I think Walter was (is?) very good at his job and that helped a lot.

In terms of preparing to ski for the first time, I do think it makes a world of difference to have the right equipment and , honestly, if you have access to an experienced skiier, that helps a lot too. Make sure you have warm/comfortable ski clothing, good equipment (probably best to rent from the resort....my husband had rented skis for me to bring along and I remember Walter suggesting it would be easier to be on shorter skis....).

Also, definitely take a lesson from a ski pro. A pro will know how to tell you what you need to do (or at least have a much better idea and all sorts of drills to practice to try to get the point across). My husband never attempted to coach me (smart man!) to any great degree.

It requires some time to get used to skis. People who start out younger and have a lot of athletic background seem to pick things up faster. I was 48 three years ago and I've done certain athletic things (tennis, cycling, etc) but I wouldn't describe myself as a natural athlete at all. But I think anyone can keep progressing if they want to (so what if it takes longer?).

It is hard to articulate just how rewarding skiing can feel. Maybe I had a very small taste when I went down the little hill on the first lesson. But, somehow, when you combine the beauty of the surroundings, being outdoors and being physcial, learning to trust your body, surrendering to the feeling of falling, the rush of speed (to some degree), the feeling of flowing and being in harmony with everything....it is an experience that is incredible! Also, to be afraid of something but to overcome the fear and do it is also really rewarding. I have never experienced a sport that is as fulfilling.
post #5 of 18
Thread Starter 

Skiing the lst time

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
mgmc,

As a recreational skier, I see far too many first-timers, with poorly fitted equipment, taken by their friends or family up a lift and challenged by terrain and conditions that they not prepared for. This is a huge mistake and probably leads to more people quitting skiing after the first time out, than any other cause. Invariably this occurs on a busy holiday or weekend. Tragic.



Most definitely, as ski instructors we really notice and pay attention to this sometimes final mistake made by people on the ski hill.

Since this thrread was intended for the Beginners Forum (Trotski told me to do it), it is important that people intending to ski take heed of Cirquerider and MGMC's threads and dress warmly, go on at least a decent day, don't take a lesson from a relative or friend and have fun/smile. As MGMC's thrread states, she was surprised and challenged but had fun.

The only thing you really have to worry about is Getting Hooked on a great sport.
post #6 of 18
I remember my first day skiing(back in the days of straight skis). I was thinking it would be something akin to rollerskating on snow but it was much more difficult and at first I thought - this is too hard and no fun! I didnt go back and the next year my wife to be wanted to try skiing so I wet and tried again. That time it clicked a little better and the isntructor was good so I picked it up from there. I skied on straight skis for a while then stopped for a few years, took it up again, then quit again for 10 years. Here I am now taking it up again. I am much older and the skis are totally different and the people who ski are different as well.


Skiing is a little better now with the new equipment but there still are some things I don't like about skiing today: The high prices of everything ski related. In the 80's you could ski pretty cheap, lift tickets were not real expensive, a hot dog and hot chocolate in the lodge would run you $2. Today, just a cup of water in the lodge will run you $5 !Lift tickets are very very expensive as well. I am glad I do not currently have a family to take skiing!

Also, the type of skier today seems different. There seems to be a 'punk' mentality among the younger skiers - profanity, wild and rude behavior, and aggressive skiing. Fashion styles changed on the slopes as well - riding the lifts you are often staring at the riders in front of you on the lift and their butt cracks are exposed because they pants are baggy and hang low.

Back in my time most of the folks on the slopes were families on vacation or hardcore skiers and locals. You really didnt have a lot of young kids running lose all over and acting up. I suspect snowboarding had something to do with this.

End of old fogey rant.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

First Time Skiing

OK, it will be November very soon. Some of you new skiers want to ask questions but don't really want to go public on an Internet Forum the size of Epic and bare your soul.

Thats OK, send a Private Message to me and I will answer or find you an answer. Or send a message to some of the other posters on the Beginner Zone Forum, they will be all to happy to help.

