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Skiing for beginners

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Skiing for beginners can be a monumental challenge. The feeling of helplessness often overwhelms newbies when they first hit the snow or ice-covered slopes. It is difficult enough just to stand on skis and it seems impossible for them to try and negotiate a downhill ski run, even if it is just a gentle bunny hill.

As a beginning skier there are some tips that can help a great deal towards feeling comfortable on the two slippery planks strapped beneath the boots. The first concept to understand is that of balance. In normal life or other sports, people are used to shifting their balance from left to right--walking, turning, playing tennis or even landing on a jump with one foot. The problem is that this type of balance does not help at all during the first few ski lessons.

Skiing for beginners can be much easier if the balance between leaning forward and backward can be understood. Stand on flat ground with skis on and lean forward, enough so that you feel the boots resist your body weight. This is the proper angle to lean forward when you are learning to ski.        

beginner skiers

Beginners should also be aware that some resorts offer significant discounts on lift tickets for beginner skiers.  This includes the option of purchasing a restricted lift pass that only covers the beginner section of the resort.  This is a good initiative as it means that you won’t be wasting money on the lifts that you won’t be able to use. 

One resort that offers this option is Soll, located in the province of Tirol, in Austria.  Söll is another excellent ski resort for beginners as it has more than 25 beginner runs. Many of these runs are serviced by t-bars or drag ropes which can make it much easier for beginner skiers who uncomfortable using chair lifts.

Think of your body like a car gear shift: when it is forward it slows you down by pressing the tips down so that they gently reduce your speed. Most beginners lean back at the first flash of fear and this shifts them into high gear and rockets them off into trouble. Concentrate on pushing your balance forward and you will be much more in control.

Skiing for beginners

The other skiing for beginners skill to learn is that of ski position. Everyone has heard of the snowplow: the quad-burning crossed stance that beginners everywhere practice ad nauseam across the slopes. This is an effective beginner stance because you learn to lean forward, to squat and how to stop. The problem is that it is constant pressure on your legs and will blow out even seasoned legs in no time. The better variation in order to learn skiing more quickly and enjoy some of your first days out is to mix up the snowplow (or “pizza wedge”) with some parallel skiing (or “french fries”).

The idea is this, when you do not need to stop face your skis downhill and parallel, while leaning forward to control speed. You will enjoy this because it is enjoyable. When you need to stop, throw on the pizza wedge and cross your skis in an upside-down V shape hard and fast so that you stop quickly. This is also called a hockey stop. Not only do you get more enjoyment and save your legs, this will be an easier transition out of the snow plow and into parallel turns. Make sure you do not cross the tips of your skis or you will have a whole new adventure to deal with--they even make a $6 removable rubber attachment for the tips of your skis that prevents you from crossing them.

With these two tips, skiing for beginners will be a whole lot easier.


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