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Beginners tip bible - share yours - Page 5

post #121 of 318

An add on to post 120:


When the skis are on your shoulder, make sure the bottom ski (will be upside down) is the ski with the brake forward of the top ski.  If not, the top ski will be able to "ski" forward and they will come apart.


Your forearm/hand holds the top ski against the bottom skis brake.  Most of the weight will be behind your shoulder so your arm presses on the front to balance them and hold the top ski against the bottom ski's brake.


I sometimes carry my daughter's skis also just for the extra weight.  Since hers are very light (130's), once I have my skis on my right shoulder and being held by my right forearm, I'll put her skis in my right hand (I hold her ski's tips and they hang straight down below my skis).  It acts as a counter balance and actually makes it easier to carry.


post #122 of 318

There is a wiki here where you can add your tips in easy to access format. There is also a wiki here explaining how they work.

post #123 of 318

Perhaps I missed this, but did anyone mention eye wear?  Try your best NOT to put your goggles up on your hat/helmet if there is any type of moisture.  They will fog and cloud your vision for the rest of the day.  If you are going to not use them or need to remove them temporarily from your head, take them off and eput your arm straight through them and hold onto them that way if you're concerned about dropping them.  If your goggles/glasses do fog, go to a bathroom and get the moisture off.  You need to wipe them down or they will continue to fog.  I'm sure I've forgotten some tricks.  


On the same page, if at all possible, make sure you have the appropriate lenses.  Especially in flat light/stormy days.  It could save you from some a gnarly accident.  




post #124 of 318
Thread Starter 

Good call Penny!


and thanks for bumping my beginner tips bible!!!!

post #125 of 318

Some cost cutting measures for beginners.


  • If someone is new to skiing they should consider a smaller ski area to learn the basics.  
  • Another concept that is often overlooked is buying a limited lift ticket that allows you to ski part of the mountain for a significant savings.  You're a beginner - do not need black and most of the blues.  
  • Plan your trip and research the mountains.  Some ski areas have learn to ski free days, or 2 for 1 learn to ski programs.
  • Consider taking lessons during the week, if possible, there are fewer people and the group lesson (cheaper than a private) may in fact end up being a private/semi private lesson.




  • Layers, layers, layers.  Better to have too much on than not enough.  You can always peel off a layer if necessary.
  • Extras, Extras, Extras.  Better to have extra gloves, face mask/neck sock, socks etc.  If you end up having to but stuff at the ski area you will pay!
  • Protect, Protect, Protect.  Better to protect your eyes with goggles and/or sunglasses, have lip balm, hand warmers.




  • Use unloading zones - it is amazing how many cars get scratched due to people carrying their skis from the parking lot.
  • Do not - spread all your stuff over a table to reserve it while you are out.  Many ski areas do not have enough tables as it is so respect others.
  • If you find yourself skiing out of control - STOP.  Regain composure.  Out of Control = injury to you and/or others
  • If you are nervous about unloading from the lift - flag the operator they can slow it down.  If you fall at the lift move to the side.
  • Study the Trail Map and make sure everyone in you party has one (in case you separate)
  • Take a lesson or ski with someone that can teach you the basics.




When hell freezes over, I will ski there too!

Edited by dskifanatic - 7/26/10 at 1:15pm
post #126 of 318

Thanks for all the great tips everyone!

post #127 of 318
Originally Posted by refill View Post

1) My wife and I both have North Face gloves but our finger tips are always so cold it's really painful after a few hours of skiing. Is this "normal"?
I look around and the teenagers and everyone else are moving around and behaving like it isn't even cold.


My previous pair were some North Face gloves. My finger tips would freeze in the afternoon everyday -- due to sweat from my hands.


I picked up some Swany gloves (a little more $$) but they have sweat wicking material in the gloves. Same technologies used in baselayers are now being applied to ski gloves.  Problem solved, haven't had a cold finger tip or pinky since.

post #128 of 318

Learn to fall safely -- hip check. 

post #129 of 318

If you take your boots off to relax at lunch...DO NOT go walking around in your bare socks. Generally the carpet is wet and this will make your socks wet resulting in cold feet if you dont have spare socks. Plus all those heavy boots of people walking around could hurt if they step on you.

post #130 of 318

don't know if somebody's mentioned this yet (probably have), but anyway: COTTON KILLS- skiing in the northeast at least. Get a good base layer, the kind that "wicks the moisture away". I learned that from a mountain guide here in Maine. He hates cotton, even during the summer.

post #131 of 318
Read the trail map. Make sure before you go up a lift you have a plan for how you will get down and back to the lodge. There is nothing worse then getting up on the top of the hill and finding out that the only path between you and the lodge is a black diamond or skating for a 1/2 mile.
post #132 of 318

DO NOT TUCK! EVER!, your not a ski racer and its not going to make you any faster on the green runs. Not only that but it reinforces bad habits such as bending at the waist and holding your hands against your stomach (you've all seen this tuck)

Keep all items on you on the lift, do not take out your cell phone or take off your gloves, wait untill your at the top.

