First time skiing : How to overcome your fear on skis?

If you would see me ski today you wouldn’t think that, when I started, I was almost crying 5 times a day. My first days were miserable, as soon as I stood on top of a slightly steeper slope than I was used to, I was in total panic.

I hated taking the lift, my feet were cold, my legs were hurting and I simply felt like I was never in control of the situation. Yannick even had to carry me down the slope on several occasions because was completely unable to move.

Overcome your fear on skis takes a few steps

Today, I love skiing. In winter, we go up in the Alps almost every weekend and I simply can’t wait to get my ski boots on. I made a lot of progress in short time after but How did that happen? How did I manage to grow from a beginner to a rider ?

1. Have a good teacher during your first time skiing

I really would recommend taking the time to find a good teacher to every beginner. If possible, take private lessons. They are more expensive but you will need less of them and it will be much smoother.

It’s very comforting to know that someone is having your back at all time and will be able to help you whenever needed. I was very lucky that Yannick is a very patient person. Having him by my side gave me the confidence I was lacking.

2. Take it easy

You won’t be able to carve down the slopes on your first day. I know, staying on boring beginner slopes an entire day is frustrating. Working on technique is not fun and easy slopes will give you the sensation that you “got the move” and don’t need to practice it more.

Don’t step-up the game too fast and listen to your teacher. The stress of dealing with a more challenging slope will greatly impact your technique and you won’t be able to focus on doing the right moves. It is not by pending time on easy slopes that you will learn the perfect turn but it is what will give you the right automatisms.

Every time you’ll try something new you, you might feel afraid again. However, with a solid technique as a basis, you will always be able to get back to your comfort zone.

One day, you will walk up a mountain ridgeline to ride an untouched pow and will be glad you invested so much of your time in refining your skiing.

3. Practice, practice, practice!

Even if skiing might be frustrating at first, you shouldn’t give up; it will be much more fun once you are fully independent.

The sooner the better and repetition is key to success. If you have the possibility to easily go up in the mountain, do it as often as possible and work on your technique as much as you can in your first year. If you are able to build up your skills over an entire season, you won’t need time to adapt between your sessions.

If you are dedicated, you might get out on your own next season already!

4. Don’t rest on your laurels

Still today, I constantly ask Yannick what I could improve. Most of the time, he will say that there is nothing wrong but he always give me small tips to perfect little details. It is perfectly fine if you don’t want to have an incredible level but, if you are dreaming to ride the faces appearing in proriders’ edits, you’ll need to step up your game.

If you are reading this article, you are probably not there yet. However, it does not hurt to keep in mind that questioning your technique on a daily basis can only bring you further.

5. It is not only about fresh white snow and dark blue sky

You don’t want to go out when there are heavy snowfalls, rain, gusty winds or poor visibility. But trust me, the earlier you go out on one of those white days, the better. Weather in the mountain can change in a second and if you never experienced poor conditions before, it can be terrifying. Also, invest in a good pair of ski goggles.

With time, you will even learn to enjoy poor conditions and their empty slopes.

6. Enjoy it!

Skiing should be fun and not scary. Ski the way you feel comfortable, there’s nothing wrong with taking it easy. It is not a competition and if you are slower than the rest of your group, just let it be like that.

No one will feel annoyed waiting for you (if they do, you are not hanging out with the right people).

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