While the choice between skiing and snowboarding is a personal preference, there are essential tips to ensure an enjoyable first time on the slopes for either sport. Here is some crucial advice first-timers must follow so that their snowboarding or skiing trip goes perfectly.
- give both sports a try
- bend your knees
- dress for success
- rent or demo before you buy
- fuel your engine
- forget to wear a helmet
- ride the mountain without taking a lesson
- forget to take breaks
- get frustrated
- stop in the middle of a slope
Everyone is different. The best way to find out which sport is right for you is by trying them both to find out which one your body takes to. Surfers and skateboarders find that snowboarding is much easier to pick up than skiing because the movements in either activity are similar. Skiing can take slightly longer to learn, but is equally as enjoyable once mastered.
Always bend your knees when skiing and snowboarding. Locked knees can result in loss of control, which can lead to falls. Bending the knees also helps reduce the pressure on your legs, allowing you to ski and snowboard with ease. Because snowboarding is much easier on the knees than skiing, those who are prone to knee injuries may want to stick to snowboards.
Make sure you wear a layering system. Begin with a synthetic or Merino wool base layer against your skin, then use a mid-layer top that’s either fleece or lightly insulated. For outerwear, be sure you have a good waterproof, breathable jacket and pair of pants. By layering, you can prepare for both cold and warm temperatures. You can also add both comfort and protection with gloves, a helmet and eyewear.
As a first-time skier or snowboarder, you may not have experience choosing equipment that will work well for you. A good place to start is your local sporting goods retailer. A shop employee can steer you in the right direction and some retailers even offer a rental program so you can go out and try a piece of equipment before purchasing.
Make sure you stay hydrated and eat periodically throughout the day. Proper hydration and food intake will keep energy levels up and help you adjust to the high elevation. Many skiers and snowboarders start to feel sick while out on the mountain due to dehydration caused by high elevations. Be sure to take water breaks to ensure you’re rehydrating.
Don’t even step into your gear without a helmet on—especially for beginners. A helmet will protect you from life-threatening injuries and ensure your head and neck are protected while on the mountain.
Don’t try boarding or skiing on your own or have your friends attempt to teach you. When you are new to skiing and snowboarding, it is important to participate in a class or two with the experts until they let you know you’re ready to go out on your own. This will benefit you greatly in the long run because you’ll be using the proper technique, which will make your time much more rewarding.
Don’t overdo your first couple of times on the mountain. When your body gets tired, call it a day. Skiing or snowboarding when you are tired can lead to an accident or possible injury.
You will not be an instant professional skier or snowboarder. It’s remarkable what practice and a few lessons will do. Give your body some time to adjust and you’ll begin to feel more comfortable while skiing or snowboarding.
When you stop on a slope to take a breather, remember to pay attention to your surroundings. There are usually other people coming down the hill. If you need to take a break, move to the side of the trail and be aware of fellow skiers and snowboarders gliding down the mountain.
Skiing and snowboarding can be exhilarating once you get the hang of each sport! No matter which one you choose, safety is the most important factor to take into consideration while on the slope. Following safety regulations and instructor guidelines will ensure a pleasurable first time taking on these popular winter sports.