Read and follow all saftey signs on the lifts, they're there to prevent you and others from injuries.

If you need it tell the lift operator to slow it down, he will slow it for you.

Read trail maps and signs near lifts, notice the terrain the lift takes you to and if the lift is a beginner lift or not, please do not get on a lift if it accesses skiing above your level.

Try to come out at the same time as your riding partner when loading chairs, if you end up behind your partner or vise versa it is much much easier to cross each other skis.


post #133 of 318

Don't argue in a helmet thread, its like a black hole that sucks you in and where even those that are for wearing them go against others that are too, like helmeted cannibals.

post #134 of 318

first timers don't even need poles in my opinion, any good instructor should advise there trainee to put the poles aside for the first couple hours, so they can focus legs and hips, poles can become such a distraction for 1st timers, I didn't use poles for 2 years but then again I was 5. Good luck and stay positive, 1st time is always the toughest. Your gonna fall.... 

post #135 of 318

 On flat ground & not moving stand on your skis in an athletic stance. If when skiing you freeze & cant get in the athletic stance the hill is most likely to steep. (fear is causing you to turn away from or lean away (sit back) from that which produces the fear)Try an easier run & do not let your friends talk you into skiing a hill beyond your ability.

post #136 of 318

Correct Pole Strap Usage:


Right waybiggrin.gificon14.gif



Wrong wayicon13.gifnonono2.gif


post #137 of 318

Learn to back up.  


By that I mean learn to stand with your skis across the hill and slide backwards real slow and gently.

This is a great thing to be able to do with confidence if you find yourself face-to-face with the trees at the side of the trail and there's no room to turn around in front of you.

You back up until you have room to make that first turn.


It's one of the basic skills I teach my beginners the first time they go up the lift.

post #138 of 318

The Honorable Chas Gildart is on to something but it needs to be refined.


He has for instance the common humble pole as the .... right way and the wrong way.  But then there is no mention of Phil's way.  popcorn.gif

post #139 of 318

Well we are a diverse group.  Style or equipment and technique will vary.


But we all have one thing in common having all started out as beginners.

post #140 of 318

Two things that haven't been mentioned so far in this thread...


- For those really cold / snowing / windy days, a neck gaiter is an underrated piece of clothing when it comes to staying warm, particularly if you're like me and you hate the feel of zipping your parka all the way up so it bumps your chin.


- There shouldn't be a gap between your helmet and the top of your goggles... a.k.a. the Gaper Gap.




@crgildart - Great tip with the photos; I honestly didn't realize that was the correct way to use pole straps, since I never use them anyway.  I just thought they were for Texas suitcases.  ;-)

post #141 of 318

Consider buying a season pass for you and your family at a smaller mountain. (You do not need 2500 feet of vertical when you are beginning.)  At small mountains, season pass tickets can often be purchased for under $300, generally at a reduced rate pre-season (till about November 1). (At my mountain you can buy next year's season pass starting on March 1 and ski March and early April for free.)  Often times smaller mountains are located closer to urban and suburban areas, so they are easier to access as well.


A season pass encourages you and your family to get out to the mountain.  Couple that with lessons (some mountains offer

a six week or eight week series at discounted rates), and you and your family will see your skiing take off.



post #142 of 318

I would suggest one foot and one sock only per boot, fold back long johns to just above the cuff, pull socks over the long johns to create a seal and please don't tuck the snow gaiter inside the boot, it will hurt and snow getting onto it will melt and run down into your boots..yuhkkkk!

post #143 of 318

Some beginners get frightened by the exit ramp of a chairlift. Don't go into a huge braking wedge as soon as you get off the chair. In other words, glide in a parallel for a ways until you are safely away from the other people that rode up with you.  If someone skis go over your skis or vica versa, you will both have no control.


Look to the inside (middle) on a center pole chair and to the outside on others.


post #144 of 318

Might have been mentioned but worth repeating:


  1. Learn to side slip - it will help your skiing and if you end up on a trail you shouldn't be on, will be the difference between getting down safely or a yard sale.
  2. Make sure your kids learn to side slip too.  Most times the people on the wrong trail are kids following friends and girlfriends/wives that listened to their "Don't worry I'll be right there with you."  boyfriend/husband.
  3. If your feet are cold or you stop at lunch and take your boots off, change your socks.  Nothing says happy feet like fresh, dry and maybe even warm socks.
  4. Put activated hand warmers in your boots for the drive to the mountain.  When you put your boots on, put the hand warmers in your mittens/gloves. 
  5. If you don't want/need the hand warmers from #3 in your gloves, put them in the zip lock bag you keep your extra socks in (see #3).
  6. Keep your socks in a zip lock bag.
  7. If your feet sweat, change your socks often or your feet will get miserably cold (see # 3 and # 5).
  8. If you're on the fence about a helmet; get one.  They are way warmer.
  9. Try to avoid any difficult trails between 2PM-4PM.  The exact time will vary but the light changes then and is known as flat light.  Everything becomes very grey and all those nuances you saw in your last run, will now be hidden by bad light.  For younger folks it's not much of an issue but if you're post 40 or don't have good eyes or are wearing dark goggles, it can be difficult to see.


