13 Tips for First-Time Skiers and Snowboarders Before Hitting the Slopes

By on January 10, 2020 Categories: Jackson Hole Winter, Travel to Jackson Hole

Jackson, Wyoming, offers world-class skiing and riding at JHMR, Grand Targhee or Snow King. If you’re new to skiing, Jackson is a great place to learn how to ski, with ample beginner terrain on and expert instructors. However, make sure you’re in-the-know before you go with these 14 tips for first-time skiers and snowboarders.

1. Snag a Season Pass

If you’re going to be hitting the slopes for more than just a couple of days, it might be more cost-effective to snag a season pass to one of Jackson’s nearby resorts. There’s a lot of season pass deals happening at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort this winter, so be sure to do your homework before you arrive.

2. Catch a Lodging Deal

Skiing and snowboarding isn’t the most budget-friendly sport. However, you can take advantage of amazing winter lodging deals at Spring Creek Ranch. We offer an array of deals, including a third night free for season pass holders and over MLK Weekend. Book with Spring Creek Ranch today and save big on your big skiing adventure!

3. Pack Perfectly

Hit the slopes prepared this season with a few essential items. One of the biggest tips for first-time skiers is to make sure to pack a small day bag, which you can store in the rental shop lockers. Skiing and snowboarding in the mountains require a ton of energy (and water) so be prepared by bringing the following items:

  • A few snacks – we prefer trail mix, and peanut butter/honey tortillas but anything to refuel you will do.
  • Extra layers like a neck gaiter, glove liners, and a fleece layer.
  • Hand and toe warmers
  • Sunscreen

4. Dress in Layers

The best way to stay cozy on the slopes is to dress in layers. Layers help you mix and match to remain warm, but not too hot, throughout the day. If you have your own outdoor clothing you can combine layers to create a ski outfit that suits you. We recommend wearing the following on your first ski adventure:

  • Long underwear tops and bottoms
  • A fleece layer (for very cold days)
  • A puffy layer (can be down or synthetic)
  • A waterproof outer layer
  • Waterproof pants
  • Waterproof gloves or mittens (liners recommended for cold days)

Don’t have ski clothes? No worries! You can still learn how to ski and snowboard by renting your clothing through Kit Lender.

5. Rent Your Equipment

You’ll need additional equipment to learn how to ski at Jackson Hole. Of course, you’ll need skis, poles, and boots, but you’ll also want to rent goggles and a helmet too. We recommend renting through Ski Butlers since they will deliver your equipment directly to your room. Be sure to let the rental company know you’re a new skier and rider. That way you’ll get the best gear set custom to your abilities.

6. Protect Yourself from the Sun

If you haven’t spent much time in the snow, you’ll quickly learn that snow-covered slopes are like a giant reflecting mirror. In fact, it’s common to get sunburnt underneath your chin and even in your nose (ouch) on bluebird days. Protect yourself from the sun by wearing ski goggles and plenty of sunscreen. Don’t forget to apply under your chin and nose!

7. Stretch it Out

We understand the excitement of finally getting your lift ticket and wanting to shred up the mountainside. However, one of the best tips for new skiers and snowboarders is to stretch. Start by stretching out your quads, hamstrings, calves, and hips. Next, don’t forget to stretch out your shoulders, pecs, and upper arms. Once you’re stretched and loose, it’s time to hit the pow!

8. Take a Lesson

As a newbie skier, it’s best to learn from the pros. Skiing and snowboarding require proper technique and when you’re first learning, it’s easy to get frustrated. Ski and snowboard lessons from a seasoned pro are a great way to learn how to ski properly. You’ll not only get top-notch instruction, but ski instructors will ensure that you stay safe on the best ski terrain for beginners. You’ll get plenty of pointers and jump-start your skiing career with a lesson from a pro.

9. Practice Makes Permanent

Now that you’ve had a lesson or two, it’s time to practice. The best tip for beginner skiers is to simply get out there and practice. Remember, you’re learning something new. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and try new things. After a lesson or two, keep getting out on the easier green runs and practice your new skills.

10. Bring a Buddy

Don’t learn alone, enlist a friend or a partner to go skiing with you. Even if your friend is a more advanced skier, it’s still a lot of fun to hit the slopes with a buddy. Opt to learn together so you can practice your technique. Alternatively, you can get pointers from more seasoned friends. Either way, you’ll have plenty of smiles on the slopes. Plus, going skiing with a friend just makes apres skiing in Jackson that much sweeter.

11. Be Patient

Skiing and snowboarding, in particular, can have a steep learning curve. As a newbie snowboarder, expect to spend a lot of time sitting on your bum. Skiers may find they have trouble moving to steeper slopes. Don’t forget that you’re learning something new! It takes several tries to really get the hang of skiing or snowboarding. You may even need a few separate trips. But don’t let that discourage you from trying. Remember to have fun and enjoy the beautiful Jackson Hole scenery.

12. Know Your Right of Way

Beginners and expert skiers and snowboarders alike must follow right of way rules. When it comes to navigating a trail merge, the uphill trail always has the right of way. Look uphill before merging. Also, people ahead of you have the right of way, regardless of speed. Always take care to avoid those in front of you. 

Don’t stop in the middle of the run or just below a steeper section where people can’t see you from above. Lastly, follow all signage, warnings, and closed terrain. The ski resort takes your safety seriously, so always follow the rules to avoid any unwanted accidents.

12. Take Rest Days

Skiing and snowboarding are physically demanding. You’ll be sore in places you never thought existed. Schedule in a rest day and get an exclusive spa treatment to relieve your achy muscles. Let our world-class massage specialists rejuvenate your body after a big day on the slopes and relax at our Wilderness Adventure Spa to rewind and reset your soul.

13. Keep it Fun!

At the end of the day, keep skiing and riding fun. Gliding down phenomenal ski terrain is an exhilarating experience. Always respect fellow skiers and riders and don’t forget to keep on smiling. It’s supposed to be a fun sport after all!

So what are you waiting for? Learn how to ski with Spring Creek Ranch and Jackson Hole this season!