What to Expect when you Learn to Ski

Help your children understand what will happen during their first skiing lesson with this handy guide.

Skiing is a fantastic hobby, and you are no doubt excited about introducing your child into the skiing world. Hopefully you will help them to develop a lifelong passion for this exhilarating, healthy and sociable sport (wee may be a bit biased when extolling the virtues of time on the slopes!). 

Understandably children can feel a little daunted when heading out onto the slopes for the first time. They are bound to be excited about the idea of getting out there and learning a hobby that they will be able to share with their parents, but  when kitted out and faced with the reality of learning to ski some children can find their confidence rapidly disappearing.

Helping children to understand exactly what to expect from their first skiing lesson will help to calm any nerves and give them the assurance they need to feel safe and happy in those first few hours of learning to ski.

Without shadow of a doubt, taking lessons with a professional ski instructor is by far the best way to teach your child to ski. While it might be tempting to teach them yourself, you can rest assured that qualified ski instructors will know all the best techniques and tips. Their expert knowledge and professional approach will help them teach your children to ski safely and effectively. Their confidence will build in no time.

If your child is readying themselves for their first skiing lesson, they will probably have some questions or concerns they want to explore before they begin. Here are some of the most common questions (and answers!) for children learning to ski.

What will I wear?

It is important to wear all the right clothes for skiing.  Not only will these keep you warm and dry, but also help protect you from accidents or injuries too! 

Even though ski resorts can be very cold it can get warm on the slopes, especially on a sunny day. We recommend dressing in layers so you can stay dry and cosy, but also take some off if you get too hot. 

Suncream is very important -its tempting to think that you can’t get sunburnt when it’s cold and snowy – you can! Wear a high factor suncream to make sure you are protected.

Waterproof gloves and ski goggles are key. Gloves protect your hands from getting too cold, and goggles stop your eyes from being damaged by the sun – which will seem even brighter when reflected off all of that lovely white snow. Goggles are generally a better bet than sun glasses for children as they are more likely to stay in place and won’t get lost. 

A helmet is also necessary for skiing children (and we recommend them for Mum and Dad).  A helmet will keep your head protected in case you bump it while skiing, so it is important to wear this at all times -even if you are just starting out. All Ski Famille child ski hire packages include a complimentary helmet. 

Ski boots might feel a little strange at first, they are large and clumpy and it can feel funny walking in them! However, after a while youll get used to them. The ski hire shop in resort will help you find the right fitting boots for you to make sure you are as comfortable as possible.

What is skiing like?

Skiing is a fantastic sport that millions of people enjoy all over the world. People love skiing for many reasons.  Its great exercise, easy to learn, and once you get the hang of it you can enjoy whizzing down those slopes in no time! There are few sports that offer you a greater feeling of freedom in such amazing scenery. 

You can go skiing in beautiful countries all over the world and the more you practice the better youll get!

What will my skiing instructor teach me?

During your first lesson you will be taught the basics of skiing. This will include how to put your skis on and off (which can be tricky at first), how to start and stop, and, depending on how you progress, the basics of turning. 

Your first skiing lesson will take place on a relatively flat slope, so dont worry about going too fast. Your skiing instructor will make sure they teach you at a pace you feel comfortable with, its important to take your time, and feel confident in each stage before moving on. 

As you build confidence on fairly flat ground you will move to slopes which are a bit steeper. As the week goes on you will start to use the ski lifts. Then you really start to explore the mountains! 

Will I be the only one who doesnt know how to ski?

Everyone in your skiing class will be a beginner too! Youll all be learning to ski together at the same time, so its a great way to make new friends,  encourage and help one another on the slopes, and most importantly have lots of fun – which is what skiing is all about!

Will I fall over?

When you first start skiing you might feel a little unstable and wobbly, so its likely you will fall over a few times. But dont worry, even the most experienced skiers fall over from time to time and your new ski school friends will be having the same challenges. . 

Luckily snow is pretty soft to fall on, so as long as you are wearing the right clothing, and take your time, you shouldnt spend too much time on the ground! When you do fall  your skiing instructor will be there to help you; youll just be able to have a giggle and get back up and try again!

How quickly will I learn?

Learning to ski can seem tricky at first, but by listening carefully to your instructor and practicing hard you can pick up the basics of skiing pretty quickly. Every skier is different, so dont worry if it takes you a few lessons to get the hang of things. Youll soon start to progress and then enjoy skiing with your family for many years to come. 

Once your child has enjoyed their first skiing lessons it’s nice to keep that confidence up, and help them to keep practising so they don’t lose their new found skills. When you go off as a family to tackle the slopes together make sure you let your child set their own pace, keep encouraging them, and move on to harder slopes only when they feel ready.

This way they’ll enjoy their time on the slopes and, most importantly, want to keep coming back for more!

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