3 Tips for Beginner Skiers or Snowboarders


As the snow falls across our favourite Alpine ski resorts and winter 2017/18 ticks slowly by, many thousands of learner skiers will be preparing themselves for their first ever trip to the Alps.

It’s very easy for experienced or expert skiers and snowboarders to forget those early first turns, though… The frustrations of falling when you least expect it, and the difficulties in making those damned ski tips stay straight.

In this blog, we’re offering up a few hints and tips to help you make the most of your early days on the snow. When people tell you the effort is worth it, they’re telling the truth! But for many learners, it takes a lot of practise and a big effort before the beauty of the sport really reveals itself.

Hit the UK’s ski centres for early practise

We Brits tend to visit France, Austria, Switzerland or Italy for the best slopes, and many head to Scotland too. But if you look even closer to home you’d be surprised at how many indoor or artificial ski facilities there are in the UK. Not only do they provide your ski fix all year round, but with in-house tuition often available, they’re great places to practise your first turns in comfort.

Here are a few UK centres to check out:

* The Snow Centre is located in Hemel Hempstead — just outside the M25 — and is widely considered the best indoor facility in the country.
* Manchester’s Chill Factore is home to the UK’s longest indoor real snow slope (180 metres).
* The Cardiff Ski and Snowboard Centre offers a 100-metre piste and hosts skiing and lessons for all abilities.
* The Plymouth Ski Slope and Snowboard Centre boasts three slopes, including the longest artificial slope in the southwest.
* Snow Factor is a real-snow slope near Glasgow, with a 168-metre slope, ski and snowboarding lessons and tons of events.

Once you’ve mastered the art, skiing and snowboarding brings you the best kind of outdoor adventure you could wish for! Image courtesy of Stella Caraman.

Organise tuition

Whether taking to the slopes in the UK or embarking on your first ski holiday, lessons should play a big part in your experience. The above centres all offer tuition to learners and improvers, and out in the Alps there’s a whole host of reputable ski schools with bags of experience in taking beginners onto the snow for the first time.

Don't buy all your kit… yet…

Although wonderfully rewarding and enjoyable, skiing and snowboarding are pricey hobbies. If you add together the cost of a snowboard, boots, goggles, gloves, jacket and salopettes, plus the holiday itself including flights, transfers and accommodation, the price would be enough to put anyone off.

That’s why borrowing or renting kit is important in the early stages… You don’t know for sure you’re going to enjoy it, and there’s no point wasting money on kit you don’t end up using. So beg or borrow, (but don’t steal!) from your pals and get a feel for the sport without breaking the bank.

If you’re prepped and ready for your first trip to the Alps, read our ultimate guide to mountain safety for more helpful advice on staying safe on the snow. 

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