FIRST TIMERS? PAY ATTENTION
We have compiled some information for those renting ski equipment for the first time.
Beginners need a slightly shorter, more forgiving ski than an intermediate or advanced skier. It is much easier to learn to turn in a shorter ski. The ski also must have softer flexing (slightly more bendy) along with edges that are sharp enough – but not too sharp – to enable the beginner to slide and turn gently
around the mountain.
Your ski technician, when fitting your skis, will also ask you for your weight and height, so that they can set the bindings up properly. Don’t be shy with your weight, they need to do a calculation to ensure that the ski and boot release properly, thus saving a twisted ankle or leg.
Again, beginners will need a boot with a bit of flex, your boots will need to be forgiving. You don’t want a boot that is too stiff that your legs ache. You need to ensure that the boots are comfortable on the foot and the shin.
Your boot fitter will look at the shape of your feet and calves and will recommend an appropriate boot. Some boots are designed better for wider feet, others for skinny feet. Your fitter will explain how to work the buckles, how to change the width of the boots, where you should be feeling your toes in the top of boots and how to stand when wearing the boots.
For an absolute beginner, ski poles may not be necessary. However, during your first week, you are likely to need them. Poles will, of course, get in the way, until you get used to them. Their size is relative to your height. The general rule is that your elbow joint needs to be at right angles when you are
holding the handguard with the bottom of the pole touching the ground.
The most important safety equipment is the helmet. Helmets need to be snug, with chin straps fitted securely. They all have liners, designed to take the shock from any fall. Most helmets come with a fit adjuster dial at the back, which will twist to fit your head more securely. If they are loose, they may not protect your head as they were designed to, or they may, in fact, fall off. Helmets must not wobble if they fitted properly. Most helmets come with a clip on the outside back so that your goggle strap can fit through it, keeps them in place nicely.
Don’t forget to bring your own goggles, socks, gloves and sunscreen.