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First Timer Ski Tips

You are finally ready for your first snow adventure. The mountain has beckoned and you are ready to go. You are no longer going to miss out on all the fun and excitement that everyone else is having on the slopes. One problem – you have no idea what to expect.

All first time skiers and snowboarders go through this newbie phase. Until you experience your first winter holiday, you really have no idea what will happen. The first step to getting ready for your trip is to relax – this is going to be amazing.


Where To Go

Choose a ski resort that has plenty of easy, wide slopes and is accommodating to first time skiers. Look for destinations with practice lifts, plenty of lessons and at least 20 kilometres of the available terrain with a designation for beginner and intermediate skiers.

Here is a list of beginner friendly mountain resorts around the world:

  • Falls Creek – Australia
  • Charlotte Pass - Australia
  • Cardrona – New Zealand
  • Porters – New Zealand
  • Buttermilk Mountain – Colorado, USA
  • Breckenridge – Summit County, Colorado, USA
  • Kagura –Japan
  • Cervinia – Italy
  • Val d’Isere – France


What To Bring 

What should you pack for your first ski trip? At this point, you actually don’t need to invest in ski or snowboarding gear. All mountain resort towns have rental shops. You can hire your boots, skis, and board there. Take your time choosing the equipment that feels right for you – snug fitting boots, softer, well-sized skis. Let the rental shop know that this is your first time skiing. They can help you find the right gear for beginners.

What about clothing and accessories? Here is a list of essentials for your first snow adventure:

  • Waterproof, breathable ski jacket and pants
  • Sweaters and a warm fleece to wear under your ski jacket
  • Long underwear
  • Warm socks – natural fibres like cotton and wool are ideal to help your feet stay warm and dry
  • Gloves
  • Hat
  • Scarf
  • Sunglasses
  • Ski goggles
  • Lip balm
  • Sunscreen

Spending a little extra on a high-quality ski jacket, pants, gloves and hat will pay off when you are skiing. You want to feel dry and warm so you can spend endless hours enjoying the snow. A good pair of sunglasses (or two in case they get lost), sunscreen, and lip balm are essential! The sun’s rays are surprisingly strong on the slopes. Look for a sunscreen with at least 30 SPF.



European culture varies from country to country. In general, ski resorts tend to be laid back and friendly to tourists. If you’re worried about not speaking the local language, try a larger resort where they’re used to tourists from all over the world, or book your accommodation with a British tour operator who will help take care of everything on your behalf. Tour operators often sell catered stays, where breakfasts and dinners are cooked for you, and airport transfers either included or can be arranged.

The cost and type of food will also vary with each country. Most restaurants in ski resorts offer the local cuisine, which is often potato-based to keep energy levels high during the colder months of the year. Prices and quality are likely to vary, and don’t be afraid to check the menu before agreeing to eat somewhere.


Managing Your Expectations

What should you expect on your first trip to a mountain resort? Ski trips are a lot of fun. Expect the first day to be a learning experience – the gear, the snow, the physical demands – all of this will be something absolutely new. Don’t put pressure on yourself to start gliding down the slopes in the first few hours. You will start out learning on flat powder, and then move on to a gentle incline. Once you are comfortable you can start heading down the slopes.

After a couple of days you will probably feel comfortable skiing or boarding. By the end of the week, you will understand why people are so addicted to the sport, and you may be a little tired. Don’t forget to check out the other great activities at your resort town. Many have wonderful spas, restaurants, and interesting shops.

Once you enjoy your first snow adventure, you will be excited for more. There are breathtaking resorts all over the globe to explore – the great snowy, white world is wide open. Ski Insurance offers plans catered specifically to winter sports enthusiasts so you can travel anywhere, as much as you want with peace of mind.


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Snow dangersSnow Dangers

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What you should do in an avalanche. 

Ski luggage guideSki Luggage Guide

Our guide to saving time and money with your luggage. 


Further Reading


JapanJapan hosts some of the worlds best snowfields. Learn more here. 

North America

North AmericaNorth America is jammed full of excellent spots for skiing and snowboarding.


EuropeEurope provides a vast array of snow experiences for all experience levels. 


Other Destinations