Hucksters Budget Ski HolidaysHucksters Budget Ski Holidays

Beginner's Guide: How Easy is it to Ski and How Long Does It Take to Learn?

Just like any new skill, learning to ski can be daunting for those who have never tried it. Ask anyone about their first experience strapping themselves onto the skis or tackling a slope and they’ll tell you the first, second and even third time can get the heart racing with nervous energy. However, as you will come to learn as a beginner in anything, it just takes a little time, patience and lessons before your confidence can soar mountain-high!

In our beginner’s series, we aim to demystify skiing and answer some of the world’s most Googled questions around skiing to help more people discover a love for the slopes. In this guide, we’ll take you through how difficult skiing is to learn, how long it takes to learn (essentially answering whether a budget ski break is worth it- hint: it is!) and some top tips to improve your skills quickly. If you feel you have a fair understanding of skiing, you may want to read our other beginners guides:

Why Beginners Should Pick French Ski Resorts

Is Skiing A Good Holiday Idea?

What to Pack for A Skiing Holiday

Everything You Need to Know About Learning to Ski

Your Previous Experiences Will Influence Your Skiing Ability

Your Previous Experiences Will Influence Your Skiing Ability

To answer simply, the question of skiing difficulty depends on several factors. Firstly, skiing prowess will be influenced by the skier’s experience. If you learnt to ski when you were younger and are feeling a little rusty or you do some sports or activities that have transferrable skills, you may find skiing easier than someone without these life experiences. Therefore, for these individuals, the time taken to learn will be reduced.

However, don’t worry if you’re completely new to skiing and similar experiences. With a ski instructor, most people become ski-savvy in a few hours to a few days, reaching the minimum standard required for skiing without being accompanied by a trained professional. This includes safely taking the lifts, controlling your speed and direction, performing control linked turns and stopping safely. Most people are surprised how quick they can pick up these essential parts of skiing practice.

Of course, you could book some extra time with your instructor to really nail your skiing over the week in the French Alps to ensure you will be skiing down the slopes with your friends (both new and old!). Most beginners will find they will be able to ski down the easy slopes at the end of a weeks holiday with practice and coaching from instructors.

Alternatively, we suggest heading to a UK indoor ski slope before your holiday to give you an extra head-start to make the most of your trip here. There are plenty of indoor slopes around to pick from that allow you to get a taster of what your skiing holiday will be like (minus the amazing views and authentic feel!). Centres offer private lessons with equipment hire, much like in ski resorts. This will ensure you get used to wearing skis and the boots, as well as putting on the skis themselves. It can all feel a little alien when you’re a beginner so you may want to get used to the feeling beforehand.

Confidence and Motivation Will Factor into Skiing

Confidence levels can also have a bearing on how you take to skiing. If you’re someone who loves to try new things, you may naturally find it a little easier because you are more fearless. That’s why most kids appear to be picking up skiing faster than their parents. Reports suggest that more and more adults are taking their hand (or feet if you want to be exact) to skiing, with success usually driven by the confidence and motivation of the learner in question, as well as their preparations.

For anyone who suffers from some anxious thoughts around falls or fear of embarrassment, one of the best things you can do is to hire an instructor who will be able to build your confidence gradually and demonstrate the right and safest techniques for your skill level. The key thing to remember is to try skiing out for yourself because you may find a new passion! What’s more, building up your skills in skiing can help to build your confidence which can translate into other areas of your life.

Confidence and Motivation Will Factor into Skiing
Is It Better to Learn as a Group or Alone?

Is It Better to Learn as a Group or Alone?

Again, this will depend on you. Both options have their advantages. Private lessons can offer a beginner one-to-one attention which will encourage them to learn to ski quickly. This is because the learning process will be accelerated and focused, so if your key aim is to get out on the slopes on your own as soon as possible, then this may be the best option for you. Additionally, if you benefit from personalised learning experiences then private lessons may be of interest. Of course, private lessons will incur higher costs so it’s important you factor this into your holiday budget.

If you have come as part of a big group, whether that’s the group you travelled with or some new friends, it can make the experience a lot more fun and relaxed. Remember that in a group environment you will all be in the same boat in terms of experience which means you don’t need to worry about making mistakes in front of each other. A drink after a group lesson can be a great way to spend your afternoon making friends from all over the world talking over your new shared experience. What’s more, group lessons will be cheaper - perfect for those budget-savvy travellers.

If you’re the only one in a group who needs some lessons, don’t feel like you’re missing out either. You can meet up with your friends in the downtime for a drink and tell them all about how you got on. Within a few days, you can all ski down the easy slopes together!

Make Sure to Warm Up

Your physical fitness can have an impact on your ability to pick up skiing and get a full-days’ worth of skiing in! Stamina and strength are key to skiing, so you may want to try simple daily exercises to build these up before you go away. Regular exercisers may not need to do this as they will naturally have built these muscles up during their routines.

Stretching and warming up properly before heading out to the slopes, whether that’s for a day’s ski or just for lessons, will make sure you are prepared for the activity ahead. Additionally, if you suffer from physical complaints or persistent injuries, check with your doctor before skiing.

Make Sure to Warm Up
Check the Piste Maps and Area

Check the Piste Maps and Area

Beginners should make sure they pick an area that caters to their skills. A resort piste map can be a great way to know what pistes are on offer and which ones will be best for you. Piste maps are colour-coordinated depending on difficulty level; however, it is important to note that these colours can vary from location to location so check the key.

Over your first few days, you will want to familiarise yourself with the training area as this is where your lessons will take place. Check the accessibility of the slopes and areas you should be visiting. Our accommodation is ideally placed to cater for all types of skiers but if you want any questions answered specifically to your party and their needs, be sure to get in touch with us.

Research Before You Ski

Research can help a lot when learning to ski. There are a host of skiing guides online including the ones on our blog. Online guides can offer a lot of useful information including things to know before heading out on a skiing holiday. Of course, theory will never replace a lot of practising but it can be a great place to start to familiarise yourself.

As a beginner, you should always receive lessons from a qualified ski instructor as help from the internet or from a friend could result in you picking up wrong techniques or could result in an injury. Nothing beats learning from a professional ski instructor in person.

You can learn to ski like a pro in Vallandry and Serre Chevalier. If this is your first budget ski break and you want more information, get in touch with us via the online form or email us at info@hucksterslodge.com. We’d be happy to help you organise a trip out here and introduce you to the wonderful world of skiing.

Research Before You Ski

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Customer Reviews

Just back from a fabulous week in Vallandry. The lodge was great and the location to the lifts perfect. I wanted to say thank you for all your help and the wonderful staff, they are all good bunch and made us feel very welcome. Please let them know we did appreciate their hard work, and smiles every...

P.L.

Hucksters, are to be highly recommended as they offer a very personalised service at package deal prices and take a genuine interest in making sure you have a good time. I have done 4 trips with them in the last 2 years so they must be doing something right!

A.T.

We just wanted to say, we had the most marvellous time in the Mont Blanc recently. We were very happy in the Petit Mont Blanc Annexe & the staff were absolutely fantastic. They all went out of their way to ensure we had a fantastic holiday.

Lesley

Just a quick note to thank you all for hosting the Bennett clan the other week, we had a great time and are hoping to return with Hucksters for the new year.

M.B.

We have travelled with Hucksters as both a school group and a family for an incredible 18 years. Never have I worked with a company who is so flexible and accommodating to individual needs. The ski and board options are exciting and varied to suit all abilities, from novice to the extreme, from door...

Mrs Denise May MBE