Skiing - a beginner's guide 2023

It's never too late to learn how to ski. Even after a longer break, you can rediscover the fun on the slopes as a newcomer. There are numerous ski schools in Switzerland that offer support for a new start.

It's never too late to learn how to ski. It doesn't matter whether you are a returning skier or a newcomer. Even the age does not matter. Learning to ski is not necessarily more difficult for adults than for children. What often gets in the way for adults, however, is the fear of falling and accidents. However, by paying attention and skiing with foresight, these can be easily avoided. We have put together a few tips to help you as a beginner or returning skier on the slopes.

The optimal ski clothing for skiing

If you have chosen the wrong clothing for skiing, you will very quickly lose your desire to enjoy the snow. This happens even in the best conditions on the slopes. The choice of the optimal ski clothing is therefore extremely important and begins already with the underwear. We recommend you to wear special ski underwear

This is specially designed for the cold winter days and allows you the necessary flexibility despite complete body coverage. Ski underwear consists of a long-sleeved top and long pants. The fabric is breathable and offers optimal moisture transport in case you start to sweat. Ski socks provide sufficient warmth to the feet

Many skiers also wear a long-sleeved shirt or a turtleneck sweater over their ski underwear. For starters, it's best to go with the onion principle and put on more to be on the safe side

The next layer is the ski suit or ski pants and ski jacket. These protect you from the cold and wind, but also from moisture, should it come to a fall. Other important accessories are a scarf, thick ski gloves and of course a helmet.

Even if there is no official helmet requirement for skiing, you should definitely wear a helmet, especially if you are a beginner or returning to skiing. Only a helmet can protect you from serious head injuries in case of an accident.

If you now put on a pair of ski goggles, you are fully equipped and ready for the slopes.

(Photo: Titlis Bergbahnen)(Photo: Titlis Bergbahnen)
(Photo: Titlis Bergbahnen)(Photo: Titlis Bergbahnen)

Rent equipment for skiing

If you are not sure whether skiing could become your new passion, it is worth renting the equipment. This way you don't invest a lot of money at the beginning and you can try out different models.

All major and medium sized ski resorts in Switzerland have stores where you can rent your ski equipment.

There you will also be assisted by professionals in making the right choice. It is not always easy to find the right size and to adjust the binding correctly. At a ski rental shop you will also find the latest models, which are always well maintained. So the quality of the material is always guaranteed when you are on the slopes.

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Ski rental (Photo: Titlis Intersport)Ski rental (Photo: Titlis Intersport)
(Photo: Titlis Intersport)(Photo: Titlis Intersport)

Choosing the right ski resort

In the more than 300 ski resorts in Switzerland, the slopes are divided into different levels of difficulty. There are blue, red and black slopes. If you are a beginner or returning skier, only the easy blue slopes are suitable for you for the time being. These have a maximum gradient of 25%.

In addition to children's slopes, many ski resorts offer special practice slopes for beginners, which are separated from the children's slopes. So for your first turns, you should choose a ski resort that offers a separated practice area. In addition, it should have at least one blue slope. Usually, ski beginners are ready for the blue slope after a few days and can leave the practice area

Red and black slopes with a gradient of 40% or more should be avoided in the first place.

(Photo: Zermatters)(Photo: Zermatters)
(Photo: Zermatters)(Photo: Zermatters)

Skiing tips for beginners

To help you get started skiing, there are some simple tips you can follow.

Tip 1: Prepare your body for skiing There are special exercises that help you train particular muscle groups before skiing. However, specific skiing exercises not only reduce the risk of sore muscles, but can also prevent accidents and injuries. Five simple power exercises you can do to prepare are:

  • Squat
  • Side plank
  • standing balance
  • swimmer
  • Mountaineer

Tip 2: Book ski school or ski instructor

To make sure you don't make any mistakes and make fast progress right away, it's worth visiting a ski school. Most major ski resorts have excellent ski schools. They offer courses for adult beginners and refresher courses for returning skiers. You can choose whether you want to take a group course or a private lesson.

Ski school Zermatt (Photo: Zermatters)Ski school Zermatt (Photo: Zermatters)
Ski instructor Zermatt (Photo: Zermatters)Ski instructor Zermatt (Photo: Zermatters)

Tip 3: Take regular breaks

Since your body first has to get used to the movement of skiing and the conditions in the mountains, regular breaks are very important. It's not for nothing that most accidents happen in the late afternoon, when skiers are tired and unfocused. Prevent this risk by enjoying the view and taking a break in between.

Tip 4: Drink enough fluids

Sufficient liquid in the form of tea or water is important for the body when skiing. It needs this so that the oxygen can be transported better. In addition, you sweat on the slopes and should replenish your fluid supply.

Tip 5: Keep your hands off alcohol

While you are on the slopes, you should absolutely avoid alcoholic beverages. Especially as a beginner this can lead to dangerous situations. Save your drink for after the ski day. You're sure to find a great après ski bar in the ski resort.

Tip 6: Learn from other skiers

On the slopes, you'll be surrounded by pros. Or at least a lot of skiers who know what they're doing. Watch them and learn from their techniques. How do they load their skis? What is their body position in the turns and how do they initiate the turns? How do they use their poles? Pay particular attention to the rounded and relaxed movements of experienced skiers. Many beginners tend to keep their upper body and legs too stiff.

Tip 7: Practice falling down

Sooner or later, a fall will inevitably happen. And you can prepare yourself for that. Just let yourself fall down several times on the beginner slope while standing and then while skiing slowly on purpose. It should take away some of the fear and hopefully make that first fall on the slopes a little less bad.

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