Skiing is a winter sport that requires quite a bit of skill, know-how, ingenuity, and patience. It's also a winter sport that's unbelievably popular which is why resorts exist in complete devotion to the pastime. Some might find snowboarding to be easier but skiing is the true king of the slopes, allowing those who partake to fly down wicked mountains and come careening around bends like there are no speed limits. However, it can also be dangerous, unexpectedly challenging, and quite unpredictable for those who aren't familiar with a ski slope. In order to avoid making rookie mistakes, there are some rules to follow and not all of them are as simple as 'look up when the ski lift is coming to avoid hitting one's head.'


Many tips from the pros include things that should be known well before a person even straps on their skis. Others should be common sense although that's not always the case. Hitting the slopes for a first-timer can be an exciting and thrilling experience but it can also be one that becomes increasingly frustrating when novice tips aren't followed. Therefore, those seeking to improve their slope game have come to the right place... because these are all the easiest things to remember that should be avoided.

Beware The Gaper Gap

On the slopes, a 'gaper' is referred to as someone who's a novice, beginner, or just significantly accident-prone. So, knowing that, it makes sense that the term for what we're about to explain would be called 'gaper gap,' as experienced skiers know why this should be avoided. A gaper gap is the space that's left in between a person's helmet and their goggles.

There are two facets to the gaper gap: The first is that skiing takes place in frigid temperatures, meaning any exposed skin is going to have a wicked windburn. The second is that while this skin is exposed to the elements, it's also exposed to the sun - just as water at the beach amplifies sunburn, and bright, white surface - such as snow - is also going to amplify the sun's race. So, in short, ouch. Pull your helmet forward or invest in a headband or bigger goggles.

Whatever You Feel You Need To Do, Forgo The Urge To Lean Backwards While Skiing

When a human being is sliding down a hill at tremendous speed in a position that feels precarious and unfamiliar, it's not uncommon to feel the need to do the most counterintuitive thing possible in order to regain one's balance again.

However, this is not a great idea when it comes to being in motion down a hill. Understandably, it can be scary to be leaning so far forward while picking up the speed - but that's also the point of skiing. A person doesn't need to be flying down the slope immediately, but they should remember that leaning forward is what enables a skier to maintain control of the skis, which are always firmly rooted in the snow. By leaning backward, all a skier is doing is asking to go feet up into a snowbank or worse - into another skier.

Related: 20 Incredible Ski Resorts That Will Inspire Winter Vacation Plans Immediately

In The Same Vein, Avoid Mid-Trail Stopping Or Heading For Expert Slopes

This is a double whammy. While there's usually plenty of space on the slopes for a whole plethora of skiers, all it takes is one person to stop in the middle of a run to either slow down a row of skiers or have someone swerving aggressively in order to avoid a pile-up.

It might sound obvious that a person should pull off to the side but that's not always the case. Additionally, novice skiers should one-hundred percent be avoiding any run that's not approved for beginners. That means Black Diamond - and even most intermediate trails - should be steered clear of, no matter how much faster it is to the bottom by taking them.

Related: These Popular Ski Resorts Are Overrated, And Here's Why

Knowing What To Wear And When To Wear It

There's no worse feeling than bundling up too much and simultaneously sweating in some parts while others are freezing. Staying warm is one thing, but layering isn't always the best way to do this.

What it comes down to is investing in proper ski equipment, including clothing items that are designed to either be layered or will keep a skier warm enough without layering. Yes, ski equipment costs money, but it is helpful to know which items to rent and which should be purchased personally. Some items are undoubtedly better than others in freezing temperatures and, speaking of which, checking the weather forecast before heading out is also a pro tip.

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