No, we are not talking about the movie Ski School.
Skiing is not akin to going bowling, where you pick up a ball and blow the pins to kingdom come. Of course, it has its finer points and all that.
Because of its rigorous demands on correct posture, balance and physical fitness, venturing to ski without any training is a foolhardy exercise.
The new ski school is the brainchild of pioneering Austrian skier, Hannes Schneider in the 1920s. The formalization and establishment of his instructional methods form the core followed in other skiing schools ever since, with modest changes reflecting local needs.
Ski School Curriculum
Typically a ski school, an establishment where skiing instruction is imparted, is usually located at a ski resort. In many locations around the globe, you have standalone institutions like the one situated at Gulmarg, Kashmir in the Himalayas. The actual demonstrative instructions are on the slope.
The oft-repeated question is, is skiing easy to learn? As the adage goes about skiing, learning is the natural part but not so to master. For snowboarding, the scales are reversed. The usual method is to break down the aspiring skier’s technique to a modular approach. That is as far as the basic grounding goes. For perfection, it requires some technical understanding.
Ski School Tips For The Skiing Novice
Let’s face it. Skiing is not on the top of most people’s list of ‘things to enjoy.’ if you find yourself at a ski school based on the offhand account of a friend, then you will certainly be under-prepared, and gradually very miserable. Reasonable expectation of your first day is your entitlement. Read on.
- Fall often
- Worse still, it is pretty hard to get up, a source of huge embarrassment
- Young kids will keep circling you on their skis which is infuriating
- Boredom and terrifying see-saw. The same goes for too fast or too slow.
But, chin up. All these will go away after a day or two. You will have plenty of things to take your mind off and get into the groove. Follow these tips, and your day shouldn’t be such a disaster.
Your checklist of equipment should be, as a minimum:
- Skis, poles, bindings
- Boots, they can be rented but it is recommended to buy your own customized boots. This is important because this is the biggest beef students have.
- Waterproof ski jacket
- Waterproof ski pants
The snowplow is one of the first lessons. Everybody goes wrong on this one, so no need to take it personally. You are instructed to walk with your skis pointing inwards. Next thing, your skis crossover each other, and you fall in a tangle. There is a trick to it and that is the snowplow is your speed controller. To stop, you need to know how to snowplow. I particularly mention this as a tip because before you hit the slopes, have someone show you.
Wrapping It Up
Your first skiing experience is unique, so make a friend. One with a patient temperament is priceless. Share with him your day, everything, not in a whiny sort of way but as an equal. Misery loves company. Pace things to suit yourself. There’s a fair chance that by sundown you still don’t fancy skiing much. But you will also remember you gave it a fair shot and didn’t quit.