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Mountain Readiness: The Do's and Don'ts of Skiing and Snowboarding

Mountain Readiness: The Do's and Don'ts of Skiing and Snowboarding

OutdoorMaster Snowboarding tips

Photo by Lidiia Piven on Unsplash

If you have never gone skiing or snowboarding, there are some things you should know before you hit the slopes. Did you know that approximately 600,000 people get injured due to skiing every year in America? According to a well-researched study, that’s 2 injuries in every 1000 ski trips! 

With countless resorts around the world and different regulations for each, it can be difficult to know how to behave and what to do. The best thing a first-time skier or snowboarder can do is to get informed.

As an expert on all things outdoor-related, Outdoor Master wants to help you learn what you need to know when it comes to skiing, snowboarding, and what to do in emergencies. So… Time for a pop quiz!

When you see a group of ski school kids, you are supposed to _______?

  1. Plow right into them.
  2. Jump over them.
  3. Spray them with snow.

Trick question! None of the above.

That said, there are some essential ski tips (haha, get it?) that every first-timer needs to know. It also does not hurt for the seasoned vets to brush up on what to do and not to do when visiting a ski resort. There is a lot to cover, so strap in!

THE DOs (10 Dos when visiting a ski resort)

OutdoorMaster Skiing & Snowboarding tipsPhoto by Alesia Kaz on Unsplash

These are things you should always do, no matter what ski resort you go to.

  1. Do… prepare well. There is nothing worse than getting to the mountain and realizing you forgot to bring something important such as your gloves or goggles. The best thing you can do is, like Santa, make a list and check it twice. Making sure you have all the right gear for your trips should be step #1.
  2. Do… Take advice/lessons. Many beginner skiers and snowboarders struggle simply because they have no idea what they are doing. For those who have never skied or snowboarded, it might be worth the investment to spend one day (or a half day) with an instructor learning the ropes.
  3. Do… Wear safety equipment. Wearing a helmet is cool, especially if you want to minimize the chance of getting a concussion while skiing or snowboarding. Knee pads, elbow pads, and crash pants are also highly recommended.
  4. Do… Be physically prepared. Many people underestimate just how physically demanding skiing can be. This can lead to fatigue and even injury. Lucky for you, we put together some exercises that will get you in winter-ready shape.
  5. Do… Follow mountain signs and safety regulations. When visiting a ski resort, there are going to be a lot of signs with different symbols and colors. It can get confusing. Knowing what the signs mean is important. The last thing you’d want to do is accidentally find yourself on a double black diamond. Here is a comprehensive guide to ski trail signs.
  6. Do… Be kind and considerate to those around you. Ski resorts get busy and there are always some unhappy campers. Don’t be an unhappy camper. Skiing is awesome, make the most of it! Help people who need help, give candy to the lefties, and talk to strangers on the gondola!
  7. Do… Be aware of your surroundings. Similarly, when ski resorts get really busy, it is your job to be aware of your surroundings. Be aware of the kids in ski school and respect those who might not be as good at skiing or snowboarding as you. Additionally, be aware of where you are on the mountain.
  8. Do… Explore the entire resort. When you visit a ski resort, it’s important to remember to explore the entire resort. Some people get stuck on the same runs or they spend all day in the park. Sure, that can be fun, but there is so much to explore. Why would you want to limit yourself to only a portion of what the resort has to offer?! 
  9. Do… Push your limits. While it is definitely important to stay safe on the slopes, you should also try to push yourself. Part of the fun of skiing and snowboarding is getting better every time you gear up. Don’t be afraid to try something new, just don’t push yourself too hard.
  10. Do… Know the number for ski patrol. Hopefully, you will never have to call ski patrol, but in the case of an emergency, it is very important to know the phone number for ski patrol. When an emergency occurs, ski patrol are the only people well-equipped for the situation. A quick tip: if you don’t know the phone number for ski patrol, you can always call 911 and they will direct you to the correct number.

THE DON’Ts (10 DON’Ts when visiting a ski resort)

These are things you should never do, no matter what ski resort you go to.

  1. Don’t… Sit in the middle of the trails. Some people (cough, cough… snowboarders) forget that it is very dangerous to sit in the middle of the piste. This is very bad. At any moment, someone else could come crashing into you, causing both of you significant injury. If you are a beginner and need to sit somewhere for a little bit, choose the sides of the run or slowly make your way to the bottom to take a much-needed rest.
  2. Don’t… Ski into restricted areas. While that untouched terrain might seem like the perfect place to carve some pow, it is highly unrecommended. Ski patrol put up boundaries for a reason, and that restricted area could possibly be littered with stumps, rocks, and other hazardous terrain. 
  3. Don’t… Stand on other’s skis/snowboards in the lift line. It can be irritating when someone stands on your skis/snowboard when standing on the lift line. In fact, over time your gear can get damaged if someone is repeatedly stepping/standing on your skis/snowboard. In this case, simply and politely ask whoever is standing on your gear to step off.
  4. Don’t… Cut the lift line! Speaking of the lift line, DO NOT cut the line! Everyone wants to get to the top of the mountain too. So, slow down, wait your turn, and be grateful to those who might not know how things work. Resort staff do their best to keep the line moving, and when someone cuts the line it disrupts the flow of the mountain.
  5. Don’t… Speed past beginners. If you see a beginner or a group of beginners in ski school, it is your responsibility to be extra cautious when skiing near them. Beginners do not have as much control over their movement and need extra allowances. If you like to ski/snowboard fast, just be extra careful when going past ski school and beginners. Mountain staff will like you more if you do this.
  6. Don’t… Litter. Simple as that. Don’t throw your trash in the woods or in the snow. It’s bad for the environment and nobody likes to ski with bits of trash blowing about the resort. If you have a candy wrapper or a water bottle to throw away, keep it in your jacket pocket until you are near a trash can. Do your part.
  7. Don’t… Mistreat rental equipment. Many people do not own ski equipment because they don’t ski enough times throughout the year. If you are one of those people, make sure to take care of your rentals. Treat them as if they were your own.
  8. Don’t… Disturb the wildlife. This is more important than some people know. It might be fun to feed a squirrel or a bird while on the slopes, but, depending on where you are skiing, you should not disturb the wildlife. Some resorts across America have moose and bears. If you ever come across one of these animals, best to leave them alone.
  9. Don’t… Underestimate the weather. It’s important to remember that the weather is not always going to go your way. It’s always best to over-prepare when visiting a ski resort. If you are skiing on a mountain that experiences avalanches, ask the ski patrol what you should have when skiing.
  10. Don’t… Forget to have fun. Last but not least, don’t forget to have fun. Skiing is awesome so make the most of it. Don’t be a party pooper. No matter where you go or who you go with, try your best to make the most out of the experience you are going to have. Skiing can often be expensive, so don’t waste your time or your money!



Photo by Urban Sanden on Unsplash

Our team is filled with skilled and passionate outdoor enthusiasts, and our goal is to equip you with everything you need to conquer your passions. Mountain etiquette is important for everyone, not just first-timers. That said, if you are a beginner, check out our other blog posts for valuable information. We have a vast option of helmets, goggles, and more for you to choose from. Outdoor Master has all the essentials to prepare for any winter adventure. We’d love to hear from you on Instagram or TikTok.

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