We spoke to former Olympic skier and Ski Sunday presenter Graham Bell, who shares his top tips for learning how to ski.
1) Before you go, get some lessons either on an artificial or indoor snow ski slope. It’ll save you being stuck on the nursery slopes on the first few days of your trip.
2) It may seem like a good idea at the time, but don’t learn from a family member or partner. They will only end up getting frustrated and could lead you onto slopes that you’re not ready for.
3) Get fit before you go. Skiing and snowboarding are dynamic sports that are physically demanding even if you know what you’re doing, but especially when you don’t. When you’re learning, your movements require cognitive thought, which means your muscles work much harder and you’ll get tired more quickly.
4) Watch some ski or snowboard videos. Watching the pros ski down steep powder runs or jump off cliffs will get you in the mood, but there are also a few tuition videos for the simpler stuff available online.
5) Wear the right clothes. The key to this is layering with good quick-drying base layers. Cotton T-shirts are not a good idea as once they’re wet they’ll stay wet, and jeans are a complete no-no.
6) A good pair of ski socks should be the only material between you and your boot – do not tuck anything into the top of your boots. Wear three-quarter length leggings or trousers, or cut longer styles off at the shin.
7) A good pair of gloves are important when you’re learning because you’ll spend a lot of time in contact with the snow.
8) Bring a rucksack up the mountain so you have the option to shed layers if you get too hot and can pack some water.
9) Learn with friends who are at a similar level to you and leave your inhibitions in the chalet. You will fall over a lot when you’re learning to ski or snowboard, but that’s part of the fun, so just relax and go with it.
10) Pick an easy run and stick with it for the first couple of days – you’ll be able to work on your technique more once you know the lay of the mountain and aren’t having to worry about navigating.