It’s always fun watching skiers from afar. They resemble colorful little bullets as they descend down powdery mountain runs separated by majestic evergreens. If you’ve never skied, and it more than looks like fun to you—if you’re feeling a surge of adrenaline just thinking about joining them—go for it.
Skiing with family or friends creates bonds like few other vacation experiences. Even skiing alone, you’ll form bonds—not only with your fellow skiers, but also with nature. But slow down there, Jean Claude Killy. Before you get fitted for skis and hop on the lift or gondola, here’s a few helpful tips for new skier.
The earlier you begin to exercise and limber up the better. You can skip the soreness by making sure you are physically fit before the season starts. Do lunges. Practice squatting. Both strengthen your quads and improve your balance.
Take a Lesson
Even Olympic gold medalists step off the winner’s podium for refresher course. So make sure you receive some guidance from a qualified instructor—it’s the best way to have fun on the slopes and become a better skier.
If you’re out on the slopes, that means the snow has fallen. You will, too. When you find yourself falling, try landing by sliding like a baseball player going to sit in a chair. This will keep your skis in front of you. From there, you can push yourself up (your poles are great for balance and support) from a squatting position. Getting up can be tricky at first, but once you master it, you’ll be back on your feet and heading down the slippery slopes in no time.
It might be winter, bug UV rays reflecting off the snow cause just as much harm as on a hot summer day. Protect yourself by wearing sun block and glasses or goggles. The protective eyewear will also help you see better—a definite plus when you’re soaring down the side of a mountain.
Give Your Feet the Boot
Ensure your footwear fits securely but provides a little wiggle room for your toes. That’s the key to a great day on the slopes. You should also have your bindings checked by a ski shop operator prior to any downhill or cross-country run.
Be sure to wear water- and wind-resistant apparel. Nylon pants and jackets are the best choices because they allow the snow to slide off, keeping it away from your body. Jeans and sweat pants soak up the snow, which sticks to you and melts. Once that happens, there’s no way to stay warm. Heat escapes from the top of your head—so hats and helmets are also a must.
Dress in Layers
Conditions change—including the weather and your body temperature. Combat the elements by dressing in polypropylene underwear. This material absorbs sweat and dries quickly. Top it off with a turtleneck, sweater and jacket. You’ll be all toasty, warm and ready for fun.
Don’t be fooled. Cross-country skiing isn’t “skiing for softies.” It can be demanding in its own write and requires discipline. But take it in stride. At modest speeds of just 2.5 mph, the average person will melt away more than 475 calories cross-country skiing.
Where to Stay
If you’re not sure where to take your family skiing, start by researching Bluegreen Vacations resorts in three of America’s premier family ski destinations: Mountain Run at Boyne™ in Boyne, Michigan (the Midwest’s largest ski area), Christmas Mountain Village™ in the Wisconsin Dells, and South Mountain Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire. So plan your trip carefully to suit your needs, prepare with diligence to ensure your safety, and go out there and conquer the mountain or scenic terrain. A great skiing experience is waiting.