Picture of Beginner Learning to Ski

Good Tips on How to Learn to Ski

Good Tips on How to Learn to Ski as a Beginner

Learning to ski as a beginner can be a fun, if done right. Get started with these steps:

Take a Lesson

The best way to begin skiing is to take a lesson from a certified ski instructor at a ski resort. They will teach you the basics, including how to put on your equipment, balance, and the fundamental skiing techniques. Group lessons are a cost-effective option, but private lessons provide more personalized attention.  At the larger resorts in Japan, many intructors speak English, some natively.  Remember that lessons for children are a different category than lessons for adults.  Not all resorts offer everything so best to call ahead to ensure they have the right lesson for you.

Rent Equipment

As a beginner, it’s a good idea to rent your ski equipment initially. This includes skis, ski boots, and poles. Rental equipment is typically well-maintained and suited for beginners. Make sure to choose the right size and get a proper fitting from the rental shop.  If visiting Japan with larger feet, make sure you call ahead to ensure they have your size.

Dress Properly

Choosing the right ski gear is important.  Dress in layers to stay warm, but avoid wearing too much bulky clothing as you wil regret it! You’ll need a waterproof and insulated ski jacket (eg. gore tex is a great breathable material for jackets and pants) and pants, as well as thermal layers. Don’t forget a good pair of ski socks and gloves. A helmet is also essential for safety and goes well together with ski googles.

Learn the Basics

Your instructor will show you the basic skiing techniques, like walking in ski boots, putting on and taking off skis, standing up after falling, gliding on flat terrain, and stopping.  Learning to snowplow (a V-shaped stance) for speed control is an important skill for beginners.

Practive Balance

Skiing requires good balance. Spend some time practicing balancing on one ski while standing still, then progress to doing it while moving. This will help you control your skis better.

Master the Snowplow

Again, the snowplow is your primary method for slowing down and stopping as a beginner. Practice making a “pizza slice” shape with your skis by pushing your heels outward and bringing the tips together. This will help you control your speed and stop safely.  See how bending you knees helps.

Learn to Turn

Once you’re comfortable with snowplowing, practice making turns. Begin with gentle turns by shifting your weight and leaning in the direction you want to go. As you progress, you can work on parallel skiing, where your skis are closer together

Skiing Etiquette and Safety

Familiarize yourself with skiing etiquette and safety guidelines. Always yield the right of way to downhill skiers, follow trail signs, and be aware of your surroundings. Be cautious and considerate of other skiers and snowboarders.

Gradually Progress

Don’t rush your progress. Start on easier slopes and gradually move to more challenging terrain as you become more confident and skilled. Skiing can be physically demanding, so take breaks when needed.

Have Fun

Skiing isn’t just about getting the technical stuff right; it’s also about having fun in the snow and enjoying the mountain surroundings. Take time to appreciate the beauty of the slopes and the thrill of gliding down the mountain.

Get Out There!

Remember that learning to ski takes time and practice. Falls or slow progress should not discourage you. With patience and dedication, you can become a competent skier and have a great time on the slopes.  Hit the slopes!