Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Beginner's Guide to Skiing Etiquette

With snow covering the mountain resorts all over the world, it's no surprise that millions are rushing to the airport with skis or board in hand to head off on a trip to the pistes. If you are one of those heading on a family ski holiday for the first time soon, there are many things to consider while on the mountain to ensure your vacation is both safe but also as fun as possible. With these in mind, these are the unwritten rules of skiing etiquette.

Carrying your equipment

The first thing is to recognise how best to carry your skis to and from the slopes, especially if you are in a sizable crowd of people and want to stay safe. Skis are usually carried over the shoulder, with the tips up and tails down to reduce the risk of clotheslining anyone when you suddenly turn around. Your poles could also be secured around the skis to form a pack, because there's nothing worse than being hit by someone's flailing poles.

Don't be tempted to jump in line

While the whole family will certainly want to make the most of their skiing experience, pushing in will do you no favours and will more than likely cause other mountain users to become very irritated. With this in mind, you should always get to the back of the queue and wait your turn. If you are snowboarding, it's a good idea to remove your rear foot from the board so that you can propel your way along the queue; not doing this means that you have to rely on other people and could even throw you off balance in the queue or - even worse - while waiting for the lift to pick you up.

Being safe and polite on the slopes

Unless you have the privilege of hiring out the whole mountain for your holiday, you will always be sharing the runs with other skiers and boarders throughout the day. With this in mind, it is important that your actions don't aggravate the people behind and in front of you. This can be achieved firstly by making sure you ski a run which matches your ability, decreasing the chances of you falling over or speeding off out of control. If you feel confident enough and fancy picking up a bit of speed, you must make sure that you don't dart in front of anyone with quick turns, as this could cause others to alter their course.

A Guide to Ski Carving for Your Next Ski Holiday

Once the basics of skiing have been mastered, skiers will want to progress to get the most out of their sessions, going faster, more accurately and making sharper turns. Carving is easy once you know how and are well practised; take a read of this short guide to ski carving and you will be slaloming down the slopes in no time.


To begin with you will want to ensure you are not going to do any serious damage. Starting right will put you, and your skis, on the right track to begin to carve.

Carving is where the skis cut into the snow as you turn so that they do not travel sideways. This can be achieved through a number of techniques that, once you practice, should be easily accomplished.

The ski is slimmer in the middle, with the front and back of each individual ski getting wider towards the top and the edges curving in and out as they go along the ski. This is in order for the ski to bend; it is this bend that enables the skier to carve, as carving uses this curving path.


To begin carving, start by positioning your skis straight down the slope and rolling your knees over so that the edges begin to dig into the snow. The knees need to be rolled over enough, otherwise the edges won't stick into the snow. Once the skis' edges are dug into the snow, lean into the curve and follow through with the bend. As the skis dig into the snow, and the skis begin to travel along their length, the skis will begin to turn you. This is when you will be able to push further and lean into the turn. The faster you travel at this point, the more you should be able to lean and push harder on the skis.


The main thing to remember is that you will not always be able to carve perfectly, as the conditions have to be right. While, to an extent, some form of carving will usually be possible, it is generally down to the conditions and equipment for how well you will be able to perform. The snow needs to be soft enough and not too compact, so that the skis' edges can be dug in easily, but it also has to be hard enough to hold the turn. Icy conditions also make the act of carving difficult, as the edges won't easily cut in.

Follow these guidelines and you are sure to be carving down the slopes during your next family ski holiday.