If you are looking for a great holiday for the whole family, a new experience, and a trip to some of the most beautiful places in the world, then skiing may well be the perfect holiday for you. If you haven’t yet given it a go, it’s never too late to start. Here we will look at what age, and how, you can get into skiing and help you decide if you want to give it a go yourself.
What is the best age to learn to ski?
If you have a family and are thinking of taking your kids on their first skiing holiday, the ideal age to get them started on the slopes is between 4 and 6 years old. Some places will accept students aged 2 or 3, though kids this young are unlikely to be learning anything other than the absolute basics. Many ski resorts will have instructors that are happy to teach children aged 4 and over, and if you get started young you tend to learn quicker and will soon develop lifelong skills.
That being said, it is perfectly possible to learn to ski at any age. Plenty of people get started a bit later in life, and as long as you get the right equipment and are willing to learn, there is no reason why you can’t learn to ski whenever you wish. Even with the generally agreed idea that kids learn to do things faster, adults can easily learn to ski in just a few lessons as well. Taking qualified instruction from an expert will help get you caught up quickly, and you will be hitting beginner and intermediary slopes in no time.
Some families even bring their grandparents along to give skiing a go, proving there really isn’t an age limit on learning. It may be a little trickier to learn once you are into your 60s and above, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be done. Using a company like Active Life to book your family trip will give you all the information and help you need to get the whole family from 6-60 on skis, and having fun in no time.
Is skiing beginner-friendly?
Skiing is absolutely a beginner-friendly sport, with clearly designated slopes for beginners and instructors to help you get started. One of the true joys of skiing is that it is relatively easy to learn the basics. If you take your time and focus initially on how to go in a straight line and stop, you will soon build up confidence and be ready to progress to other aspects of skiing.
The best way to ensure that your first experience with skiing will be good is to plan ahead. Firstly you need to make sure that the destination you choose is beginner friendly. You will find that in general many if not most skiing resorts have several beginner slopes for you to practice on, and once you have got the hang of the basics you may wish to progress to a more challenging colour.
Ski slopes are designated different colours depending on their level of difficulty, and how steep they are. You will begin on a green slope, the widest and gentlest of any available, as you learn how to get going and stop. Many new skiers find that they feel confident enough to progress to blue, or intermediate, slopes after just a few lessons. You should therefore make sure that your ski resort has slopes of different difficulties just in case.
Another key part of your preparation is to make sure you are correctly kitted out before you hit the slopes. A tumble is highly likely when you get started, and that’s usually okay as long as you are wearing a padded and protective suit, helmet, and the right boots when you fall. Skiing is safer if you take the right precautions. You don’t have to buy all new equipment – you can rent it out when you get to your resort or buy it second-hand. Just make sure that all your gear is of good quality, fits right, and is up to the highest safety standards.
The toughest part of learning to ski is getting over your worries about falling, finding your balance and finding your confidence. A qualified instructor can ease you into the world of skiing and help get you off to a good start.
What are the basics of skiing?
When you get to your ski resort and begin your first lesson, you will start with the basics of skiing. Only once you have a firm grasp of the fundamentals will you be ready to progress to more difficult manoeuvres and try out harder runs. The true basics of skiing are made up of several key components:
- Balance – you need a good understanding of your centre of gravity, and where and when you need to lean and stay straight in order to achieve the right level of balance and execute your move.
- Leg movement – in order to turn and make most moves your upper body should remain straight while your legs do the turning.
- Edge angles – control these using the right mix of inclination and angulation.
- Pressure – you need to again control the pressure exerted from ski to ski and how you approach the snow.
In general, skiing is all about learning control, and learning how to react and regain that control if you start to feel it slipping away. Your instructor will teach you how to go in a straight line, how to stop, how to turn, and how to fall down safely. You will be taught the basics and have a good understanding of how to get going. After that, it’s all about the practice. Put in a few day’s work and you will soon be skiing with relative ease.
To Sum Up:
- Skiing is an activity that can be taken up at any age from 4-6 through to well over 60 if you have the inclination and put the time in.
- It is beginner-friendly, though you should check that your resort has plenty of slopes for beginners.
- Always wear the right protective gear when you go skiing. Better safe than sorry.
- You should ideally take instruction to begin with to get confidence and learn the basics before you try and keep practising alone.
Skiing really is one of the most fun ways to spend your holidays, so if you have long been considering trying skiing for the first time, check out some of the great resorts available and get some lessons booked in today.