Have you booked your first ski trip? Now, the small matter of figuring out how to do it. We’ve teamed up with one of our seasoned pros to give you some tips and tricks on how to get started.

First time on the slopes? Here are the best tips for beginners

Getting Started As A Beginner

Start On Flat Terrain

I’ve seen it all too often. A beginner overestimates their natural talent and thinks, how hard could it be? Only to find themselves in a mess shortly after. Start on flat terrain, ideally in the learning area. These are purpose-built zones designed to get you started. Get comfortable with the sensation of having skis on your feet and the feeling of gliding. If you can, consider how you’d stand if playing another sport. The more athletic your stance, the more likely you’re to stay balanced. Stay flexed in your ankle, knee and hip. Shin contact, knees bent, bum back and shoulders down. Get yourself ski ready with our Fitness Guide

One of the unique aspects of skiing is the sensation of sliding. It’s not something we experience in many other sports or situations. In skiing, we learn to manage this sliding. When you first experience this, it’s natural to panic and lose your balance, either falling back or attempting some unconventional move to recover. To prepare for this, focus on maintaining shin contact and moving forward in the direction your skis are travelling.

Ski Tips For Beginners


It will work for you, even if you’re an adult. If you need to stop or slow your speed, bring the tips of the skis close together and move the tails of the skis further apart. This produces a braking action as the skis are turned against your direction of travel. This is a super skill to master and is used even by expert skiers when coming into lift lines, etc. Experiment with the size of your pizza to increase speed or slow down.


Check Your Equipment

Ensuring you have the right equipment is key. Pay special attention to your boots. They should be comfortable and fit well. If your boots are too big, you’ll struggle to control your skis. It’s normal for your boots to fit snugly. Only wear your ski socks in your boots, and avoid stuffing baselayers or your ski pants into your ski boot.


Balance Left To Go Right And Right To Go Left

Although you have two skis on, we balance on one at a time when turning. If you want to turn left, try balancing more on the right ski; this helps you turn and increases grip and control. Then, balance on the left ski to turn right.

Using Ski Lifts As A Beginner

Your first encounter with a ski lift can be slightly daunting. Before progressing to a chairlift, you’ll likely come across a moving carpet or button lift in a beginner area. Ask a lift attendant for help if it’s your first time. I would advise watching other skiers using the lift before jumping on. On a moving carpet, keep your skis straight and stand relaxed; no need to do anything crazy. On a button lift, make sure you stand tall. If you sit down on a button lift, you’ll end up on your bum.

Beginner Ski Lessons

One of the best ways to ensure you have a great first day on the slopes is to take a lesson. All instructors are certified and can teach you all the fundamentals, including how to use each lift. You can take it at your own pace. Learning proper fundamentals is crucial in setting you up for success.

Ski Instructor Talking to 3 Students on Piste

Not sure where to go for your ski holiday? Check out some of our top destinations in Canada, Europe and New Zealand.