The winter Olympic Games are officially underway and leaving many spectators feeling inspired by the talent of the athletes. Deciding you want to try something new can feel overwhelming, especially when it involves whizzing down a slope in a snowy landscape. Remember, even Olympic gold medalists started as beginners.
Speaking of the winter Olympics, U.S. Ski and Snowboard announced that HomeLight, a real estate technology platform, is a title sponsor of the HomeLight Foundation Series. This foundation works as a catalyst to launch the careers of top athletes within winter sports. We hope you get inspired watching these athletes hit the halfpipe and catch big air when testing out the sport yourself.
Whether you’ve never skied a day in your life or are dusting off your equipment for the first time in a while, look no further for our top tips and tricks for skiing for the first time.
1) Consider Equipment
Before you start your skiing journey, it’s important to consider what equipment you’ll need to have the best experience possible. It’s helpful as a beginner to choose a slope that offers equipment rentals. Renting large equipment when you’re a beginner helps save you money and allows you to try out the sport before investing in it fully. Other equipment you should think about include:
- Warm waterproof clothing that you can layer
- Goggles for eye protection from the sun and debris
- Helmet to protect yourself from inevitable falls and spills
2) Don’t Skip the Lesson
Although ski school can feel childish, it’s an important step when beginning the art of skiing. Most resorts and slopes offer introductory ski lessons, so be sure to check these out if it’s your first time. These lessons will teach you the fundamentals you need to catalyst your winter sport fun.
3) Think About Sun Protection
It may not seem obvious to think about sun protection when embarking on a winter sport, but it is extremely important. With the often higher elevation levels, and the reflection of the sun off the bright white snow, skiing and snowboarding is the perfect storm for some serious sunburn. Be sure to reapply your sun protection as directed on the bottle, and always wear your goggles to help protect your eyes.
4) Beginner Technique
As a beginner, you can’t expect to be carving down the mountain like the U.S. Olympic pros. The beginner technique allows you to learn as you go in a safe way. Our top tips include:
- Skip the poles for now as they often can just get in the way or get tangled in a fall
- Embrace the pizza slice formation with your skis to offer better control and stopping
- Bend your knees for easy control
- Start out on smooth, easy slopes (often called bunny slopes or green runs)
5) Learn to Fall
Let’s be real, falling when learning to ski is inevitable. It’s part of the process and should be embraced! It’s important as a beginner you learn the proper way to take a spill so you don’t seriously injure yourself. Try watching some informative videos online for a more in-depth demonstration of falling techniques. Some simple methods to follow include:
- Try to land on outstretched limbs, rather than on your joints
- Avoid hitting your face, head, or neck if at all possible
- Always aim to land on forearms if falling backward, rather than on wrists