As well as rules of play, every sport has its own unspoken rules of decorum that go with the lifestyle. Skiing is no exception. No one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of everyone else on the pistes.
Let’s get serious for a second: it’s always important to be conscientious and respectful of the enjoyment and safety of others as well as your own. Follow our ski etiquette guide and you can be confident that you’re doing the right thing. Whether you’re skiing or snowboarding, you’ll impress those around you and make friends much more easily with these top tips.
Just like surfing, anyone skiing or snowboarding in front of you has the right of way and it is your responsibility to stay out of their path. Avoid unnecessary accidents by paying attention to the whereabouts of other skiers and make sure to leave enough space in front when following others down the slope.
Pay extra attention to your speed when conditions are icy or if visibility is especially poor as this could cause you to pick up extra speed, making collisions more likely.
Have you ever been annoyed by pedestrians stopping suddenly in front of you to look at their phone or chat to someone? This is even more annoying when you’re carving a slope only to grind to a halt half way down because someone is thoughtlessly in your way.
If you need to stop, make sure you are out of harm’s way and be aware of who is around you. If people can’t see you easily, it may be too late for an approaching skier to slow down safely before reaching you. This is even more likely if you are below a rise.
It is also worth noting that trails sometimes require you to merge onto another track. When approaching, keep a look out for oncoming skiers. Just like on the motorway at home, those who are already on the new trail have right of way and you will need to match their speed as you join to merge smoothly.
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Long queues are inevitable during peak season. Don’t let your excitement compromise your respect for others. Refrain from cutting in front of anyone and from being loud and disrespectful to anyone else waiting in line.
If you are part of a big group, arrange a meeting point at the top of the piste if you wish to ski down together. Don’t hold others up by waiting for a group empty of chairs together.
If you’d really rather go up together, be considerate to the other skiers and offer them your place while you wait to ensure no seats are being left empty.
New challenges can be fun. It may even be tempting to try a trail you haven’t tried yet. Before you decide to take the next step, be honest with yourself about whether you’re ready. Always remember recklessness can cause injury to yourself and others. Respect your skillset and build up your ability bit-by-bit to ensure the safety of everyone around you.
On the other hand, it’s just as important for more advanced skiers to be considerate when going down beginner trails. Learner skiers will be travelling slower and are more likely to veer off-course. It can be disorientating if someone is rushing past them and this can increase the risk of collisions.
If you only remember one thing from this guide, this should be it. The trail restrictions are one of the official rules of the slopes and they are there for everyone’s safety.
Before you go out in the morning, pay attention to the weather forecast each day and be aware of unexpected changes throughout the day. If weather conditions become too dangerous, don’t carry on.
Never continue down closed trails. They will only be closed if it’s not safe to ski down and by breaking these rules you could put yourself and others in danger. Instead, give your skis a rest and take advantage of the great bars and restaurants on offer for some après-ski fun.
That being said, don’t be tempted to go back out on the slopes after drinking. The effects of alcohol will cause slow reaction times and compromised balance. No one wants to cut their holiday short because of an injury so ensure not to put yourself in any questionable situations.
Always wear your helmet and be mindful of the position your skis are pointing when carrying them around to avoid accidentally hitting anyone.
We hope you enjoyed reading our ski etiquette guide and that it will give you some tips to take on holiday with you. Why not book one of our cheap ski holidays in France and practice everything you’ve learned?