Helpful tips for learning to ski

July 28, 2015

Learning to ski is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and the winter weather. While it's suggested you go to a ski school or work with an instructor, there are basic tips you should know before you get started.

Helpful tips for learning to ski

Starting out

The key to skiing well is good balance. Concentrate on that and everything else will follow.

  • In a starting position, ready to push off, your ankles, knees and hips should be slightly bent and your weight should be in the centre of your feet.
  • Your body should be upright, and you shouldn't be leaning steeply forward from the waist, as this could lead you to lose balance.

Getting down the hill

  • To begin skiing down a gentle slope, push off with your poles, then hold them so that they are pointing backwards, clear of the ground.
  • Once you're gliding downhill, you shouldn't need to use the poles to propel you.
  • Bend your ankles, knees and hips, enough to feel the pressure on the tongues of your boots.
  • Look ahead — not at your feet — and allow your body to take care of your balance.

Slowing down

  • To slow down, angle your legs so the tips of your skis are pointing at each other — a position known as the wedge or snow-plough.
  • Keep your knees apart and your weight forward and equal on both feet, and don't allow your ski tips to cross.
  • The wider your wedge (the further apart the back of the skis) the slower you'll go.
  • Keep making it wider and, if on easy terrain, you'll come to a stop.

Finding the right gear

In skiing, the quality of your gear makes a difference, so make sure you choose properly.

  • Stood on end, your skis should come up to around eye level, as long skis are harder to control.
  • Good boots make skiing easier, sobuy the best boots that you can afford.
  • Your poles, like your skis, should be the right length.
  • Turn them upside down and grasp them below the basket (the hoop near the tip).
  • With the poles resting on the ground, your elbows should be bent at a right angle.

When beginning to learn to ski, make sure you use the flatter slopes. As your balance and control improves, you can work your way up to steeper terrain to practice with higher speeds.

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