A Guide to Hitting the Slopes for Beginners

Skiing and snowboarding can be great fun, however it can be dangerous without an understanding of the mountains, a couple of safety rules and some basic etiquette. Whether it be skiing for the first time or you are relatively new to the ski scene, skiing can be over whelming and in some cases quite nerve wrecking. Take a look below at some simple tips to help you feel more confident and relaxed about hitting the slopes for the first time.

Be PrepareSkid

Before you leave be prepared and do some research on your chosen destination. Find out useful information such as contact details for your accommodation, information regarding your travel insurance policy and local emergency contact details.

Get Active

The more active you are before your holiday, the easier it will be to get using those skiing/snowboarding muscles. To make the most of your skiing experience we recommend improving your activity level before travelling so you aren’t as worn out when you start.

What to Wear

When visiting the mountains it’s important to wear lots of layers to keep you well insulated and warm. When choosing clothing make sure to look for clothing which will keep you warm, let your skin breath as well as being waterproof. Take a look below at some examples of the items you may need to pack:

  • Base layer such as thermal under where
  • Mid layer e.g. long sleeve top and leggings
  • Ski Jacket and trousers or salopettes
  • Warm socks
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Scarf or gullet
  • Helmet
  • Goggles/ Sunglasses


Whether you choose to ski or snowboard, equipment is very important. Winter sports equipment can often be expensive, especially if you are not sure how often you will be going or even if winter sports is your thing. The good thing is you can hire equipment at your chosen destination, this way you will get to try the equipment as well as not have to worry about travelling to your destination with a bulky set of skis or snowboard. When selecting hire equipment, ensure that they are the correct size for you and that they are well serviced with no visible damage.

It is important to take care and not rush when selecting a pair of ski boots, you will be wearing these four your duriation, so it is important to not grab the first pair you find. Whether you choose to hire a pair of boots or purchase yourself a pair, try on a few and see what feels comfortable. To know if your boots fit correctly attempt the below:

  • Bend your knees and then try to lift each heel of the ground
  • Move each foot putting your heel then toes to the ground. Make sure to take note if your foot is moving to the front and back of the boot.

If your feet move during any of the above tests it means your boots do not fit correctly. Even the smallest amount of movement can cause you problems and discomfort during your trip.


Don’t just jump in! Make sure you book some lessons with a professional instructor to teach you technique and safety. If you are looking at skiing with some more experienced friends, try to arrive early so you can get a few lessons in before they arrive. Don’t push yourself too hard as you will be putting yourself at risk, travelling as fast as you can and attempting difficult ski runs can negatively affect your confidence at the least.

Never Travel Alone

A top safety tip is to never travel alone and carry the emergency contact numbers on your mobile. This way you can look out for each other and if one of you do happen to get in to trouble you will be much safer together and more prepared.

Travel Insurance

Our final tip for both skiing and snowboarding is to make sure you have travel insurance which covers the winter sports you plan to take part in. Not every travel insurance covers winter sports as standard, therefore it’s important to make sure you are covered so you are not left with large expenses if you unfortunately require to make a claim.  

Thinking about hitting the slopes for the first time? At Questor Insurance we offer annual and daily winter sports travel cover for affordable prices. Want to find out more about Questor Insurance winter sports cover click here to visit our website or contact us on 0333 323 0090.

Date Created: 02 November 2016 by Kim Coppins