The Subtle Nuances
Skiing is a lifestyle, not solely a sport. There are many things on the ski field that you’ll need to know, but won’t have the time to individually digest the new culture, the beautiful environment, and really take in the whole experience as a beginner. Here are some rather arbitrary but somewhat useful tips when you plan on skiing next time you get the chance to:
- Don’t ever straight-line.
Straight-lining is essentially pointing your skis completely parallel down the mountain. This creates an unfathomable amount of speed as a beginner. You don’t even look cool doing it. I’ve done this before and it ended up with me on a cast. Control your speed using turns. Nobody wants to spend their time at a hospital. I’ve gone 50-60 mph before and the pros usually go at 80+ mph; if you are going above 50 mph, you better make sure that there is only snow in front of you because at that point you’re probably straight-lining (which isn’t allowed at the ski resorts).
- How to unclip your boots from your skis.
When unclipping your boots from your skis, use your dominant leg to lift up that ski and step on the back clip of the boot. When unclipping the boot, you should be making sort of a L-shape when you do this. With that free boot, do the same thing on the other ski. This is super simple, it’s efficient, and in my opinion much easier than using your poles to unbuckle the clips
- It’s okay to fall…anywhere.
Everyone has, and anyone is, susceptible to falling, especially on or off of chairlifts. If you do fall then there are people at the chairlifts at all times so they’ll stop the lift and make sure you’re out of the way before they start it back up again. In general, make sure when you’re falling you fall forwards and if you’re falling with someone, fall forwards.
- Go at a speed that’s comfortable for you.
Don’t try to go super fast at first, take it slow. Build up speed over time and gradually build up speed if desired. Some people are perfectly fine going slow and being that way forever; others are wanting to be hardcore speed demons. This is totally fine if you know what you’re doing.
- More turns are better for you.
I am to a level where I am comfortable with turning rapidly to slow down or hasten my speeds. The shorter your turns are, the better. You’re able to handle more steep and rocky terrains as well as moguls.
- Look up the mountain before traversing.
You are the one at fault if someone coming from above the mountain skis into you. It’s a rule that’s always been at the mountain that I can’t fully articulate the reason behind, but if you ask one of the staff there, they’ll be able to tell ya.
- People are dumb.
This one is self-explanatory. I have been on ski resorts where people have been intoxicated skiing down the mountain. I mean like what the actual–you know what, I’m going to keep this PG. Just know that when you are skiing down the mountain, people are going to be making some pretty dumb decisions like going down too fast, cutting you off, and maybe even harassing you. The ski staff can only do so much; a majority of the ski staff are college students/younger generation people mixed in with some old-timers so take what you will from that.
- There are usually cost-efficient ways of purchasing lift tickets.
Lift tickets can be bought individually (per day) at every ski resort, however it may serve to your advantage to delve into the world of bundles and discounts. Season passes usually cover the cost of a couple of days of skiing. Look into Ikon or Epic Passes. Both of these season passes have ticket bundles that will accommodate members of the armed forces, kids, and people that wish to go often during the ski season.
- Get lessons.
At virtually any level, there is an imminent need for an instructor. Not only do they enhance your skiing altogether, they also are a live map as they can provide directions, best routes, and ways to get around the mountain. Most of the time, these ski instructors are super friendly and will even recommend places to go in town for whatever your needs are. Although they come at pretty hefty prices, you can always go in a group with strangers which will reduce the price of the group lesson altogether, rather than going as a family or individually.
Dilanka (Dil) is a rising senior at Manhattan High School and in addition to volunteering, he enjoys hanging out with friends, practicing piano, and reading classics! At school, he’s started the Civic and Community Engagement Club, is currently serving as Student Body Vice President, and has been a State Officer for the Topeka Model UN for the past 2 years! In these unique and disconcerting times, we require proactive leaders in our society today. With IYAB, he helps lead those who will take us to a better tomorrow!