Tips For First Time Skiiers
Helmet: - The most important piece of skiing equipment. A legal requirement now in almost all ski resorts and an absolute must for children and beginners. Times have changed since ski helmets were considered uncool and unnecessary 20+ years ago. Nowadays most people who value their health wouldn’t ride a bike without a helmet, so why would you consider skiing without one? A well fitted compliant helmet is possibly the best investment you will make prior to departure and they are not as expensive as you might expect. An accident on the slopes without a helmet could be far more costly…
Exercise: - Skiing is a physically demanding activity. It will test your flexibility, strength and stamina as well as your determination and mental resolve. Those who are already involved in sports and physical activity of some sort will have an advantage but even then, be aware that skiing uses different muscles that you may not be already regularly using. Some skiing specific exercises to help you prepare for your time on the slopes can be found here - https://www.skiworld.co.uk/get-fit-for-ski
Sleep: - For most of us, going away on holiday is something we look forward to from the moment we book. A chance to break the usual routine, let our hair down and enjoy some party atmosphere. A ski trip is no different and the après-ski options in most resorts on an evening can be very tempting. By all means, have a drink or 2 after dinner but remember that you are likely to get the best from your skiing when well rested. Moreover, the early bird catches the worm and the experience of being amongst the first out on the freshly fallen snow is one not to be missed. A good night’s sleep and regular early starts on the piste will result in more productive ski sessions and isn’t that the main reason you are there?
Diet: - What you put in your body is as important as how the temple is rested during your ski trip. Again, feel free to sample the culinary delights of the particular place you find yourself but be sensible. Is it really advisable to have that whole meat feast pizza to yourself again for the third day running? At the same time, make sure you are sufficiently fuelled for what may be a more active daily routine than you are normally used to. Breakfast is of particular importance and even though it may be an early start in the morning, make sure you have a decent breakfast before hitting the slopes.
Water:- Along with food, liquid intake whilst skiing needs to be carefully considered. Thirst responses reduce in cooler temperatures so the body’s usual signals to drink may not be present. It is necessary to take in water throughout the day even though you may not feel particularly thirsty when in a cold environment. Carry a water bottle with you on the slopes to sip and refill as necessary, prevention is always better than cure! Believe it or not, dehydration on the mountains is quite common due to the altitude combined with physical activity. Try to give isotonic sports drinks and energy drinks a miss, H2O is always best.
Sunburn:- Another point which may surprise you, the high prevalence of sunburn in a winter resorts. Yes, we are hopping for some clear blue skies with those picture postcard views across the mountain range. Even though we can experience temperatures of up to (or should that be down to!) -30 degree centigrade, when the sun shining high up in resort, it can be quite strong. The reflection off the snow make the sun’s rays even more powerful so a minimum of SPF 30 or SPF 50 for those with fairer skin should be worn on all exposed areas.
Boots:- Despite all the advances in ski technology and snow sport equipment in recent years, there is still one item of gear, or more accurately a pair, that causes the most bother. Ski boots need to be hard and rigid to clip and hold well in your skis, but this can make them less than friendly to your feet. It is absolutely paramount that they are well fitted, do not leave the ski fit shop until you are 100% sure yours are the correct size. If you are hiring ski boots in resort as most people do, it is often a busy fitting session in a crowded lock up where you may not be given that much personal attention from staff. Make sure you shout up if the pair you are given don’t feel right! As well as good fitting boots, decent ski socks are worth their weight in gold, as are thermal liners. A pair of socks per day skiing is advisable and a pack of blister plasters are worth carrying in case all the worst still happens.