Skiing For Beginners

A guide for beginner's to skiing, including the skills and equipment necessary to begin conquering the slopes.

Skiing can be a wonderful way to enjoy the outdoors in the winter, but to the novice, mastering the mountains, the lifts, and the equipment can be quite intimidating. When learning to ski, it is advisable to take a lesson with a licensed ski instructor before hopping on the lift. Every ski resort offers lessons for beginners. For starters, here are a few tips on beginning the climb up your very first, powder-covered mountain.

The most important thing you will learn when beginning to ski is control. It is advisable to select shorter skis then longer ones, this will help you control your initial steps on the slopes. Use the poles as a balancing device, and shift your weight back and forth on both skis. As a beginner, the poles will act as your crutch, giving your legs the confidence they need to experiment shifting weight back and forth on the snow.

As a first time skier, it is advisable not to head right on the lift. As you will learn in your lesson, it is important to learn the basics of skiing on firm ground before descending down a mountain. After you begin moving on your skis, sliding back and forth from leg to leg, you must learn how to stop. In order to slow your momentum, you simply invert your skis, pressing the tips of the skis closer together. It is important not to ever cross your skis, this will most likely result in a tumble in the snow. Another way of progressing more moderately down a hill is to ski from side to side, not straight down the hill. As you begin to descend down the hill, think about moving from right to left on your skis. The skill will come along, but it requires shifting your weight from side to side, the skis will then naturally turn in the direction you are trying to head. As you shift to the right side, your left ski should slightly come of the ground, while your weight shifts to the right ski in the direction you are heading. Going from side to side down the mountain will help the beginner retain control, by helping you to slow down, and will also allow you to work on your technique.

One of the best ways to learn how to turn on your skis is to take all the weight off the ski that is going to be on the inside of your turn. For example, if you want to turn right, take all your weight off your right foot and ski. Taking weight off the one foot is the same thing as transferring your weight to the other foot. Then, if you want to turn down the hill, take all of the weight off your downhill ski. The easiest way to take your weight off of a ski is to lift the heel of your foot slightly off the ski. It is really as simple as this: to turn right, lift the right heel, to turn left, lift the left heel. Be careful all the while not to lift the entire foot, this may result in a fall. Also, resist the temptation to twist your skis, they will turn on their own, with your shift in body weight.

It is advised the beginning skiers should practice balancing on just one ski before hitting the slopes. To do this, lift one ski a few inches off the floor and observe how your body adjusts its balance. You should become comfortable with skiing on one foot, before becoming proficient skiing on two.

Of course, the beginner will most likely fall. This might be perhaps the biggest challenge when learning to ski. Falling will seem like a natural way to avoid flying down the hill at a high speed, and it is relatively pain-free, since you will land on powdery snow, but the challenge lies in getting off the ground. For most people, learning to get off the ground with skis on is a very frustrating task. You will have to learn the best way of balancing your weight, using your poles helps, and planting your stronger side on the ground is also helpful. All it really takes is a little practice to master getting up.

A good skier is one who shifts his or her weight back and forth, kicking the skis out from side to side in the snow. The best skiers tend to ski with their feet further apart. Their skis even get slightly out of parallel, making them almost look bowlegged. An open stance allows the feet and legs to work independently . An open stance also allows one to get on a high edge when turning.

Finally, it is important to remember that equipment is an important part of learning to ski. Remember to choose shorter skis for an initial run, this will allow you to gain more control. Also, make sure you have chosen a ski boot which is not too tight or too loose. The ski boot is the most important piece of equipment you will wear when skiing, so make sure they fit comfortably. Remember to dress in warm, waterproof clothing, and have fun on the slopes.

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