How to Alpine Ski if You Are a Beginner

If you want to ski like a professional, read this article to learn some baby steps, although it is by no means a substitute for lessons. Have fun skiing! Remember: you won't always get the hang of it the first time.


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    Take classes so you can really learn and not be a danger to yourself or other skiers. Instructors will keep you safe, teach you quickly, make it fun!
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    One of the first things you must know is how to stop. You will see some skiers with their skis spread in a pizza shape called the wedge. This position will allow you to control your speed and direction.
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    Keep a centered and mobile stance. Knees and ankles slightly bent and weight over the balls of feet, and movement in all of your joints. When you try this be aware of your shins on the front of your boots pressing forward, this is key - stay off your heels and resist leaning back or too far forward - stay centered. Maintain plenty of vertical movement as you enter a turn.
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    Remember to keep your skis straight to go fast; to go slower, open your legs sideways and spread out the tails of your skis wider (tips stay together). This makes a bigger wedge until it causes you to stop.
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    Turn by pivoting with your lower body, or "stemming". As you turn, you should pivot your skis to the direction you want to travel. Your legs should always turn before your upper body does. As you start skiing, you should feel some skidding as you enter a turn.
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    Provide pressure to the downhill ski. This makes it a lot easier to turn! Try skiing while lifting the uphill ski off the snow. Try skiing while lifting the downhill ski off the snow. Notice that providing pressure to the downhill ski rather than the uphill ski makes turning much easier.


  • To get off the chair lift lean forward and stand up while you slide down the little ramp. Do not use ski poles, you can easily trip up yourself and/or others. Slide out of the way and its you and the mountain!
  • Best tip of all - take a few lessons from a certified ski instructor. Well worth the money and better than having a friend try to teach you.
  • Get on a chair with pole straps off of your wrists and both skis pointed straight ahead - look back to grab the chair, sit, and relax! Remember it's beautiful!
  • Get lots of mileage. Control speed at all times. If you're out of control, it is better to slide to a safe stop than ever hit anything or anybody, so just squat down and fall to one side on your butt and slide safe into second base.
  • Turning, as stated, don't lean! Here's a turning trick that works. When you are in the wedge stance and moving straight, gently press and hold down on your left big toe. This will make you go right as long as you are pressing on the big toe. To go left, press and hold down on the right big toe. You don't have to press very hard. It's sort of like ringing a doorbell with your finger.


  • Learn how to stop before going down the slopes.
  • Don't go too fast.
  • These instructions are not complete, they are rudimentary at best.
  • Skiing can be dangerous, lessons are recommended.
  • Don't take lessons from boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife and especially not beer buddy unless you want to put your relationship to a serious test.

Things You'll Need

  • Skis
  • Ski Boots
  • Snow
  • Poles
  • Warm Clothes, waterproof gloves, pants, coat, 1 pair thin wool ski socks
  • Helmet (optional)
  • Considerable amounts of money

Article Info

Categories: Snow Skiing