At 45, I am learning how to downhill ski and love it. To find out the best tips on how any adult can learn how to ski, I spoke with the experts. They shared their expertise on how you (or anyone!) can learn how to ski.
Nadio Hachey, Manager of Adult Groups at Whistler Blackcomb provided the top tips for newbie skiiers.
Anyone can learn to downhill ski! There are ski lessons for children as young as 3 years old all the way to skiers who are 55+. There are also adaptive ski and snowboard programs. Ski and snowboard winter programs are open to beginner to advanced skiers and snowboarders.
There is also additional assistance for both physical and cognitive disabilities, so everyone can enjoy the slopes.
Is there an age limit to learn how to ski?
There is no age limit. It is recommended that those learning to ski listen to their bodies and consult with a physician if they have underlying conditions but skiing is what you make it and everyone should have access to the spectacular terrain one way or another.
Best tips for a first time skier:
Starting somewhere mellow and flat, progressing at a steady pace, and assuming an athletic stance are important tips for a safe learning environment.
To find out the best tips on staying warm and comfortable skiing, I spoke with Michael Connor, MEC Toronto store staff. Michael provided his top tips:
How to choose a pair of skis when learning how to ski?
Focus on boot fit
Boot choice and fit is the most important part of setting up any ski package. If your feet aren't happy your ski day will end quicker than you'd hoped. The fit process should always start with your feet being measured.
A boot fitter needs to know, not just how long and wide your feet are but also how much volume your feet have and how they are shaped. Everybody's feet are different. By measuring your feet a good boot fitter can quickly assess which models of boot would suit you best.
Spending more money won't buy you a better learning experience
For a new skier spending more money won't translate directly into a better ski experience. Entry level skis have forgiving, predictable flex and are ideal for a skier's first couple of seasons. As you gain experience you'll find yourself gravitating to particular types of skiing and can start shopping for more specialized gear.
Poles are straight forward. Online and at any ski retailer there are charts that will tell you the length of pole ideal for your height. More expensive poles tend to have specialized functions.
What to wear when skiing?
Layers are important.
Investing in great "next to skin" base layers is important. This layer, whether knit from merino wool yarns or synthetics, does most of the heavy lifting in keeping us comfortable. This layer manages our micro climate by moving moisture away from our skin keeping us dry and comfortable.
We can use the same base layer garments across a wide spectrum of activities and temperatures.
Get a helmet.
Modern ski helmets not only protect your noggin they also serve as the most comfortable that you can ski in and the best support for your goggles. You wouldn't drive without a seat belt, don't ski at a resort without a helmet.
When cotton gets damp it loses all of its insulation value and takes a very long time to dry. Avoid cotton clothing if you're going to be active in cold weather.
Mikaël Lavoie-Gauthier,Eyewear and Goggle Product Manager, Oakley Canada provided the top tips on ski googles.
In which environment do you like to ride? Are you a weekend warrior or do you prefer blue sky days? You want to make sure you'll get the best visibility in the light conditions you'll be in.
When trying on the ski googles, bring your helmet. Ski goggles should be made to fit most helmets. Look for comfort and breathability. You might also look for compatibility with RX eyewear frames if you wear some.
Do not rub inner lens surface when wet.
If snow or water should collect inside the goggle, follow these steps:
- Shake excess snow from the goggle interior. Clear all ventilation ports and lens vents.
- Use a Microclear™ bag and gently blot any remaining moisture.
- Allow time for moisture to dissipate. Once the goggle is put back on, keep moving as much as possible.
Airflow through vents will help dry the goggle.
For proper cleaning and storage, remember the following:
- Do not use paper products, ski gloves or other abrasive materials to clean the goggle.
- Allow the goggle to air dry before storing for extended periods.
- Do not leave the goggle in areas of concentrated heat and sunlight, such as on a car dashboard or hanging from a rear view mirror.
- Protect lens and face foam by storing the goggle in its protective bag or case.
I am going to use these amazing tips when I am out on the slopes!
Let's have the best winter ever!!