Tips for Beginners

10/01/2017 - Brandi Gulick

Every beginning can be hard – but it doesn’t have to be!  From children to late bloomers – for everyone going on their first skiing holiday, good preparation is the key to success. Beginners can already start preparing a long time before their trip:

Kids have fun while skiing.

The right choice

Choosing the right ski area has a significant influence on the amount of fun you’ll have during your stay. Beginners should choose small and manageable ski areas. Those who are not dependant on holiday periods should avoid the highly frequented school holidays and the February half term break.

You live and learn

Lessons are recommended for everyone who quickly wants to achieve a feeling of success when it comes to skiing or snowboarding. Here, trained instructors who easily recognise the specific source of an error take care of beginners. A good ski school allows for groups with a maximum of 8 participants for children up to 6 years, and a maximum of 10 participants for children from 6 years. In Germany, according to the German Ski Association (DSV), one sign of good quality is the “Profi School” seal of approval. In France, however, the choice of the right ski school is not too difficult: All teachers of the ESF (école de ski française) have a state-approved diploma.

Be well informed

Before you venture out onto the piste, you should get to know the gear and “technical vocabulary” ahead of time. Don’t hesitate to ask your winter sports-loving friends or the staff at a sporting goods store: What kind of gear do I need on the piste? What do I need to consider when choosing my equipment? What are the differences? What sort of lifts are there? How do I read a piste map?

Muscle play

A long day on skis can be really exhausting. If you want to avoid sore muscles, make sure to stay fit before your ski holiday. Strength, stamina and agility are key. According to the DSV, Nordic walking, running, inline skating, cycling and ski gymnastics are a good way to prepare yourself. If you like, you can also try the first moves on skis in an indoor ski hall.

Fine feathers make fine birds

Proper winter sports clothing keep you warm – and dry. It’s important that ski pants and jackets allow for enough mobility. The fabric should have a minimum water column of 5,000 mm – the waterproof capacity of clothes is noted down as water column in millimetres. According to the European norm EN 343, a water column of 1,300 mm is considered waterproof. Winter sports fans also prefer breathable fabrics and functional underwear that transports moisture. It’s also reasonable to dress in layers for your time on the piste: as soon as it gets warmer in the afternoon or after the first round of intense exercise, you can take off one layer to avoid heavy perspiration.

Borrowing or buying?

Beginners in particular along with occasional skiers benefit from hired equipment. If the enthusiasm for winter sports is not so great after all, rental charges are cheaper than the purchasing price. Ski resorts have competent contact points where you can hire your snowboard or skis, as well as boots and a helmet. The benefits: personalised advice, being able to switch your skis quickly, and the latest technology. Beginners should especially make use of the personalised advice offered in ski hire shops. They should also make sure to allow for enough time when choosing comfortable equipment.

Furthermore, beginners should take the following advice:

Set of rules

The 10 FIS rules apply on the piste, and everybody should have them memorised. Accidents on the piste can only be avoided when showing consideration for others. Every skier should not only adjust their way of skiing to fit their skills, but also to the weather conditions and the amount of other skiers on the piste.

Every child can ride the baby lift.

 Maps

In order to keep your orientation in the ski area, it is reasonable to bring along a piste map. It is also self-evident that winter sports fans need to know the piste markings: blue stands for easy pistes, red for moderately difficult ones, and beginners should clearly avoid black pistes: these can be steep and bumpy.

Protection

There are two things winter sports fans should protect themselves from: injuries and the sun. This is why every beginner’s equipment should include protectors. A helmet is absolutely crucial. It has to fit comfortably, but tightly and it has to fit the ski googles. A back protector is also sensible. Wrist protectors, kneepads or protector trousers are also good additions to the equipment. Sunscreen should always be brought with. Dermatologists recommend at least SPF 30.

Take a break

Beginners in particular should not overstrain their body. Therefore, start the day well rested and with a little warm up. Take it easy, especially on the first descents. Take a break on a regular basis. Stay hydrated, as the body loses more fluids in the mountain air. End your ski day the moment you start to feel tired.

The most important rule for beginners: never lose sight of the fun. This is the only way your holiday can turn out to be a success.

We have plenty of beginner-friendly ski areas on offer. Book your ski holiday now – equipment hire and lessons can often be booked as well.

Source: www.dsv.de 

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