7 things you need to do when learning to ski as an adult

black soloman ski coat

Hi, babes! So glad to have you here! This past weekend we had the privilege of sneaking away for an adults-only weekend in Tahoe. I am putting together a post of all the places we ate, the places we stayed, and what we recommend for activities and skiing. But for today, I’m speaking directly to my adult-friends that have never skied before. Yes, at a whopping 34 years old I skied for the very first time.

Several of you messaged me while we were there asking for tips, so below I’ve outlined what I think are some good tips if you’re skiing for the first time as an adult. The one thing I didn’t add as a tip is to ski with someone who is encouraging and willing to ski with you. I honestly thought Travis and I might rip each other’s hair out if he tried to critique me, but it ended up being more than helpful. He patiently skied with me as much as I needed and critiqued me in a way that helped me perfect my form. He also encouraged me constantly, which boosted my confidence.

The other tip that didn’t make the cut below is to layer up. Honestly, it didn’t apply to us this weekend because it got up to 50 each day, but that was definitely not the norm for skiing. Yes, you work up a sweat skiing, but it’s also a lot colder the higher you get on the mountain. We brought lots of layers with us just in case!

must-have gear for skiing:

  • base layer
  • light layers to go over base layer
  • helmet
  • ski socks or tall wool socks
  • gloves or mittens
  • ski pants or a bib
  • a helmet
  • goggles

I feel like this should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway! Don’t forget to protect your skin. We used this sunscreen all weekend as well as this lip conditioner and walked away without a single burn or chapped lips! Highly recommend both! I would also recommend this sunscreen stick as it would fit perfectly in your ski jacket to take on the mountain with you.

tips for learning to ski as an adult:

  • borrow as much as you can – it’s pretty commonplace to borrow ski gear from friends or family if you don’t get to ski all that often, but I would say if you’ve never been skiing before than you should absolutely borrow everything you can. Ski gear is not cheap and until you know it’s something you love, it’s not worth the investment.
  • amazon – if you feel inclined to buy anything, check amazon first. I knew I wanted to have my own base layers so after a bit of research, I got this base layer set that only cost me $23. It had rave reviews and worked amazingly well! I’ll probably order another color for next year!
  • private lessons/ski school – the best advice I got was to take a ski lesson. Since I was going to be skiing with 5 other great skiiers, we opted for ski school instead of a private lesson. However, after a 2 hour lesson I realized that if you can afford it, a private lesson would be more beneficial than ski school. Here’s why – when you’re in ski school, there’s a lot of down time with the instructor works with each student. For example, I had 5 people in my class. Two of us got the hang of it pretty quickly, but the other 3 didn’t causing our lesson to slow down. I think I would’ve gotten a lot further in a private. That being said, private lessons are expensive. If it doesn’t make sense to pay for one, opt for ski school – it’s definitely worth getting the basics down.
  • take lessons in the AM – this was advice we got from personnel on the mountain and it was such good advice. Rather than doing an afternoon lesson, take the very first lesson offered that way you have plenty of time to practice your new skills while it’s fresh on your mind. I took my lesson and then spent the rest of the day with Trav and friends who helped me fine tune my newly learned skills.
  • Know your limits – this is a lesson I learned the hard way. After just a couple of hours of skiing I was convinced to go on a blue run that I wasn’t ready for. It was definitely no ones fault but my own, but in hind sight I would have denied a blue until I felt more confident. The blue ended up being way too steep for my beginner ability, which resulted in lots of tears and some major bruises.
  • confidence is key –  this is what my husband kept telling me over and over it, and he was so right. Confidence is definitely one of the biggest factors to skiing well. You know your body, so take your time, do the easy runs over and over until you get your turns down and can pivot a little better if needed, and then go for it. We spend the entire morning of my second day skiing greens (the easiest) until I had regained confidence and then took on another blue and it was great; I actually enjoyed it!
  • 3 is your magic number – My boss actually gave me this advice and I can totally see the logic in it. 3 days of skiing is the magic number for beginners. My first day of skiing was reserved for my lesson, a bit of hesitation, and what I’m sure looked like very timid skiing to others. Day two consisted of boosting my confidence and working up the courage to try a harder run. Had I been able to ski a third day, I would have been able to do more blues with a lot more confidence.