Before strapping on the skis and heading for a lift, those new to the sport should absolutely take advantage of lessons offered at just about every ski lodge that has beginners' hills. The lodges and resort areas that cater to skiers all have professionals on staff whose job it is to teach beginners the ropes.
Getting started requires first an understanding of the equipment and then, secondly, an ability to control movement while on the skis. Many beginners start out with shorter skis to give them more control from the start. The poles that go along with standard ski packages are meant not only to push movement along, but also to help skiers keep their balance. Beginners should learn to rely on these as they get use to the feel and movements of being on skis.
Good starter programs have beginners spending some time getting accustomed to the feel of the skis, poles and the balancing required long before they hit the slopes. In fact, skiing downhill shouldn't come until a newbie is comfortable on flat, firm land first.
Here are some basic pointers for those just starting out in this hobby: * Practice moving back and forth on the skis by sliding from leg to leg and then work on stopping. * Do not cross skis, ever. Stopping involves inverting skis and pressing them close together - not crossing. * Don't head for the hills until you are comfortable with forward movement, balance and stopping. There's no rush to hit the slopes, safety should be key, and if it is, fun will follow. * Start out on hills that are meant for beginners. Skiing is a sport that takes time and practice to perfect. Make sure you're comfortable before you move up to more challenging mountain faces.
Skiing is a great sport for those who love the outdoors and enjoy being active in the wintertime. With great ski locations the world over, there really is no reason to spend the snowy season indoors. Just remember to start out slow, take lesson and gain confident footing before heading to the bunny slopes or beyond. There's no race, or at least not yet!