My Dad always told me, "Son, you won't live long enough to make all your own mistakes, so ask some questions and take advantage of the experience of those that have gone before you." USE US - WE'RE her to help. :
post #8 of 18
My first time skiing was when I was about 9-years old at a very small place in Pennsylvania called Blue Marsh. The vertical drop was 300 feet and boasted 11 trails! I took a lesson with my family and I guess it was helpful because I was able to ski all the trails that that mountain that day! Using an instructor was a great benefit. The only thing I didn't like about the day was my feet being so very cold. Other than that...a great experience using an instructor.
post #9 of 18
Here's some things to help with cold feet
  1. DON'T wear cotton socks. cotton holds moisture, ensuring cold feet. Use synthetic socks, most skiers use thin socks. most socks sold as ski socks fit this bill.
  2. keep your head warm. If your head is cold, your brain sends more blood to the head, thus lowering the circulation in your hands and feet.
  3. Keep your torso (where your heart is) warm. Same reason as #2 above.
  4. wear correctly fitting boots. Boots that you have to buckle too tightly will reduce circulation in your feet, resulting in cold feet.
I'm sure there may be some other things, these are what I could come up with from the top of my head.
post #10 of 18

Keep temperature stable

Quote:
Originally Posted by icanseeformiles(andmiles) View Post
Here's some things to help with cold feet
  1. DON'T wear cotton socks. cotton holds moisture, ensuring cold feet. Use synthetic socks, most skiers use thin socks. most socks sold as ski socks fit this bill.
  2. keep your head warm. If your head is cold, your brain sends more blood to the head, thus lowering the circulation in your hands and feet.
  3. Keep your torso (where your heart is) warm. Same reason as #2 above.
  4. wear correctly fitting boots. Boots that you have to buckle too tightly will reduce circulation in your feet, resulting in cold feet.
I'm sure there may be some other things, these are what I could come up with from the top of my head.
This looks like very good advice. I don't usually have extreme problems keeping torso/hand/foot temperature regulated. But if I do have a problem at any point, it's likely to be 1) hands or if temperatures really drop 2) feet.

I try to figure out what combination of layers works best for torso and then I can regulate with vents, if necessary. Hands seem to be the first area that gets either cold or overheated (more likely). I just got some gloves w/vents so I hope that will help. Also use hand warmers when needed for cold and that has worked fine so far.....

Re: feet, only cold on a few occasions but I am going to be skiing back East and in Colorado this winter....I think toe warmers should work if absolutely required. Haven't tired boot heaters.

ANy other advice???
post #11 of 18

First time skiing

HI B Zone,

Compared to most other folks on Epic, I'm probably on the beginner side of the hill myself. I started skiing a few years ago as a 30-something adult. My family didn't have a lot of extra money when I was a kid, and skiing was always off-the-radar low on the priority list when I was growing up, so I never gave it a shot.

I remember in college my roommate skied quite a bit, and I was fascinated by it at that time, but I was fresh off a water skiing injury (I was an avid water skier) where I nearly got my foot torn off with a ski rope. This resulted in the permanent loss of my right heal pad. Bending my ankle and walking on my heal were painful, and still give me trouble to this day.

THANKFULLY I DISCOVERED SNOW SKIING! Heal pressure is not so much of a requirement , and the boots provide excellent ankle support! With custom footbeds, I've been in heaven ever since.

I was actually introduced to skiing by being a chaperone for elementary school kids at their ski-school outings at Soldier Mountain in southern Idaho. At that time I think Bruce Willis (actor) was part owner of the resort. Not sure if he still is. Never saw him! Anyway, one of the leaders of the ski-school for these kids was my good friend and mentor who also happened to be on Soldier's ski patrol. He gave me a pair of his old boots (2 sizes to big), so I wore super-thick wool socks and cranked the buckles down as tight as they'd go (none of which I'd recommend if you have a choice!). I bought a pair of dumpster-bound rental skis with very little side cut and wore blue jeans, a rain jacket, and leather gloves the first few times out with these little kids who skied circles around me (and it was the first time for many of them, too). But what a blast!

My friend was an excellent teacher and wouldn't let me off the bunny hill/rope tow the first day. His teaching progression worked perfectly for me, though, and my life's been going downhill ever since.

I'm sure each skier has their own unique story to tell about how they got started. And some of you here may not have started yet! I'm convinced it doesn't really matter what equipment you have -- when you start. You'll quickly learn what you need from experience and reading these forums. But I would agree that it's vital (as folks have said above) to take formal lessons from a teacher on the hill. You really need to have some sort of platform on which to build knowledge. And having a friend take you to the top of a ski lift and tell you to point your skis downhill really doesn't provide that platform!

That's what happend to my wife in college, and she didn't ski again until around the time I started. She didn't have fun skiing until she took some lessons from our patrol friend on Soldier Mountain, Idaho! Nuff said on that topic!

