Learn to Ski

Beginner Skier Progression

So you‘ve decided to take up skiing. Congratulations! It is without a doubt the best sport on the planet and you’re going to have a great time. 

This progression is meant to help you move painlessly through the beginner stages and have you exploring the mountain with confidence.

We understand learning to ski can be kind of scary and seems like a lot of work. This progression breaks the process into a series of small achievable objectives from your very first experience on snow to linking turns and controlling your speed on green slopes.

Remember, everyone is different so the best approach is to learn at your own pace. You can use all the steps if needed... add more... or skip ahead if it comes easy to you.

Good luck, stay safe and have fun!

Before You Hit The Slopes

What to Wear Skiing? A Beginners Guide

The weather can be nasty out there on the mountain, but that doesn’t mean you have to be uncomfortable. Let’s get dressed for your first day of skiing.

Skier Safety & Mountain Etiquette

Before you hit the slopes, you’ll need to understand the basic some mountain etiquette so you can stay safe and avoid being a danger to others. Be sure to learn the Alpine Responsibility Code.

Your First Day On Snow

Getting Out On Snow & Getting Used To The Gear

Clean off your ski boots before you put your skis on

A first time skier often feels like they've just stepped off their space ship onto an alien planet. Ski boots even look like space boots. Let’s throw these awkward sticks over or shoulder and make our way over to the bunny slope.

Fogged Up? Check out our Beginner’s Guide to Foggy Goggles.

Basic Skiing Mobility & Moving Around On Skis

Getting Up On Skis - Rainbow Stand Up

It’s good to develop a little independence so you can move around the mountain. Your first moves as a skier include pushing yourself around on the flats, side stepping small hills and getting up after a fall. Yes you will fall... it’s all part of the fun!

The Gliding Straight Run

Learn To Ski - Straight Run

Lets get our balance and start sliding down our first slope. Let yourself go and feel the wind in your hair!

Wedge Builders & Peanut Butter Spreaders

Learn to Ski Drill - One Footed Peanut Butter Pushers

Building wedge moves on the flats and playing with basic edge control can be a useful step for those struggling with a Braking Plow. 

The Braking Plow

Learn To Ski - Braking Plow

Before we get onto a proper slope we’d better learn to slow down and stop. The wedge is a great little cheat technique to give us some extra stability and help us brake on shallow terrain during those first few days on skis. 

Isolated Wedge Turns

Learn To Ski - Isolated Wedge Turn

It's often easiest for a skiers first turns on snow to be done one at a time... typically in a wedge for added stability, although can be done with skis parallel if the learner is confident enough. 

Finding These Tricky?

Add extra steps and use a ‘Fan Progression’. 

  1. Start by traversing across a gentle slope and practise balancing on the downhill foot.
  2. Start the next traverse with your skis pointing slightly downhill.
  3. When you’re feeling confident, start with your skis on the fall line.

Linked Wedge Turns

Learn To Ski - Linked Wedge Turns

We can turn both ways... awesome! Now it’s time to link turns together and start exploring more of the mountain.

Caution: Now that you’re venturing further out on the slopes you’ll need to you’ll need to make sure you can safely get on and off the various lifts...

Riding the Lifts - Lesson coming soon!

Speed Management Tips

As we move off the ‘bunny slope’ onto green runs, the wedge is no longer an effective tool for speed control and the ability to manage speed through turn shape becomes essential.  As the pitch gets steeper the skier must direct their skis across the fall line more aggressively to avoid picking up excessive speed.

Turn Shape - Vertical Distance

Steering the skis across the fall line will control speed on steeper terrain. Letting the skis run in the fall line will allow you to pick up speed on shallower terrain.

Skiing Symptom - Jet Skis

Trouble with speed control? Do your skis take off like a rocket or get going faster and faster with each turn? Explore all the possible causes of “Jet Skis”

Troubleshooting Wedge Turns

Experiencing any of these other symptoms? Find the cause:

Novice - Green Circle

Mission Complete!

You’re now linking wedge turns on green terrain. This is as far as most people get on their first day... but don’t let that stop you. If you’re feeling comfortable lets start working toward parallel!

Science Friction - Ski Technique Diagnostics

Outsmart your ski instructor and troubleshoot your own ski technique

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