Go back and read post 136.  Yes it matters.  It is easier to lose your grip on a pole than you think and can be the difference in staying upright or a yard sale if your hand slips off.  (sorry.  pet peeve)



Edited by L&AirC - 7/8/11 at 3:42pm
post #145 of 318

Dont change into boots at car, carry inside in a nice organised bag, youll be more comfy and youll have layers to change into.


Eat breakfast, carry a sandwich in boot bag.  dont waste cash, ski more often.


Learn the finer side of winter driving.


skip the long jons wear long shorts below knee instead.


Just wear sock liners and not big fat "ski socks"


Take your time, ski for yourself, dont let anyone tell you where to ski.  Ski inside your skill level.


Ski by yourself often.  Use your cell to communicate but have a backup meetup time and place.


Find a ski instructor who wants to talk about skiing not just show you how.


Read about sking.


Learn the SRC, complain to Ski Patrol when you see dangers, human and manmade.  When ski patrol does nothing about your complaint, complain upstairs.


Ski at alot of different areas.


Ski alot not just a few times a year.


Train for skiing, be in physical shape for skiing.

post #146 of 318

Carry a small hairdryer along with you in your boot bag/duffel bag.  Use it after lunch if you take your boots off - it will soften and warm up the cold boots so you can get your feet back in them easily.  


And -- you can warm up the boots in the morning before you put your feet in them too.  (Don't overheat if you have custom footbeds - you'll reform the footbeds and undo all that expensive work you paid for.)


Boot up at a table with an electric outlet nearby.


The small hairdryer can be gotten at most thrift shops for about $3.00.

Edited by LiquidFeet - 9/30/11 at 5:57am
post #147 of 318

I completely disagree with this.  I guess it depends on where you ski, but at most Tahoe and Colorado resorts I'm glad to not have to deal with a locker.  I say put on your boots at the car and get some cat-tracks to protect them.

Originally Posted by joeshoto View Post

Dont change into boots at car, carry inside in a nice organised bag, youll be more comfy and youll have layers to change into.


post #148 of 318


Originally Posted by refill View Post

 If this thread hadn't been created, we would have had to! Thank you all.

I just joined to ask for advice to deal with cold painful fingertips and toes in 20 degrees weather without using the hand/ toes warmer packs (treating the idea as a last resort).

1) My wife and I both have North Face gloves but our finger tips are always so cold it's really painful after a few hours of skiing. Is this "normal"?
I look around and the teenagers and everyone else are moving around and behaving like it isn't even cold.

2) Same for the toes.
At first we used North Face skiing socks.
Subsequently, we bought one pair of super thin base layer socks and one pair of ski socks from Columbia. Layering helped a bit but after a few hours our toes were painful.

This goes against the advice of some on here saying not to wear two pairs of socks to allow the best boot fit. Or did they mean two pairs of regular ski socks? Base Layer socks + ski socks are ok, right?

I hope this adds helpful content to the thread since I haven't seen it covered yet.

Try Hestra Gloves. They cost more than North Face, but are warmer, more comfortable and will last longer.


I've had north face gloves self-destruct in less than 30 day on me before. I have two pairs of Hestras, I've used one pair for over two seasons - they're just starting to go now.


post #149 of 318
Bears repeating: STAY HYDRATED! It's really easy to not realize how much you're sweating. Have at least a quart of water in the hour before you get on the hill, and at least a pint every hour you're out. Gatorade is better. Dehydration results in fatigue and an increased chance of injury, and once you get behind you can't catch up.
If you don't have to pee every hour or two, you're not drinking enough.
post #150 of 318

Some tips for all who complain about cold feet: The sweat from your feet is the primary cause, especially if you are not wearing a pair of wool or synthetic ski socks (unlike cotton, they wick moisture away).  One pair only and not too bulky.  Your ski boots are plenty thick enough to keep your feet warm if properly fitted.  Your first investment should be a a properly fitted pair of ski boots, not skis.  Most people rent and buy boots like street shoes: loose and comfortable.  They should be snug.  When you rent boots that are not the correct size, you need to buckle them too tight.  That cuts off circulation and makes your feet cold. Now, the most excellent, secret tip of all...


Since moisture from your feet makes your feet cold, rub an unscented antiperspirant on your feet before putting on your socks.  No sweat, no moisture, no cold feet!


Have fun!

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