Tips and Tricks on How to Ski: Learning the Ropes

How to Ski

It’s important to have some idea of what you’re in for when you hit the slopes for the first time. Learning how to ski the right way is important so that you don’t hurt yourself or others when you go from the bunny slopes to the more challenging ones.

If you feel like you might need a little more hands-on training once you get to your ski vacation destination, you can always get ski lessons from an experienced instructor, but knowing the basics will go a long way to making those lessons go much more smoothly. Once you get your ski gear and clothing you’ll be ready to go

Let’s get started, shall we!

The Proper Stance

Your skis should always be shoulder width apart to give you better balance. If they are too close together you may feel unstable or even fall to one side when you try to turn. If they are too far apart, you may end up doing the splits and pulling a muscle, or just working too hard to keep yourself upright.

For an even more stable base, you can push your heels outward and your toes inward – without crossing your skis in the front – to give a slight wedge shape. This gives a bigger area for you to stand on.

Stopping & Speed Control

On gentle slopes, you can stop by making your wedge a bit wider. It pushes the skis into a more perpendicular area in relation to the momentum you are going, which is downhill, and slows you down. Try doing this a few times on the bunny hill by making your skis wider and narrower to slow down and speed up to get the hang of it.

Turning & Stopping on Steeper Slopes

On steeper slopes, this method of slowing down or stopping won’t work. You have to turn your skis perpendicular to the direction you are going. It feels a bit awkward at first so it’s best to try it on a gentle slope to try it out first.

Try turning a few times to get the hang of how the skis turn – remember, the skis always go in the direction of your feet so just bend at the ankles, knees, and waist and then turn your body. The skis will turn up a bit of snow and the friction will stop you.

Going Parallel

Once you get the hang of gentle turns you can start to “go parallel” which is the term for making more dramatic turns to slow yourself down with turns down steeper hills.

Going back and forth, turning up a bit of snow each time you use the edges of the skis to turn will help slow you down. You may feel a bit unstable when you first start to do this but you will quickly get the hang of it.


Fresh Powder

Fresh powder is something that every skier wants to experience. It’s something that you don’t often get to because so many skiers rush to get out there when the snow is fresh.


If you get the chance, you want to ski it. But if it’s your first time, you might want to stay back until you have at least had your first few lessons on the bunny slope and know what to experience on your skis. For a video guide to getting started skiing, see this beginners guide.


Tips for Going Through Fresh Powder

  • Don’t lean forward, or back for that matter. Keep your body weight centered on the skis.
  • Sink down onto the skis as if doing a slight squat. Use your legs to do the turning. You will use a lot of muscle to do the steering for you.
  • Take your turns gently. Don’t be too aggressive. You will wear yourself out really fast.

Skiing is an experience that is not to be missed. It’s a thrill and a rush when you get to slide downhill with the cold breeze hitting your face. Even the warm up at the lodge afterward is something that you can enjoy with family and friends.

The sun glinting off the snow, the wind rushing past as you glide over the freshly fallen snow, and even warming up with a hot cup of coffee afterward. It’s an experience like no other.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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