Anyone who has been skiing since childhood will think it completely normal to travel into the mountains time after time to pursue their hobby. Yet adults in particular find it difficult to learn to ski for the first time. The older you are, the more likely you are to worry that you’re too old to learn to ski. What’s more, there are lots of other preconceptions people have about skiing. In this article, we reveal what these are and how you can still learn to ski after all.
Preconceptions about skiing
Besides thinking that at some point you get too old to ski, the cold, the risks, and the high costs are also reasons why some people choose not to ski.
- The cold: Doing winter sports means being out at minus temperatures, and if you want to brave the cold you need suitable clothing. These minus temperatures scare a lot of people off, however. Yet by wearing specialist clothing and getting moving, you’ll soon warm up nicely – even when you’re skiing.
- Risks: Time and again, you hear stories about skiers who get injured and then have problems with their injury for years afterwards. Yet mastering your skiing technique reduces the risk of injuries. If you’re a beginner or even if you’re returning to skiing after a while, it’s important to start slowly and get some help from a skiing instructor at the beginning. And your safety equipment should keep you safe, too.
- High costs: Sadly, skiing is anything but cheap. First there’s the cost of getting hold of all the skiing equipment, then on top of that there’s the cost of accommodation in a skiing region and the cost of skiing lessons with a ski instructor. Yet there are cost-effective alternatives, too. You can hire skiing equipment at a ski resort, and it’s cheaper to stay in a guesthouse or a holiday home in the low season than in peak season. So cost doesn’t have to be a reason not to enjoy a skiing holiday.
How you too can still become a skier – learning to ski quickly
- Don’t let yourself be put off in the beginning: The first few hours on skis can really be hard work. It’s not just all the clothes you have to wear, but the ski boots too, which seem impossibly heavy at first. Learning to ski should actually be even easier for adults than for children. After all, adults have already learnt many more sequences of movements than children, who will have to learn the movements for the first time by watching.
- Preparation is key: There are various other sports you can do to train your body in preparation for skiing before you even hit the slopes. These include not just specialist skiing exercises but also Nordic walking, yoga, cycling, skateboarding, inline skating, jogging, and strength training. There should be something to suit anyone looking to prepare for their first skiing holiday! Even experienced skiers should do other sports to prepare if they want to avoid the sore muscles that come at the end of the first day’s skiing. These are the same as the sports recommended for beginners to try out in advance.
- Knowing the basics beforehand: It can’t do any harm to be familiar with the basics before you pluck up the courage to hit the slopes for the first time. Here are a few basic rules:
- Keep the skis parallel to go straight.
- Pointing your skis together at the front will slow you down.
- If you want to turn, it’s important to shift your weight from the uphill ski to the downhill ski. The uphill ski is the ski that is higher on the slope and the downhill ski is the ski that is lower.
- And be careful: don’t lean too far back! This can make you accelerate, and beginners in particular will then find it difficult to come to a stop before they have an accident.
- Get quick success with a course or an instructor: If you want to get on the slopes quickly, you should get some help learning to ski. Doing a course or some skiing lessons with an instructor will help you learn the right technique for skiing. It also allows any problems to be identified straight away and eliminated more quickly. The basic skills covered in a course like this will teach you everything you need to get on the slopes quickly.
- Know the FIS code of conduct for skiers and snowboarders: Just as there are rules that govern traffic on the roads, there are also rules and regulations that have to be observed on the ski slopes to make skiing possible and safe for everyone. The International Ski Federation FIS have therefore created ten rules intended to prevent skiers and snowboarders from having accidents and putting each other in danger. The most important of these rules is that everyone should be considerate of each other. That’s why it’s also rule number one. The ten rules also include the rule that you must only overtake if there is enough room, for example, that all skiers should adapt their speed and their skiing according to their own level of skill and the conditions outside, and that you shouldn’t just stop at a blind spot. Beginners would also do well to know these rules. All ten rules are listed here .
In principle, it’s no more difficult learning to ski as an adult than as a child. Usually, the problem is simply that children just start skiing without thinking much about it. Adults, on the other hand, find it difficult. Anyone can learn to ski, though – and age has nothing to do with it 😉