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Chemmy Alcott: Tips for first-time skiers

By Chemmy Alcott

Whether you’re a novice skier, at an intermediate level or a professional, you’ll never forget the first time you strapped on a pair of skis. Being a first-time skier is never easy, no matter how effortless Ski Sunday makes the whole business look.

If you’re about to give skiing a shot, here’s some advice from Chemmy - she’ll talk you through the kit, what skiing will do to your body - and the best way to improve, fast.

Feel the fear and do it anyway:

"The biggest thing that deters people from learning how to ski is that they probably think that they’re too old or not fit enough, and the one thing I want people to know is technology has made it so much easier for first-time skiers.

"It used to be very difficult, as older technology was not very forgiving, and it was hard to break through from being a learner to becoming an intermediate skier. Now its much easier. Even if it’s something you’ve never thought of doing before, I say, get on board. It’s a fantastic sport."

Get yourself ready for the physical side:

"There are a few things that you can do as a beginner to make things easier. You should prepare physically; skiing uses different muscles than other sports, and you should warm up so a) you prevent injury and b) you can ski for longer, and repair yourselves better.

"The other thing you can do is groundwork - before you go on holiday and leave the UK, find a centre and practice. You should also work on improving your overall fitness. This will give you more confidence, and give you more bang for your buck. Ski passes can be expensive, and if you’re a beginner, you’ve only got access to a few slopes. However, if you do your preparation before you arrive, you’ll be able to ski more of the mountain, so you’ll get more for your money."

Don’t worry about your kit:

"When you’re learning, I think you can just rent kit - it’s much easier to travel without it. It’s when you improve that you might find things you like, and things you don’t like. And that’s when you should maybe invest in some equipment."

Take care of your body:

"Always layer up - you will get warm, despite the freezing temperatures - and make sure that you drink plenty of water. People always forget that even though you’re in the mountains, you can dehydrate really quickly. Plus, it’s very sunny, so always wear suncream and sunglasses."

Don’t teach yourself:

"I think lessons are really important if you’re learning to ski - they give you so much more confidence and you can learn techniques correctly. You also shouldn’t forget that although skiing’s a fun sport, it can be dangerous, and you need to learn how to be safe on the slopes - not just for your own good, but to ensure other people are safe too. Getting instruction at the very beginning, so you know the basics, is very important.

"Also, I always, always recommend wearing a helmet. Even if you are Mr or Mrs Safety, it’s about other people and the snow conditions."

Get back on the slopes:

"If someone’s had an accident and they’re a bit nervous about returning to the slopes, I’d say, get back out there and put yourself in your comfort zone. Never push yourself in the early stages.

"Take baby steps, even if you have to revisit a slope that you’ve already tackled, and try it out again. There’s no shame in taking a few baby steps so you can move forward."

Chemmy Allcott


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