How to learn to ski as an adult?
Didn’t have the chance to learn to ski as a child? It’s not too late! Despite what many people think, it is perfectly possible to learn to ski as an adult and to make swift progress in this new sport. You just need to be properly taught to master the basic moves and safety instructions, and to wave goodbye to the fear of falling, which is a particular hindrance for adults! In this article, discover all our useful advice for learning to ski as an adult and enjoy skiing with your family and friends.
Can I learn to ski as an adult?
It is absolutely possible to learn to ski as an adult: how quickly you learn will depend on your physical condition and especially on your ability to fight your fear of falling. Indeed, what often holds adults back is the fear of getting hurt. But don’t worry: if you are well supervised by a professional ski instructor, you will soon be able to stay on your feet during a descent. The difficulty of learning to ski as an adult is more a matter of nervousness and dread than anything else. After your first ski lesson, you will gain confidence.
How does an adult ski lesson work?
Ideally, you should learn to ski with professionals during a half-day lesson. More than 33% of ski beginners are 40 years old or older!
You will meet your ski instructor at a specific meeting point: during these hours of group or individual lessons, he or she will explain all the safety rules and basic skiing technique. You will quickly be able to control your speed by adopting the famous pizza stance.
Once you are more comfortable, you will be able to ski down your first slopes. Don’t worry: you will always start with the green slopes, the easiest ones, before moving on to the blue slopes as soon as your level is sufficient. Learning to ski as an adult is a step-by-step process, and you will improve as you go along.
5 tips for learning to ski as an adult
1. Understanding the basic technique
To quickly learn skiing as an adult, here are some tips to help you stay steady on your skis:
- Lean forward: lean your shins forward to find your balance. Resist the urge to put your body backwards for fear of falling.
- Bend your knees: be mindful of bending your knees by directing your buttocks downwards in particular. This will give you more flexibility to better control turns and steer your skis in the right direction.
- Lean on the downhill ski: during turns and on slopes, you must lean on the downhill side to maintain your balance.
2. Overcoming the fear of falling
Yes, learning to ski as an adult can be scary, especially if it’s your first ski holiday. However, if you are motivated and are in decent physical condition, your fears will quickly vanish! If you have the slightest doubt about your resistance to effort, do not hesitate to consult your doctor beforehand to be 100% reassured.
3. Taking ski lessons for adults
Although it is possible to learn to ski as an adult on your own, it is best to go to a French Ski School (ESF) to get at least one or two lessons and master the basic moves. The ski instructor will be able to correct your mistakes as you go along and will give you concrete instructions (unlike a relative or acquaintance, for example). Depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose between group lessons for beginners or individual private lessons.
4. Don’t put pressure on yourself
Learning to ski as an adult should be fun – don’t put pressure on yourself. Skiing involves new sensations in terms of actually skiing, but also taking the ski-lifts with assurance. Keep in mind that you can progress at your own pace, without setting too ambitious goals for yourself. Learning to ski should be fun, otherwise you risk giving up at the first fall!
5. Surround yourself with skiers of the same level
There’s no better way to learn and have fun than to ski with other skiers of the same level as you. This way you won’t feel like you’re slowing down or holding back your friends or family, which could make you feel uncomfortable. If possible, take your first steps in skiing as an adult with other beginners to support each other and laugh at each other’s mistakes, but also to congratulate each other on everyone’s progress!
Getting ready for your first ski lesson
To learn to ski as an adult, it is crucial to have the right equipment. If you choose to rent (which is recommended for a beginner), the rental company will help you determine the appropriate skis and boots. When it comes to clothing, the intensity of the activity and the weather are taken into account. If possible, opt for multi-layers, i.e. an adaptable outfit that allows you to remove a layer easily if you get too warm. Don’t forget your gloves and helmet, which are essential for your safety. Finally, don’t forget to pack a bottle of water and a cereal bar in your rucksack to keep your energy levels up.
Crédit photo : Vincent Lottenberg