Get Your Beginners Ready for Their First School Ski Trip

Resource added: 20 December 2022

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If you're taking beginners on their first school ski trip, then here's everything you need to help prepare them!

Are you preparing to take a group of students on their very first school ski trip?

They will be incredibly excited and are bound to make some incredible, lifelong memories.

But they may be a bit unsure about some of the elements of ski trips and skiing, which is where we come in!

We’ve put together these short informational videos to help your students learn more about some of the basics of skiing, from what to wear to piste colour codes and even how to get your skis on and off.

Please feel free to share these videos with your beginners ahead of your school ski trip!

Dress code

When skiing, you need to stay warm.

It’s best to check the weather forecast every morning before you get dressed.

Don’t wear a cotton layer or you’ll get cold – have a thermal layer next to your skin. Use layers of clothes, not big jumpers – it keeps you much warmer.

Only wear one pair of socks – more will make your feet colder.

Make sure your outer layer is waterproof, especially your bottom half.

Wear sunglasses in the sun and goggles for when it’s cloudy or snowing.

And last but not least, don’t forget your gloves.

Skin protection

When skiing, you need to protect your skin from the sun, wind and the cold.

Snow reflects the sun’s rays, which is great for tanning but you don’t feel its power so pack plenty of sun cream.

Some sun creams also coat your skin with a protective layer which stops wind and cold burn.

Lip balm is your best friend. The cold air can dry out your lips and they can easily become chapped. Regular application of lip balm will solve this problem.

Piste/slope colour code

All pistes are given a colour code which reflects their difficulty.

Green slopes are the easiest, then blue. Red and black are the most difficult.

Only take on what you’re capable of and feel comfortable doing.

Be aware, because even though the top of the slope may look easy, it will get more difficult as the markers suggest.

Always ski with care and don’t dive in the deep end first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon.

And remember, accidents are most likely to happen when you’re tired.

Ski gear

We’d recommend renting your skis and boots and try to borrow the rest of the basics, such as goggles, gloves, jackets and trousers from family and friends.

A lot of ski gear is quite expensive, so it’s worth trying the sport and making sure you enjoy it before splashing out on the latest gear.

Skis

All rental shops should give you skis that suit your ability, but their height is the key. Make sure they are 20-30 cm shorter than you.

Shorter skis are easier to turn. If the front of your skis keep crossing over when you ski, don’t be afraid to take them back to the rental shop and ask them for some shorter ones.

Ski boots

When selecting your ski boots, try to find a pair that are comfortable and snug.

You should be able to move your toes but your heel should not come up in the boots once they are done up. Also, your foot should not slip around from side to side in the boot.

Walking to and from the slopes is often easier if you undo your boots, but make sure they are done up when you ski.

They need to be tight and comfortable around your calf muscles but not tight across the tops of your feet, as they could restrict blood flow to your toes and you will get cold feet.

Don’t tuck your trousers or salopettes into your boots, pull them over the outside to keep the snow out.

How to put skis on

If you’re on a slope, the skis need to lie across at a right angle – this is so they won’t start sliding away as you put them on.

Always put the downhill ski on first so that you don’t end up doing the splits.

Make sure there is no snow stuck to the bottom of your ski boot because the binding won’t close properly if there is.

Make sure the boot is leant over at the same angle as the ski. Slide the lip on the front of the boot in to the toe cup on the front of the binding and then line the heel of the boot up with the back of the binding and push down with the back of your heel until the binding lever clicks up.

Removing skis

Make sure you’re in a steady position and will not slide anywhere.

Take a ski pole and push down on the heel lever on the back of the binding while taking your wait off the heel of the boot, so you can take the boot out.

Just repeat the same again with the other ski.

Carrying skis

The easiest way to carry skis for any distance is to put the skis on your shoulder and hold them with one hand.

To do this, the first thing you need to do is to put the skis together.

With the skis standing vertically, hold each ski by the toe housing with one ski slightly higher than the other. Slide the higher ski down until the brakes lock together.

Put your skis on your preferred shoulder, with the area just in front of the bindings resting on your shoulder.

When carrying skis like this, please be careful not to hit anyone or anything.

How to snow plough

The snow plough is where the skis are in a ‘v’ shape.

Although the snow plough is not used so much once someone can ski well, it’s the easiest way to learn.

To make a snow plough, you put your skis into a ‘v’ shape with the ski tips about 10cm apart and the back of the skis further apart. The distance between the back of the skis will change the angle of the ‘v’ shape, and how far apart the back of the skis are will vary depending on what you’re trying to do.

The snow plough position is very stable because of how far apart your feet are, with the wide stance making it easier to keep your balance at slower speeds.

The ‘v’ shape of the skis also acts as a brake, making the snow plough very good for speed control at slower speeds.

Like this?

Head to our resources section to find more on how to get your skiers ready for their school ski trip!