Learning To Ski - What to Expect

07 March 2019

No matter how good a skier you are, you can always be better. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a lesson when you ski, just to make sure you are progressing and not picking up too many bad habits.

But this post is really for those of you who haven’t skied before and are slightly nervous about what happens when you put on your skis for the first time, gravity takes affect and you head off down the slope. Don’t worry - we’ve all done it and most of us loved it so much that we still do it today!

If you can, learn with a friend. Go with someone else who has never skied - and share this post with them. They should be someone with similar patience and temperament, as well as similar fitness and athletic ability. As someone once told me: "Misery loves company".


560x420 mug adventure begins


What Will You Need?

Well skis are fairly obvious, but you will also need to have comfortable, well-fitted boots as well as poles and a helmet (most ski schools will not let you ski without one and it’s just a sensible thing to wear). You should have good gloves to keep your hands warm, as well as layers of clothing that will help you regulate your temperature throughout the day. There will be times when you are standing listening to your instructor and other times when you will be moving about, generating plenty of heat! And don’t forget your feet - buy some proper ski socks that will keep your feet warm.


The First Day

This really starts the day before, or possibly the night before if you have got into resort a little late. You will need to get you boots and skis and other paraphernalia before that first morning. If you haven’t done this before, it can be a little different to what you are used to.


560x420 skis boots


We offer our guests a service where skis and boots are delivered to your Ski Cuisine chalet, to be tried on in comfort and peace. This is highly recommend as a busy ski rental shop can be confusing and intimidating the first time you go. Most popular with our guests are Slide Candy and Meribel Ski Service, both of whom will bring your skis and boots to the chalet. They are highly experienced with top quality equipment and will make sure that you are comfortable with all your gear.


The First Lesson

So you are dressed and ready to go. You probably aren’t quite sure about how tight your boots should be or how to hold your poles, and walking with skis and poles under you arms whilst wearing ski boots does take a bit of practice. Everything will become clear over the next few hours.

After introductions and a review of your equipment, there will be some time spent explaining how skiing works before you are let loose on the slopes with your skis on. You will be shown how to put your skis on and off and what to do with those poles - and how tight you should have your boots.

The first thing you are taught is how to stop. This is the most important thing you will learn and you will soon be snowploughing down the gentle green slopes, showing everyone how you have mastered the crucial manoeuvre. Well done.

You'll be fairly tired after your first lesson. This will probably be about four hours long (often the first lesson is longer to take account of the new equipment that needs explaining). Go and have a lie down or a drink.


560x420 three top vallee


The Second Day

For some people, the second day is harder than the first. Perhaps they didn’t really enjoy the first day (it is hard work after all) or others in the group got to grips with the new skills much faster. If this is you, please don’t give up. You will get better, you will become a decent skier, you will start to enjoy it. You will be so thankful for keeping at it when you are gliding down the slopes with your friends, children or parents, whooping and hollering at one of the best things you can do outside.


560x420 piste ridges


The Rest of The Week

It gets better each day. Your legs will ache, your feet will be sore and your bum may be bruised. But you will be getting there and, by the end of the week, you will understand that this fantastic sport is one that you can really get into. If you do the full week, you will catch the bug and you will be back again next year. Really, you will.

Ski Cuisine recommends a number of Ski Schools in Meribel and they can be found here.