Tips from a ski instructor
Equipment, clothing and the main techniques: discover the secrets of the sport
A sense of enormous freedom, adrenaline, excitement and stunning views: these are just some of the feelings and experiences you can enjoy thanks to Alpine skiing. Learning to ski is no small task however, particularly if you're trying it for the first time as an adult.. However, by entrusting yourself to a ski instructor you can achieve a basic level of skill that will enable you to ski on blue slopes in just one week. If you’re sufficiently motivated and physically fit, you might even be able to tackle your first curves on red slopes, which are at an intermediate level.
In Trentino, there are lots of ski schools and professionals who can support your learning process one step at a time. You can enrol in group or individual courses, achieving a level which will enable you to fully appreciate the on-piste skiing experience in just one week.
First of all, the instructor will teach you how to become confident with the equipment and how to find your balance on the skis. Then, you will learn how to strike a straight forward stance and how to glide along the snow. Next, you will work on shifting weight from one leg to another and tackling curves by rotating your feet. Last but not least, you will learn to manage your speed and braking techniques.
To help you, we've asked skiing coach from the Ski Elite school in Campitello di Fassa, instructor with the Trentino Alpine Rescue Unit and mountain guide Robert Cecco, for his top 5 tips for beginners — including adults — in Alpine skiing.
Robert’s 5 top tips
- Safety comes first above all else: it’s important to be physically ready when you turn up on the slopes. So, one useful tip is to do some pre-skiing warm-up exercises indoors before your holiday in the snow. These are specific physical exercises to improve coordination, balance and the independent movement of the upper and lower body.
- Always get help from mountain professionals; in this case from ski instructors. Asking friends or family to teach you can be counter-productive. Teaching follows certain steps and a well-defined plan, which is also adapted to suit the learner.
- Choose suitable material, definitely not second-hand boots and skis which have been handed down through generations.. Suitable equipment can be hired from specialist stores close to the ski facilities or in mountain centres. Take the advice offered by experts and use cutting-edge equipment. The right equipment will give you better control when skiing and allow you to learn more quickly.
- Make sure you have the right motivation and clear goals. Everybody learns at their own pace, and everybody has a different starting level of fitness: don’t get frustrated with yourself if you take longer than your friends! Concentrate on your motivation, both from oneself and the motivation you get from other people or factors. Finally, having a clear goal such as tackling a red slope or the Sellaronda circuit for example can add extra incentive to your lessons.