Didn’t have the chance to learn to ski as a child? Don’t worry: there is no age limit to learn how to ski! You can take lessons as an adult and gradually master the basics so that you can enjoy the ski resort and its slopes in the best possible conditions. You can learn by yourself with your friends or family, or you can be accompanied by a ski instructor for a half day of learning. In this article, discover all our advices to learn skiing at any age!
Learning to ski: our tips
Learning to ski: 4 essential moves
The snowplough (or pizza) stance and braking
To learn to ski, you must learn the most essential move for any beginner skier: the snowplough (or pizza) stance. This is what allows you to stop safely at the bottom of the slopes or to brake on your way down. This method is suitable for gentle slopes such as the blue or green slopes in the ski area. With this technique, you can control your speed by forming a triangle with your skis. To do this, bring the front tips together and press your heels outwards. The more your legs are spread, the more you will brake (but be careful not to cross your skis, as you risk falling!)
The next thing when learning to ski is to be able to initiate and complete a turn on snowy slopes. To do this, you need to shift your body weight to your uphill ski so that it naturally faces the slope. You can then continue in the snowplough position for the rest of the turn to slow down. For example, to turn right, lean on the left ski. When you are new to alpine skiing, you will probably need a lot of space for your turns until you become more comfortable, so make sure there are no other skiers or snowboarders around!
Making a parallel turn
If you decide to take lessons to learn to ski, you will get to know the parallel turn. This technique allows you to gain fluidity and replaces the snowplough method. Here, halfway through your turn, you can bring your inner ski back parallel to your outer ski by lifting it slightly. Practice on beginner-friendly slopes until you have mastered this move to achieve sharper, faster turns.
Getting back up
During your ski holiday, you are not safe from a fall: it happens even to the very best! But don’t worry – learning to ski also means knowing how to get back up safely. To do this, you just need to bring your two skis back perpendicular to the slope. To help you, you can take off one of your skis. Use your hand or your pole to support yourself and get up. Once you are up, check that you still have your equipment (ski poles, hat, camera, etc.) and securely fasten your ski boots.
Skiing: how to prepare yourself properly?
Putting yourself in the right conditions, using the right equipment and wearing the right clothes: learning to ski also means knowing how to prepare yourself! You can learn the basics on the green and blue slopes to improve your technique as you go along and get the adrenaline flowing. Here are some tips and tricks for skiers to help you enjoy your skiing holiday with peace of mind:
- Rent your equipment: There is no point in buying your own equipment if you don’t yet know how to ski. Ski rental is preferred to get the right type of skis for your level, body type, etc.
- Wear the right boots: Your shoes should fit snugly (neither too loose nor too wide) to give you the freedom to move without compressing your feet. Don’t forget a good pair of thick socks!
- Choose suitable ski clothing: We advise you to wear warm and comfortable clothes, which will protect you from the snow if you fall (which will probably happen).
- Choose skis that are suited to your level: For learning to ski, progressive skis help you learn easily and comfortably with excellent stability. Learn to control your skis, make turns and gain speed.
- Take ski lessons: Don’t hesitate to call on the services of an experienced and qualified ski instructor to learn how to ski with the right moves from the start. This way you can avoid picking up bad habits! You can choose between group or private ski lessons.
- Take a beginner’s ski pass: When it comes to your ski pass, there are beginner packages with cheaper access. You can learn the basics at your own pace until you are perfectly comfortable.
- Eat and stay hydrated: A ski holiday is often very sporty! Have a good breakfast and remember to eat at lunchtime to fill up on energy. Avoid large, fatty meals and take a small snack (like fruit or a cereal bar) with you on the slopes. Staying hydrated is also crucial, so remember to drink throughout the day.