FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What should beginners know before going skiing or snowboarding?
Expect to fall quite a bit, but the snow provides a good cushion! Everyone falls down a lot their first time, and there’s no shame in being new to the sport.
Staying warm is important, so dress appropriately. Because you will be falling down, jeans are not wise – try to wear ski pants and a ski jacket, or anything that’s waterproof.
Make sure you get boots that fit – this is the #1 thing that will make your first experience pleasant. Make sure that your feet cannot turn side to side within the boots, but they should not be so small as to cramp your toes. Keep trying on boots until you find a pair that really fits – even boots that say they are the same size may not be.
Lessons are a great way to get into the sport. Friends may want to teach you, but they may not always teach you the right fundamentals. It’s easier to learn the right way than to correct bad habits later.
2. What should I do to get my body ready for the skiing/snowboarding season?
Knees: Probably the most important thing to take care of for skiing is your knees; the stresses on your knees can approach 100Gs or more of gravity. Do exercises like squats that build up your leg muscles and help improve your knee’s flexibility.
Hamstrings: Your hamstring strength is critical to carry you down the slopes, around corners and through swerves. Do hamstring curls or other hamstring exercises.
Hands: If you ski with poles, your hands can often need to yank out a pole that is stuck, or resist a twisting by a caught pole. Work on hand strength with a squeeze ball or other hand-strengthening device.
Aerobic Exercise: Skiing takes a lot of energy and endurance, endeavour to build that up before you get on the slopes. Mountain biking, jogging, tennis or other forms of exercise will get your body into shape so it can last all day on the slopes.
3. Do I need a pair of Goggles?
At our higher elevation, the sun’s rays are less filtered. Sun reflects off the surface of the snow making the rays even more intense. To protect against sunburn and damage to your eyes, you should always wear sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen at all times. It is also important to carry goggles with you at all times – goggles offer protection against the winter elements (snow, ice and wind) and provide you with greater visibility while skiing and snowboarding during tough weather conditions.
4. Today’s the day, any final preparation tips before I leave the house?
Skiing, snowboarding and all other winter time activities require lots of energy – energy not only to perform the activity but also to keep warm. Before and during all winter sports, be sure to eat hearty meals and drink plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine as they will dehydrate your muscles. Never drink alcohol while participating in snow sports as it makes your muscles and reactions much less responsive.
(Provided by Chicopee, On. www.skichicopee.com)