Haven’t skied in a while? No problem, cheer up! Modern equipment and versatile ski resorts make it easier than ever to get back on the skis. In addition, winter sports keep you physically and mentally fit, offer unique nature experiences and are simply fun.
There are many “former” winter sports enthusiasts who hit the slopes when they were young, but then stopped going to the mountains for years for a variety of reasons: family, financial situation, physical fitness, lack of equipment and, last but not least, doubts about their own ability: can I still do it at all? No doubt, it’s easier than ever. The modern equipment practically skis itself, many ski resorts are beginner-friendly and the vast majority of destinations offer special courses for beginners with previous knowledge. So it’s worth taking a close look.
1. Back on ski no matter what age
Let’s start with a reassuring fact: there is generally no age-related restriction on venturing onto the boards for the first time or again after a long period of abstinence. Provided you don’t have any form of medical condition, there’s nothing to be said against (re)learning to ski, even at an older age. Whether you are 20, 40 or 60 years old – with the right guidance from a professional ski instructor, you can (re)learn the right turn in the snow within a few hours. A crucial point for unrestricted skiing pleasure is to lose the fear of the descent. The head plays a major role in skiing, and the associated fear of injury inhibits and further increases the risk of injury. But this hurdle can also be overcome with professional support.
2. Modern equipment makes it easier
Probably the most powerful argument for getting back on the slopes is the sophisticated equipment. Since the advent of carving skis and rocker construction, even the first turn can be quickly mastered by anyone. The rocker ski is slightly bent up at the front and back, creating a negative preload. It is much easier to turn and can be skied with less effort. In addition, the skis don’t cut as quickly. In short, modern rocker skis make skiing much easier. Those who still learned on the narrow slats will experience an “aha” moment on a rockered beginner ski. In addition, “turning by itself” is simply even more fun.
3. Renting or buying skis?
One of the much-discussed questions among winter sports enthusiasts: should I buy an individual ski or rather rent a different one each time? For the beginner, renting is the best way to try out the new skis. In every ski resort there is at least one equipment rental shop that offers various models from different manufacturers. If the rented ski does not suit your skiing style, it can usually be exchanged for an equivalent model without any problems. When the desire to ski has returned and more skiing holidays are planned, you can think about buying ski equipment.
4. Beginner-friendly ski resorts
If you want to get used to the equipment slowly and brush up on what you’ve learned, you don’t need a lot of kilometres of pistes. All you need is a small to medium-sized ski area that is well laid out and offers sufficiently flat slopes. And that can be found in practically every Alpine region from Germany to Italy. The separate beginner’s area takes away the fear and gives enough space to calmly get to grips with gliding and sliding. Many ski resorts also offer large practice areas with special lifts and courses to ski through. Holidays with children are no obstacle either. Almost all ski resorts offer childcare for the little ones – whether as all-day care in the play area, in the ski course or included in the package in the hotel services.
5. Physical fitness
To minimise the risk of accidents, good preparation is essential. This means that coordination, fitness and the muscles should be warmed up in advance and, in the best case, continuously trained to remain agile. The fitter winter sports enthusiasts already are, the easier the effort will be on the slopes. In any case, professional help in the form of an experienced ski instructor and appropriate ski course levels are recommended.
6. Back on ski in 3 days
Due to the new equipment, it is possible to “get back” on skis in less than a week. Various ski resorts have adapted to the demand for the adult fast course.
The “Learn2Ski in 3 days” programme in Schladming-Dachstein, for example, is aimed at skiing beginners over the age of 18 and uses the so-called Fish method. According to this method, those who motivate themselves and others have more fun learning and achieve success more quickly. Without fear and with the necessary encouragement from fellow skiers, everyone should be able to make a smooth turn at the end – and if not, the course fee is refunded, according to the provider.
7. Experiences off the slopes
In general, there is a wide range of leisure activities available off the slopes. For a long time now, a successful holiday has not only been about the kilometres of pistes you ski, but also about the relaxation factor at the wellness centre, the relaxation of hiking or sledging in the surrounding area, or the party possibilities at the après-ski. A skiing holiday can offer all of this. Modern comfort cable cars with WLAN and short waiting times as well as comprehensive snowmaking are standard in many ski resorts, even the smaller ones. This is especially true for ski resorts in Austria, but increasingly also in France and Italy. When stopping for a break, guests can expect a stylish hut experience, be it a lounge ambience or rustic wooden interior with deer antlers. Pleasure and well-being have thus become a significant part of a skiing holiday. This also applies to the leisure programme around the ski day. In addition to the classic après-ski, there is tobogganing, concerts, exhibitions, torchlight hikes and carriage rides. The list could go on and on. So there is something for everyone who wants to do something else after the exciting experience of learning to ski.
Anyone who has spent a winter holiday skiing knows the magic of this unique sport and nature experience. If you haven’t been on skis for a while, now is the time to get back into it.
So what are you waiting for?