All the ski gear, no idea: how to prep for your first ski holiday
21st December 2016
Feature image shot by: @youareanadventurestory on her second time skiing!
Heading off on a ski holiday with minimum prep? While you might look great in our Snow range (and you’ll definitely stay warm) looking the part won’t help you navigate the slopes.
It’s a good idea to follow our simple guide on prep properly for a ski holiday – don’t worry, we’ve got your back:
The important bit: Stay safe
Skiing isn’t just about looking good on the slopes. There are also some important safety accessories you should be wearing. Not everyone wears a helmet when on the resort trails, but if you do end up off piste somehow, a helmet is essential because rocks and trees can be pretty dangerous if you take a tumble. You’re also going to need a good pair of ski goggles that don’t fog up and do fit comfortably, as well as some sunglasses for when you take a break in the middle of the day. When it comes to skis and snowboards themselves, hiring is the best option if you’re new to skiing.
Look the part
Whether you’ve opted for a high-tech jacket from our women’s range or a pair of snow pants via our men’s Snow collection, you’ll be rocking the ‘seasoned skier/snowboarder’ look when you leave the hotel in the morning. Ensure your gear fits correctly and don’t forget the thermal layers – when you remove your jacket later you’ll want it to look like you’ve been prepared for the cold conditions even if you haven’t actually done any skiing. Sneaky.
Remember, there are also ‘correct’ ways of wearing ski gear. For example, you should never ski with your jacket open – instead you should always take off a layer underneath if you get warm. Plus, wearing a face mask or bandana when the weather doesn’t require it isn’t a good look.
Pack sun cream
If you’ve ended up on the mountain, attempting to navigate the slopes, convince everyone you know what you’re doing by pulling out sun block and recommending they top up their own regularly throughout the day. They’ll definitely (maybe) believe you’re a seasoned skier, simply because you’re aware of the dangers of getting sunburnt on the mountain.
Carry those skis properly
Don’t look like a novice while transporting your skis from the hire shop to the trail; simply stand them together vertically in front of you, and attach them together via the heel binding. Then, grab them from underneath the binding and be sure to pick up the ski with the brake beneath the other one in place. Otherwise, they’ll just fall apart as you lift them. Finally, it’s just a case of resting your skis on the front of your shoulder and walking. It’s the easiest way of manoeuvring them a short distance without hitting anyone on the head on the way.
Pack a snack
Breaks for hot chocolate will be frequent throughout the day, but it’s still a good idea to pack a few snacks to munch on in between descents down the mountain to keep your energy up. Not only will this keep you going but you’ll also make friends if you’re willing to share. Trail mix is always a popular favourite.
Energy gel sachets are also great if you’re really flagging. Used by runners covering long distances, these are full of sugar to give you a boost. Avoid packing a banana though, you’re probably going to be falling over at regular intervals and it won’t fair well in your bag.
Sign up for a beginner’s lesson
If you really aren’t feeling confident about dashing through the snow, then it’s always best to take a refresher class or a beginner’s lesson before jumping on a ski lift. Not only will this boost your confidence but it will also make you safer to be around on the track. Bear in mind there will always be someone worse than you having a go and many resorts offer lessons for beginners, so don’t feel any shame in signing up for one of these and taking your time. You have all the gear, after all.
Speak the lingo
If you’re keen to sound like you know what you’re doing, then here are some phrases to remember during your trip:
- Après Ski – Where you’ll be having the most fun, this is the term for when you go for drinks after skiing.
Example: “I’ll meet you later for après.”
- Off piste – If you can’t ski well then avoid this at all costs, it’s an area outside of the resort’s ready-made trails and used only by confident skiers and snowboarders.
Example: “I’m just going to do some freestyle off piste.”
- Dump – How people refer to lots of snowfall and fresh powder.
Example: “Wow. That was a big dump last night, wasn’t it?”
- Scissoring – When a skier crosses the tips of their skis, usually resulting in a fall.
Example: “Yeah, I scissored and fell on my face.”
- White out – This term is used when visibility drops to almost nothing, usually as a result of fog or heavy snowfall.
Example: “It’s a white out, best stay near the trees.”
Follow these tips carefully, learn those common phrases and they’ll never know you have all the gear but no idea on your next trip.