My dad skied once as a teenager with his brothers, and never skied again until a couple winters ago when he came to visit us here in Alaska. We bought him a lesson from a teacher at our local hill, and he now has his own gear and a season pass at Bogus Basin, Idaho near where they live.

My mom has a similar story. She watched dad ski at his lesson here in Alaska, but didn't want to try it herself at that time. But after she got home, she took a lesson from a teacher at Bogus and now has a season pass there with dad! They're in their 50s. Even though mom blew her ACL last winter, she's rehabbed hard all summer and is cleared to go again. My kids and I are going down there over Christmas and the three generations will ski together for the first time. Should be great fun.

So no matter how old you are -- if you haven't skied yet and are reading this, you're only one decision away from doing it. And if you don't start skiing this year, [insert favorite Warren Miller quote here].

Cheers,
post #12 of 18
Trochilids-- Thanks for posting....great story!
post #13 of 18
  • Wear gloves or mittens, waterproof or water repellent if possible. No matter how warm it is. You need hand protection.
  • Wear a hat unless it's really warm.
  • Eye protection such as goggles or sunglasses may be a good idea. If it's bright then sunglasses; if it's snowing then goggles or yellow sunglasses. Even $5 glasses will help.
  • Wear some kind of snow pants or rain pants. Even just cheap shell pants that are water repellent will help.
  • Wear one thin or medium-thin pair of wool, wool-synthetic blend, or synthetic socks.
  • Take a lesson from an instructor.
  • A beginners package that includes a lesson, rentals and a lift ticket (that may be limited to beginner slopes but that's okay) is the most economical way to go.
  • Get to the mountain EARLY so you have plenty of time to get dressed and get ready for your lesson. If you have free time, practice just walking around on your skis prior to your lesson (but not so much that you tire yourself out)
  • You have to decide whether to rent off mountain or on mountain. Sometimes off-mountain rentals can be a little better but there are some big disadvantages to renting off mountain. On-mountain rentals are often priced as part of a beginners package; if you have a problem with them, you can take them back to the rental shop for adjustment or size change; some lessons programs are geared to certain types of equipment, for example, use of somewhat shorter shaped learning skis. I recommend first-timers rent on mountain. After a few days, maybe you can try some demos from an off-mountain shop.
post #14 of 18
Try not to fall in the lift line. People will laugh at you if you do. Also, it hurts.
post #15 of 18
The admonishment to take a lesson from a trained instructor cannot be emphasized enough. Although family members and/or friends may be able to ski just fine, their perceptions of how one starts skiing from square 1 and how steep things appear to you (even though they think it's flat) are generally inaccurate.

Instructors, if they're any good, will know the steps to take to help you get familiar with these big slippery things on your feet. They realize that, for the first few days anyway, a slope that looks flat to your friends doesn't look at all flat to you.

That is arguably one of the main problems with attempting to learn from friends or family. They think they're being patient. They think they're taking you to slopes that are very easy. In fact, they may be pushing you farther out your comfort zone than is effective for the learning you need to do. You finish the day frustrated because you failed to meet their expectations, even though their expectations were not realistic.
post #16 of 18
The only that goes in your boot is your sock!

Now get all of that other crap out of there! :

And only one sock on a foot, got that?
post #17 of 18
Going to add one thing to all the good comments.

Take it at your own pace. Do not be in a hurry to push past your limits before you are ready. Everyone learns at a different pace, and as long as you're having fun and progressing that's waht counts. If you spend your first five days out on the magic carpet and the bunny slope, so what?

When you're comfortable, you'll move up to some green runs. Become proficient on those before you go to blues. At each level, ski the trails your'e on in different ways...slow, fast, short turns, long turns, diffrent lines, etc. Find a few little bumps and ski over them, then next time get a little pop off them if you can.

It doesn't take long to learn to be a decent skier, and you have the rest of your life to become a great skier. Take your time.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by billyymc View Post
Going to add one thing to all the good comments.

Take it at your own pace. Do not be in a hurry to push past your limits before you are ready. Everyone learns at a different pace, and as long as you're having fun and progressing that's waht counts. If you spend your first five days out on the magic carpet and the bunny slope, so what?


It doesn't take long to learn to be a decent skier, and you have the rest of your life to become a great skier. Take your time.

Beginners and low intermediates. The above is very good advice for your skiing and your enjoyment of the sport/lifestyle. Some of us have realized this factor in skiing - so can you!
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 › So You Want to Ski - For the First Time