Tips for Your First Time Skiing

Published by Harry Sowers on

First Time Skiing Tips

If this is your very first time going skiing, you are likely worried about how easy it is to do, what to wear, and how to ski powder. Now’s the best moment to learn about things before you hit the ski resorts. That way, you are prepared with the right tools and equipment and have a little idea of what might come that first day.

Here are some tips for skiing the first time:

How Do I Prepare for Skiing for the First Time?

If you have decided to go skiing for the first time, you’re going to need help. Ensure that you take ski school lessons, as first-time skiers need to learn the basics. This can also ensure you find out the etiquette points and safety rules for going down the slopes.


You need to get the right clothes for skiing, as well. This includes ski boots, a warm coat, a hat, scarf, and any other winter-weather gear you prefer. Likely, that first time, you aren’t going to hit the slopes more than a few hours at a time. Still, the jacket needs to be warm enough to protect from the cold for hours. Instructors may be able to tell you which options are best if you ask them before your trip. That way, you bring the best pants and other things you need.

One thing you’ve got to consider is your socks and clothing you wear under the warm items. For example, you can find ski socks, which are designed to wick moisture (sweat) away from the feet and keep them warm and dry. They also help keep the boots in place.

Clothing for skiing should also include a ski mask, gloves or mittens, and a few layers of regular clothes. Some people prefer to use overalls or snow coveralls. One benefit of this is that your legs are going to stay warm.


Skiing for beginners is often hard because you must make sure that you have the right items for skiing. Gears are likely moving in your head already about the types of equipment for skiing you might need.

Of course, you’re going to get skis and poles to help you go down the slopes. Still, the first-time skier may find it easier to rent those from the ski resort. If that is your plan, consider calling ahead and make sure that it rents ski equipment and has what you need.

The boots you choose should fit perfectly. Many people prefer to buy their own boots and then attach them to the skis at the ski resort. That way, they fit correctly and are comfortable, even at the end of the day. The best ski boots are those that don’t fall off while you’re going down the slopes and aren’t excessively tight, either. It’s a perfect balance that can be hard to find. Therefore, patience is essential. Take your time and get boots that ensure your feet feel secure and safe without being too tight.

Now, you might be wondering if you should buy skis. Generally, first-time skiers should rent their skis. It’s much easier for them to find out about the different makes and models and determine if they even like skiing the slopes. Also, many new skiers don’t have the money to afford new skis and travel with them. Often, airlines charge more to store them and handle them gently, so this is an added cost and one you should be aware of.

Though it’s completely up to you, it’s often better to rent skis and get to use the modern equipment before you decide if you want to continue.

The one thing you may want to buy is a helmet. You can find a variety of high-quality ones with various features. However, safety is the primary goal. It’s often best to buy one for yourself if you know you’re going to ski a lot. That way, you know it’s never been in an accident before.

Consider goggles, as well. Everyone you see is going to wear them to protect their eyes from the sun. Make sure that they allow you to look out clearly without getting too much glare from the snow. Also, they need to fit inside the helmet comfortably.

With the right gear for skiing, you are sure to have a good first ski experience.

Is It Easy to Ski for the First Time?

child skiing for the first time

Most first-time skiers find skiing to be a challenge. This is something you’ve never done before in your life. Though it can be compared to rollerblading or ice-skating, it is actually different than either of those. However, skiing can be a great experience if you focus on learning ski tips for beginners and take lessons.

Ski Lessons

It’s always best to take those ski lessons. Many people feel embarrassed like they should already know how to get down the slopes. The one thing you shouldn’t skimp on is learning what to do. This is going to help you feel more comfortable up there on the mountain and know what to do to get down safely.

Be Prepared to Fall

No one wants the embarrassment of falling on their bums, but snow and ice are slippery. Expect to fall a few times while you are learning. This can hurt your confidence, but it is part of learning. Give yourself a chance to learn about control, speed, and foot placement. That way, you feel like you could run any terrain for days. Remember, one lesson probably isn’t going to be enough. Don’t stop on day two; you can have fun and enjoy yourself, but only if you stick with it.

How Do You Ski Powder for the First Time?

Skiier skiing for the first time

Beginner ski tips couldn’t be complete without explaining how to maneuver the powder. Usually, first-time skiers learn on a damped down course to make it easier to get the hang of balance and turns. When you’re on powder, though, it’s a little harder to do.

Positioning and Posture Tips

If this is your very first ski trip, you want to focus primarily on posture and positioning. One of the worst possible things you could do is get into the wrong position and hurt yourself.

Stand with your hands in front of you and start going downhill. Pretend like you’re reading a newspaper that’s fully opened. Position the arms about 6 inches extra from shoulder width. The hands should actually be further ahead than what you think they should. Consider watching other skiers fly down the slope and try to mimic what they do.

Plant your feet wide with the poles before turning and try only to move the wrists. You don’t want your arms to go backward because that throws you off your balance. Always maintain that newspaper-holding position.

Now, you can narrow your stance just a bit, but ensure that the skis don’t touch. This is going to help you with the one ski, one turn mantra, which you probably learned that from your ski instructor. You may also squat down just a little, but make sure the knees aren’t behind the ankles at any time. Putting weight that far back is going to cause pain. Though many people say you should sit back more when skiing powder, it takes more weight from the front of your skis and burns out the legs fast.

Also, ensure that the tips of the skis don’t cross because that almost guarantees that you are going to fall.


When you’re turning, you should think of a round zig-zag pattern as you’re going down the hill. Squat to the midpoint of your straight line and then stand up almost straight with the legs to unweight you so that you can turn. Instead of timing your turns for speed, time them when you’re naturally unweighted.

Many people try to avoid bumps in the snow, but it might be harder to go around them. You can actually run up on them and unweight a little, which can make turning much easier. Before doing this, talk to your guide or patroller to teach you the difference between safe and dangerous bumps. This might take some practice, so you may continue avoiding the bumps for a while until you’re more comfortable.

It’s also best to take turns with the thigh bone instead of from the edge of your ski. Think about the thigh rotating in the pelvis in the direction you want to turn to help turn the pair. Remember, you’re on powder, so you can’t go as you normally might on hard-packed snow. Catching a lower edge for turning is okay on a groomed run, but it is just going to slip away from you under the snow and cause you to fall.


Those who have never skied before may find it hard to learn the ropes. Please don’t wait to try this amazing sport. You’ll love it when you get started, and skiing is a great thing to do with the family. Put yourself in the most appropriate frame of mind, get on the lift, and glide down the slope with ease using these tips. Of course, you need the right gear and equipment, as well as a training instructor who can help you learn the basics.

Categories: How to


Harry Sowers

Harry grew up outside of Denver Colorado and has been skiing and snowboarding since he was 3. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college at UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.