Skiing 101 – Everything All First Time Skiers Need to Know
There is one majorly defining difference between Africa-borns and those hailing from the northern hemisphere. Something that we attempt to duplicate with clubs and resorts, but just haven’t the same knack of: Winter sports.
That is not to say that we South Africans lack the balance and finesse that the wintery slopes so demand. No — we have our own balancing acts in water-skiing and sand-boarding. Still, any newly-introduced South African skier will have their wobbles. More and more southern hemisphere natives are putting themselves into that awkward position, with trips to visit family and friends, or simply embarking on a well-needed cool-down holiday. And why not? Trying something new is very 2016.
Seeing as the Kaya annual listener trip will see 25 pairs – you can bring your favourite person along, be it your mother, best friend or partner – abandoning ship and rather jetting slope-ward bound this year, this is the perfect opportunity to introduce you to our foolproof guide to Skiing.
Step 1: Get Some Gear
Before you embark on the trip of a lifetime to the snowy French Alps, for the love of God, buy some ski-gear. That is — thermal underwear (yes, we went there) thick gloves (think thermaware) and a ski-jacket and trousers. You may feel like the Michelin Man, but rather wrap up than lose your digits.
Watch Somizi get his gear on 180 with Bob
Step 2: Boots and Skis
You can hire both of these at a ski-shop in the village once you arrive in Europe — no need to buy them down south. Make sure the boots fit you right, though: not too tight nor too loose. The experts will show you how to clip in and out of the skis in the shop.
Step 3: Get Learning
We recommend booking a few lessons — no, really. The instructors are world-class, and they teach every type of person you could imagine; young, old, big and small. They will take you through the whole process step by step — from standing up straight in your skis (this is a mean feat) to slowing down on the slopes (in French: chasse neige) to ensuring you don’t shoot straight down the slope, crashing into a group of people.
Gravity will always find the most direct route — this doesn’t mean it is the safest — especially when skiing! Safety is the main thing here, and falling is par for course, so expect your butt to touch ice a few times — it’s part of the fun!
Step 4: Aperitif time!
Nothing warms the crispy, exhausted body like a toasty gluhwein — or hot chocolate, should you prefer — after a long day skiing. Treat yourself to a hot, hot shower afterwards, and a hearty meal in the restaurant.
Don’t forget to get to bed early though — there are many more tumbles to be taken tomorrow!