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8 Mistakes Not To Make As A Beginner Skier

Beginner skier

As a beginner skier, you’re going to make a lot of mistakes. Skiing is a complicated skill that is not easy to learn and takes a lot of practice in order to perfect. It takes a lot of getting it wrong until you finally get it right.

In this blog post, we’re going to help you minimize the times you get it wrong so all you have to focus on is getting better at skiing.

Keep reading to learn the top 8 mistakes that beginner skiers make and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Not Having The Right Clothing And Equipment

Skier on mountain

Not wearing the right clothing is basically a surefire way to have a miserable ski day.

Your clothing needs to keep you warm and dry while you’re moving down the mountain. Don’t overdress and don’t underdress. Wear a layer of thermal base layers and a waterproof shell. Bring along a warm sweatshirt, some hot hands, and other accessories that can be added or removed when necessary.

Keep in mind that while the environment may be cold, you will be constantly moving and potentially in the sun all day so don’t commit to too much.

Mistake #2: Not Booking in Advance

Summit at Snoqualmie

Booking things like accommodation, rental equipment, and lessons in advance not only saves you money, but it also ensures your spot. Don’t be the person who gets left out because they showed up to the ski resort at 2pm and there were no rentals left to fit them or spaces left in a lesson. Don’t be the person who has to squeeze your feet into boots that are half a size too small because it’s all that’s left.

All of these will lead to a lot of discomfort or time and money wasted. In order to ensure you have a smooth sailing ski day and save as much money as possible, do thorough research, book everything in advance, and show up early.

Mistake #3: Not Working on Fitness

Aspen top of mountain

Many beginner skiers watch advanced skiers fly down the mountain as if it were effortless and think that it really is. Then they show up to the mountain on day 1 and find that they get really out of breath really fast or don’t have the leg strength to keep up. If they don’t figure it out on day 1, they certainly feel it on day 2.

Just doing even a simple fitness program to help build endurance, balance, and leg strength will go a long way when you’re on the slopes. Building a solid foundation will allow you to enjoy your vacation more while lessening your chances of injury.

Mistake #4: Not Taking Ski Lessons

Ski lessons in a group

Would you drive a car or ride a bike for the first time without proper instruction first? Absolutely not. Ski lessons should be no different.

While you can learn how to ski from a free video on the internet or from a friend, you won’t be able to see what you’re doing wrong. You won’t be able to tell if you’re learning bad habits.

If you don’t take a lesson in the beginning, you’ll likely get to a point where you aren’t progressing and aren’t sure why. Instead, take a lesson so you can learn proper techniques and pick up good habits that will help you progress over time.

Mistake #5: Leaning Too Far Back

Closeup of ski boots and skis

There are many habits in skiing that are formed out of fear, including leaning too far back and having too rigid of a stance. Leaning too far back is a natural way of trying to slow down, though unfortunately it does not affect your speed, only your ability to control your skis.

Turns are initiated with your front ski, so taking the pressure off the front and placing it on the back ski instead will not allow you to turn properly. Instead, push your shins forward in your ski boots. When they are touching slightly, you’ll know you’re in the right position.

Mistake #6: Not Skiing Fast Enough

Skiing woman skier going downhill

It’s easy to assume that skiing slower will mean skiing easier, but that’s not the case in reality. Getting good at skiing is about fluidity and with speed comes momentum that makes initiating a turn one quick and easy movement rather than a big deal.

When you pick up your speed, you’ll find wedged turns instantly become so much easier and you’ll slowly start to feel more and more confident with your skiing abilities as things begin to click and your fears become a thing of the past.

Mistake #7: Not Distributing Your Weight Correctly

fast skier

One of the top reasons why beginners may feel like they can’t control their skis is because they don’t understand weight distribution and how it affects your skiings. Due to anxiety, a lot of beginners will turn their upper body to initiate a turn while placing pressure on their outside ski and turning their hips in the opposite direction, which is really just a walking contradiction that doesn’t help you corner effectively.

Instead, learn how to move the upper body and hips forward while placing pressure on the inside edge of your outside ski. Once you begin to understand how to properly shift your weight to go in the direction in which you want to, you’ll start to be able to string turns together and overall feel much more confident and comfortable on your skis!

Mistake #8: Not Falling Properly

Woman skier with ski

No matter how good at skiing you are, when you frequently take risks, you’re going to fall sometimes. Get used to it and get comfortable with it. And when you do fall, it’s important that you fall properly in order to avoid getting injured.

There are a few techniques to falling properly that I will save for a later post. For now what you need to know is to not try to catch yourself when you fall as this can cause further injury.

Instead, keep your limbs tucked and always aim to land with your skis on the ground.

Falling down on skis

To get back up, roll onto your belly and position yourself perpendicular to the hill while keeping your feet wide apart. Place your skis on the ground in a V-shape with the tips pointed out at the tails pointed toward each other.

Get on your hands and knees and walk your hands in toward your feet. Keep your weight on your hands until you are balanced enough to stand all the way up with your weight on your skis. Then slowly make your way back to parallel, and head back down the mountain!