As the season comes to a close, it allows for a time to look back and reflect. To reflect back on not just the season you recently finished off, but past seasons as well, or if you’re feeling particularly reflective, your skiing career as a whole.
Here at Skis.com, we’ve got a host of different types and levels of skiers, from the brand new newbs who got out this year for their first time, to the hardened veterans who have been skiing longer than I’ve been alive.
We’ve got bump skiers who hit moguls like they’re rocking 220’s in the 80’s, park rats whose sweatshirts are as long as their air time, backcountry nuts who see trees and knee deep pow in their sleep, and classic groomer bombers whose need for speed is getting close to an intervention.
So we went around this eclectic office and asked everyone to reflect back on their season, and their skiing career as a whole. As we collectively looked back, we compiled a list of what we all had to learn the hard way on our journey through this magical sport. And now we have decided to share it with you, the top things we want to share with veterans, newbs, and everyone in-between. Hopefully you can learn from our mistakes.
1. Wear a helmet:
“Back in the day, you looked like the weird dorky kid if you wore a helmet. Now, it’s much more acceptable to don a brain bucket, and thank god. For me, it was one bad 720 in the park that taught me my lesson. First I’m flying high feeling like I might be under rotating, next thing I know a ski patroller has me strapped in and is asking if I know my own birthday. I’m one of the lucky ones, there is no lasting damage and only suffered a minor concussion. But from that day forward I wore a helmet no matter what. No day of skiing is worth the end of your life, or brain capacity.“ Jess K. – Blogger
2. A little bit of fear means you’re learning:
“For me, learning consisted of years of taking it easy, going slow, and only taking on what I felt I could handle. And then one day there was a run I got pressured into going down that I did NOT feel ready for. I was terrified, but everyone else had already headed down so I felt trapped. And it turns out, I was totally capable of getting down that run. And the confidence I gained from conquering it allowed me to go on to try more and more challenging runs and pushed me to be a better skier faster. I just wish I had gotten over the hump earlier!” Marcia J. – Asset Manager
3. Falling is a good thing:
“I have a fear of falling. I think most people do. But I have to constantly remind myself that falling is a good thing. Yeah, I said it! Typically when I fall, it means I’m trying something new or in unfamiliar territory, which means I’ve taken on something difficult and am getting better. Or if I fall doing something I should be able to manage, I know to buckle down and pay attention, because I can do this. Either way, falling still teaches a good lesson!” Jami L. – Director of Creative Services
4. Learn young if you can:
“I know this isn’t the most helpful piece of information here because most of us are past our prime, but if you can help it, learn as young as you can. I learned when I was an adult because my wife is an avid skier, and let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. My bones hurt, each fall felt like my body got wrecked, and the soreness was unbearable at first. But then I watch these kids just zipping down the slope, taking a tumble, and get up like it was nothing. I really wish my parents had gotten me into this when I was younger, and I wouldn’t have missed out on so many years of skiing. Parents, start your kids young!” Rob G. – Accessories Buyer
5. Stretch ski clothing is a godsend:
“I remember when stretch ski clothing first came out (yes, I’m dating myself a bit), and how ridiculous I thought it looked. Skin tight pants have never been my thing, and I saw no use for it for years. I stuck with my scratchy, slightly baggy, hard to move in stuff out of principle. Until I finally caved and bought some ski pants with some stretch material in them. Sure, they cost a little more, but they looked like regular pants and HOLY COW did they feel so much better. I finally had a full range of movement and could sit on the chairlift without my pants riding up and tugging at my… uh… everything. If you don’t already own some, go out and get ski clothing that has stretch in it.” Brigitte L. – Clothing Buyer
6. If you can afford it, ski in ski out lodges with fancy food is so worth it. If you can’t, pb&j sandwiches and a few beers in the back of your buddy’s truck can be just as good:
“Now that I’ve gotten the chance to experience both sides of the ski vacation, I must say that ski in ski out places are worth the dough. I mean not dealing with lines, or transport, waiting on a bus, schlepping your gear, walking in ski boots, it’s all terrible and ski in ski out condos have got it right. But, I must say some of my best ski vacations have occurred when 4 or 5 of my buddies have piled into trucks, headed up to the slopes with homemade sandwiches and a case of beer to hang in the sunshine midday and just enjoy the slopes. If you must choose, do both.” Brooks J. – Director of Marketing
7. If you’ve got a local hill you love, buy the seasons pass:
“I know that the state of the industry makes this one a little hard, but a seasons pass will change your ski game. First and foremost, supporting your local hill is always a good choice. When your newer to skiing, it can seem fun to try all the new places and hit the coolest slopes. But over time, you can really come to appreciate a quick day trip to your local hill where you know the runs like the back of your hand, and Dave the lifty is faithfully waiting for you at the bottom with “hey guys!” and his Carhartt overalls he’s had since 1997. Not to mention that buying a seasons pass will finally whip your butt into shape to get all the days in you possibly can in a season. Nothing like good old money already spent obligation to convince you to take that day off work and get another day on your pass.” Adam P. – Copywriter
There you have it, words of wisdom from the Skis.com team. Now, take this wisdom and learn! Or leave your own below.