Skiing is a fantastic sport and a great holiday: it’s fun, it’s good for you, it gets you outdoors, it’s active and it’s sociable, especially if you have lessons, and yet it turns out that 26% of UK adults are put off ski holidays because they can’t ski*.
We’re here to let you know that you don’t need to be able to ski to go on a skiing holiday. You don’t even need to be particularly fit.
I can’t ski, can I go on a skiing holiday?
Yes, you can go on a skiing holiday if you can’t ski yet; you can learn to ski on your holiday. Or you can get lessons in the UK in one of the UK’s snowdomes or dry ski slopes. Both are equally valid ways of learning to ski. A couple of our UK Olympic medal winners learnt to ski or snowboard right here in the UK, so if you’re looking to try before you head to the slopes that is an option.
If you’re keen to head straight to the mountains then most ski resorts have a ski school which will usually have a selection of options for learning to ski, from group lessons to private lessons. If you’ve booked your ski holiday with a tour operator, like us, you may have the option of booking ski school through them, which saves you the job of doing it yourself.
Learning to ski is great fun
Like learning any new sport, learning to ski should be fun and you have a few different options for how to learn. The most common 2 are group lessons or private lessons.
In group lessons you join a course, often 4-5 sessions, and learn to ski alongside a selection of people of the same ability. A qualified instructor will guide you through the basics, covering everything from how to carry and put on your skis, to how to stop and how to turn. Group ski school is usually groups of 7 – 12 people, our exclusive ski schools for example are small groups of up to 7 people, while a regular group lesson can be up to 12 people. Group lessons are sociable and a great way to meet like-minded people.
In private lessons you book exclusive use of an instructor. You can book them 1-to-1, 2-to-1 or even get a group of you together. Private lessons are great if you’re particularly nervous or want to try and learn to ski as fast as possible, or if you have a group of you at the same level.
What about buying ski equipment?
You can usually hire skis, ski boots and helmets in resort (always check with your local rental, or ask your tour operator), so there is no need to buy those. Some resorts even have clothing you can hire, but you might be surprised what you can borrow from friends or family.
What do I need for a ski holiday?
- A waterproof, thermal jacket and trousers
- Ski socks
- Waterproof, thermal gloves
- A scarf or neck warmer
- Goggles and/or sunglasses (depending on the weather)
- Thermal base layer trousers and top (depending on the time of year)
- Fleece tops for layering, (1-2 depending on the weather and time of year)
This isn’t an exhaustive list. You should check the weather and average temperatures for your time of travel to your specific resort to make sure you have the correct clothing. Also don’t forget sun cream, you might be surprised at the tan you can get while skiing, especially if you decide to go in the spring. If you do forget something, don’t worry, you can buy extra equipment in resort.
I’m not very fit, can I go on a ski holiday?
Yes, you can go on a ski holiday with just a basic level of fitness. You can in fact, rock up on the slopes having done nothing except sit at your desk for the months preceding your ski holiday, however you will undoubtedly find that a bit of light exercise before your trip will make your holiday more enjoyable. We’re talking about taking the stairs instead of the lift and perhaps dusting off the bike for a ride to the pub. There is no need to get a gym membership, hire a personal trainer and/or learn to leg press a small car (unless you’re planning to head straight to the world super-g circuit following your first lesson, in which case, leg press away, and good luck).
Having a general level of fitness will make skiing safer and more fun, allowing you to enjoy the day of fresh air and exercise. Just remember that most people will be unused to doing a whole day of exercise, so no matter how fit you are you can expect to have a pleasant tired glow at the end of the day.
You don’t need to ski to go on a skiing holiday
A winter holiday doesn’t have to be all about skiing, there are lots of fantastic snow sports to try as well as alpine skiing, such as: snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snow shoeing and ski-touring. It’s all about getting out in the snow, enjoying yourself and trying something new. Different resorts will have instructors, guides and lessons available for different winter sports and a good tour operator will be able to suggest activities if you ask them what’s available in your resort, or suggest resorts based on your interests.
If you’re interested in learning to ski and booking your first skiing or winter sports holiday then one of the skiScandinavia teams would be thrilled to help you begin your journey. Please get in touch using the ‘ENQUIRE NOW’ button below, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0207 199 6015.
*A survey of more than 7,600 UK adults by sports retailer Decathlon found 26% of people who had never been on a skiing holiday said it was because they don't know how to ski, 17% said it was because they they aren't fit or healthy enough. Original article: here