Make this winter the winter you finally do it – learn how to ski or snowboard! Sure, tackling the slopes can seem daunting at first, with questions running through your head like: How do you get your feet into those boots anyway!? What's the lift-line protocol? Why does everyone seem to know exactly what to do and I feel like the new kid on the first day of school?
Have no fear! I SKI NY is here to help you feel like a pro from the moment you get your lift ticket, to the moment you finish your first lesson with our tips for tackling the slopes for the first time and special offers (below) to get you on the mountain for less this winter.
Three Tips for Tackling New York's Ski Slopes:
- Get the Right Gear For You at the Rental Shop – This is a crucial step that shouldn't be rushed – especially if it's your first time skiing. As you move through the rental shop, picking up your poles, your skis or board, your boots and your helmet, make sure you talk to each person about what feels right for you – especially when trying on your boots. A bad fit can make or break a day on the slopes. For ski boots: make sure all the straps are unbuckled before sliding your foot in. Once your foot is in the boot, pull the tongue up and forward so that it sits right on top of your shinbone. Boots should feel tight, but shouldn't make your feet go numb. Next, ask the rental shop attendant to help you secure your buckles and straps. Bend at the knee and lean into the front of your boot. If your heels come up, your buckles are too loose and need to be tightened. Repeat this step until your feet and legs feel completely secure. Rock back and forth and take a few steps. If everything feels secure, grab the rest of your gear, secure that helmet and your goggles and head to the lift. You may feel funny walking in your boots – don't worry – everyone does!
- Board & Disembark the Chairlift Like a Pro – For the most part, getting on the lift is truly a case of follow-the-leader. Observe what your instructor and the people ahead of you are doing, and mimic it. The lift attendant will scan your ticket, and depending on whether you're getting on a chairlift or gondola, you'll either ski forward (chair lift) or walk forward with your skis off (gondola). Take your time putting your skis in the gondola – the lift attendant will make sure everyone's gear is secure before letting it leave the station. Put the bar down if you're on a chairlift, and ride it to the top of the trail. When disembarking, put the bar up as you near the station, point your skis tips up and ski or hop forward with your board as the chair drops you off.
- Dress for a Day on the Slopes – Having the proper attire for a day on the mountain, with its variable temperatures and conditions, can absolutely be the difference between falling in love with skiing, and not. Dress in layers: wear a base layer of moisture wicking fabric, wool or wool blend ski socks that come up to your knees, and water repellent pants and a jacket. If your jacket is a waterproof shell, put a fleece or wool sweater over your base layer and bring a down vest or pullover just in case you want the extra warmth. Bring a buff or balaclava for windy and cold days to protect your face. Wear goggles and a helmet. Top off the ensemble with waterproof mittens or gloves – and you're ready to go!
Now that you're ready, here's how to do it without opening that wallet too wide:
- Discover NY Ski Day on January 17, 2019 gives skiers and riders a chance to enjoy ski areas across New York for as little as $12 for a lift ticket. Add on lessons, rentals and, and lift ticket at participating ski areas starting at $25.
- Learn a Snowsport Month is January of every year. Kick off the New Year by learning a new sport: alpine skiing or snowboarding, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Ski areas across New York State are offering steep discounts on lessons throughout the month of January. The initiative is meant to make skiing and snowboarding more accessible to more American families.
The bottom line is, skiing and snowboarding are two of the best ways to enjoy winter in New York State. All of the programs listed above are free or super cheap, and ISKINY.com offers a bunch of other discounts and incentives for beginners and their more experienced friends.
Check out www.iskiny.com for learn to ski deals and packages for all ages.