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Learning to ski

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Beyond just renting the correct beginner equipment (and not buying it) there is plenty of on-slope advice on learning to ski for beginners. Let’s face it: newbies are going to have a tough first few days out on the slopes. They need all the help they can get to get over the hump quickly and onto a lifetime of enjoying the rarefied life that comes with skiing.

The first advice on learning to ski is to actually learn. This involves taking a lesson at the resort you visit. This does not have to be a private, expensive affair. Newbies need someone non-familial to direct them on the basics. There’s going to be some falling so it is better that the anger is directed at a stranger in a group setting than at you.

The beginner is also much more apt to learning from someone in a bright yellow jacket they just paid and there’s something about a group setting that silently encourages all of us to be a bit braver and follow the pack down the slope. Plus the time in the class, usually 2 hours, is the perfect first dose before hitting the warming hut for cocoa.

Learning to ski

The next bit of advice on learning to ski is to spend as much time as you can take it moving around with your skis on flat snow. If the parking lot is covered in snow, perfect, or if not choose the flat area around the ski lodge. Now, use your poles for balance as you shuffle your skis, alternative left and right, to advance forward. Once you have done this and turned around plenty of times, do not use the poles and move forward by pretending your skis are ice skates. Alternate between skis and push from the inside out to propel yourself forward and to build up momentum. These exercise will help the newbie learn balance and warm those crucial leg muscles.

Finally, the last piece of important advice on learning to ski is to perfect the art of falling correctly. Just as the sun rises, skiers fall--it is a fact of life, especially as a beginner. If you can master falling the right way and being able to stand back up on your own, your ski career will extend forever. How do you fall correctly? It’s easy, you fall on your rear end as if you are sitting down upslope from your skis. Your rump is the thickest muscle mass in your body and will create the most friction to slow you quickly. This also keeps the vitals like your face and arms away from the hard snow below while putting your skis in front of you to force a complete stop and clear potential debris as you slide. When the trip is over, simply use your poles to help you stand up with ease.


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