As Ned Stark would say, "Winter is coming" and that means a lot of people will be hitting the slopes or the many ski resorts around. Skiing is an exciting and exhilarating sport. Everyone needs to experience it at least once in their life as it is an unforgettable, enjoyable, and thrilling experience.
Here are three basics you need to have covered to guarantee an exciting ski trip.
1. Your Fitness and Health
Skiing is one sport that forces you to use muscles you don't use everyday. For the inexperienced, there is a higher chance of injury. There is a lot of twisting and balancing involved to keep you upright and steady on the skis.
You don't need to be a Spartan to hit the slopes, but you also shouldn't be in a poor condition health-wise. You should speak to a fitness instructor in the weeks leading up to your trip. Ask about areas of your body that need to be toned or strengthened up for your trip and make sure that, if you are very worried, that you consult a doctor.
You want to have the best trip possible so make sure you do everything you can to avoid injury or health issues. This is really important if you are planning to ski regularly.
2. The Equipment
Having the right equipment is essential for any activity. If it is more for fun or you are a beginner, you probably can get away with renting equipment like the skis and helmets.
Even if you are renting, it's a good idea to know what you are looking for so you can pick the right gear for yourself. Shorter and broader skis are great for beginners. They don't need to be shiny and pretty but make sure they aren't severely scuffed/scratched up on the bottom as this can affect the ski. They must also have a 90-degree edge for proper grip and control in the snow.
While you can borrow most equipment, there is one piece you should buy for yourself: ski boots. These are very important to have when planning a trip somewhere cold. You must ensure that they are comfortable, tight enough that your feet don't wobble or lean forward while skiing, and also have ample support for your ankles and feet without allowing feet to rise when you bend your ankles. Don't buy the first pair of boots you try on. Instead, have a shop around to get the best equipment you can afford.
3. Your Accommodation
The attractions, activities, and nightlife of the area you are staying are things to take into consideration when choosing your accommodation. Depending on your budget, you can stay in a 5-star ski resort or get a room in a hotel in the village near by. As a general rule, the closer you are to the hills and the resort, the more expensive the accommodation.
If you are travelling in a large group, it might make more sense to rent a vacation home or condo and split the cost between everyone. You will also save money as you won't have to eat out every night. Pick and choose the nights you dine out and those where you stay in and cook!
Lastly, booking well ahead of your visit or peak season can give you the opportunity to get some great vacation homes or resorts.
By now, you should be feeling a bit knowledgeable and experienced. Preparing way ahead of time doesn't replace the thrill or fear you might think on your first ski, but it prevents injuries and ensures you are well prepared for anything the slopes throw your way.