Photo by Karl Köhler on Unsplash
Skiing is one of those activities that many people begin at a young age. And if you didn’t begin at a young age, you might feel like it’s too late to start. Who wants to be on the beginner slope with a bunch of little kids all day, right?
Well, it’s time to realise that that is all in your head. If you actually look around at a beginner slope, you’ll notice that it’s probably half and half adults and kids. Just because you didn’t learn at a young age, and grow up skiing, doesn’t mean you can’t learn now. And there are plenty of other adults who will be learning right along with you.
So, for your next holiday, head to the Alps! Holidays are on average about two weeks long, so this article will lay out how to learn how to ski in the Alps in just two weeks. And if you decide to go on holiday in the Alps during spring, you’ll get to participate in some great ski festivals that will motivate you even more!
Don’t learn from a friend
Chances are, if you want to learn how to ski, it’s because there are people who ski in your family or in your friend group. And once those individuals find out that you are thinking about learning how to ski, they will be lining up at your doorstep offering their tutoring services.
Of course, it’s tempting to learn from a family member, significant other, or best friend. What could go wrong, right? Everything! Everything could go wrong. Wrist case scenario is you’ll need spine surgery! You absolutely cannot let them be your ski instructor. It doesn’t matter if it hurts their feelings. It’s for your good, their good and the survival of the relationship.
Here’s what’ll likely happen if your friend teaches you to ski: They’ll bring you to the beginner hill. Then they will explain some expert tips to you, and you won’t understand exactly what they’re saying. You’ll be nervous, so you’ll be irritable, and you’ll snap at them, telling them to explain in a clearer way. Feelings will get hurt.
You’ll then go down the slope, trying to remember everything your friend said, not remembering much of it and then almost crashing into a little kid who’s also learning how to ski.
Now, no one would blame you for quitting right there and then, but you decide to give it another shot. Your friend lets you fumble one more time down the beginner slope, and then gets bored and suggests that you go with them to one of the more challenging slopes. They’ll say—word for word— “don’t worry, you’ll be fine.”
In this scenario, you’ll either end up fighting with your friend, hurting yourself, or being so traumatized by the experience by taking on a too advanced slope too soon, that you’ll never ski again.
Hire a professional
Photo by Alain Wong on Unsplash
Ok, so you now know that to learn how to ski you will not be learning from your friend, but that doesn’t mean you should try to learn on your own either. No, you still need professional help. And that means booking yourself into a ski school. If you want to go all out, you can opt for private classes for the VIP experiences. Private classes are a sure-fire way to learn how to ski well within your 2-week timeframe.
Private lessons can of course be expensive, like really expensive, so a more economical option would be to join a week-long group lesson course. You’ll probably have classes in the morning, and then some free time after lunch so you can practice everything you learned during the lesson.
You should closely investigate the ski schools you may want to enrol in. Your tour operator will probably offer you one, but you should make your own decision based on your own research, in order to choose the ski school that’s right for you.
Need help choosing the right school for you? Alpine Elements handpicks ski schools and ensures they’re the best. They claim that that they will have you skiing in only three days! Never mind the aforementioned two weeks!
Get in shape
Skiing is a physical activity, one that requires a lot of strength and endurance. And ski school means you’ll be spending all morning using your body and your muscles in ways that may be new. At the least, you’ll be learning and practicing for six hours a day, for the entire week or two that you go on your ski holiday. So, it’s essential that you have the energy to be able to learn and enjoy learning.
That means, make sure you are in shape, or get into shape before you go. This doesn’t mean going to the gym every day or joining your local CrossFit cult. Well, you can certainly do that if you want to. But there are a plethora of ways to get into the shape you need to be into to go skiing. Some great ways to get into shape without going to the gym include:
- Taking the stairs instead of the lift.
- Riding your bike or walking to work, or getting off the bus a stop ahead of where you normally do, and walking the rest of the way to work.
- Practicing squats while you watch TV.
- Doubling the length of your walk with your dog.
After spending all morning and part of the afternoon learning and practicing your new moves, you’re going to be exhausted. And that’s totally ok and normal! So grab a cup of hot tea or cocoa, get comfy on the couch, and get your nerd on by watching ski videos.
There are two types of videos that you should watch:
if well done, they will help refresh your memory of everything you learned during the morning. If you only hear the information once, you are more likely to forget it, but by hearing it repeated in videos, it will become a permanent part of your set of knowledge.
The purpose of this is to let your mind relax after focusing all day, and to keep your excitement up for learning. You should make sure to choose videos with ultra-professional skiers, skiing on a beautiful day when the sky is clear, the sun is shining and there is plenty of fluffy powder. To find these videos you can simply go to the homepage of any resort, or search on YouTube for “powder skiing” or “piste skiing”.
And you definitely have to check out “The Blizzard of Aahhh’s,” a film made by a group of bad-boys who could be credited for inspiring a whole generation of skiers.
Dress for success
If you’re a younger adult, and going with a group of friends, you may feel some pressure to show a certain level of nonchalance about this whole deal. If your friends consider themselves to be “cool” or if they are millennial hipsters, they might not wear helmets, and they might try to ski in their vintage Levis or Wranglers.
Or maybe the opposite is true, maybe you’re heading to the slopes with a group of successful execs, who have all of the latest and most expensive gear.
Either way, don’t worry about them. You just need to make sure that you wear the appropriate clothing to keep you comfortable while you learn how to ski. Remember, this isn’t about them, it’s about you.
So, what should you wear to learn how to ski in the Alps?
- Boots: You’ll need boots that fit right. If you’re buying, ask an expert to help you pick out the right pair for you.
- Snow pants: You’ll be falling a lot, and that’s great! But that means you’ll need some leg protection to keep you warm and dry.
- Helmet: Get yourself a helmet and protect those brains of yours.
- Gloves: Keep your hands warm with some waterproof fleece gloves.
- Goggles: Protect your eyes, the sun can literally be blinding on a clear day reflecting off all that fresh powder.
Of course, if you’re flying to the Alps, and you buy your ski clothes, you’ll want to figure out how to pack all your gear to make it travel-friendly.
Photo by Fezbot2000 on Unsplash
So, to review: Don’t learn from a friend, sign up for ski school, make sure you’re in shape, watch ski videos for inspiration and wear the proper gear. If you follow these tips on your holiday to the Alps, you’ll definitely be skiing right alongside all of your friends within two weeks. Honestly, they’ll probably be eating your dust (or powder) within a matter of days.