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First Timer Questions: I’ve mastered the pizza and French fries, what’s next?

I’ve mastered the pizza and French fries, what’s next?

‘Spaghetti!’ That’s what’s next, according to Pass Powderkeg’s Snow School Supervisor, Michelle Dupuis. But we’re not talking about cooking here, we’re talking about continuing with your progression as a skier or snowboarder and getting to those parallel turns, by relaxing into it, feeling the motion, and getting a little loose on those snowy slopes – just like a wet noodle!

Because now that you’ve set the foundations; you have the gear, you’ve familiarized yourself with the ski environment and you’ve even made it down a whole green run, you might start itching to get out there and wondering what your next move is.

Here, Go Ski Alberta has a few tips from the pros on what your future steps could look like, and how to bring your kids along for the fun!

Hold onto your ski poles, we’ve got you!


Get yourself some more lessons or join a program

You may be self-taught so far, coached by a ski friend or have completed one or two lessons on a ski hill, but why stop there? You can continue embracing the winter at one of the Province’s many snow resorts by booking onto more lessons, or even a program.

Pass Powderkeg in Crowsnest Pass offers a Learn to Turn, four-lesson program at their family friendly, real-good-vibe hill – complete with a free beginners’ area. The instructors focus on catering their teaching and lessons to the progression, pace and expectations of the learners; you’ll be the master of the mountains before you know it!

Plus, their beginner space allows adults and children to play around, practice and develop in a safe area with instructors who will offer tips on how to blossom as a skier or snowboarder outside of lessons.

Canyon Ski Resort in Red Deer also provides a learner-friendly ski area to practice your turns. Their broad range of programs and ski camps are adaptable to yours and your families’ schedules, whether it’s during the weekend, holidays or after school, the slopes will be waiting and ready to surf!


Practice on your own or with a friend

If you’re really determined to progress and maybe even impress your ski instructor, make sure you’re clocking in a few hours between lessons. Even if you don’t fancy hitting the slopes by yourself, you can invite a ski buddy to join you. Get your instructor to direct you to an area of the ski resort that would be a great place for you to practice.

Michelle suggests that, “If something resonates with you during your most recent lesson, make a note of it in your phone and work on that during your free time.” Another useful tool is asking your friend or instructor to video you.

Michelle adds: “We’re always giving the same tips, such as ‘bend your knees’, and learners think they’re doing it. When I record them [the students] I say, what’s one thing you see that’s good and one thing you see that you could improve on? Nine times out of ten they realize they’re not bending their knees as much as they thought they were”.

Maybe your winter aspiration is to transition from a green run to a blue, or you want to increase your speed and really send it, these tips will help you observe your current techniques and grow in your new favourite snow sport safely.

Mackenzie Bouteiller, Snow School Director at Canyon recommends that during your free time, you should stay in your lane, while pushing yourself within your limit. “Get comfortable with your own body and your own abilities of skiing and snowboarding before getting out on those big runs.”


What about kids?

Ski hills can be just as intimidating for children as they are to first-timer adults, but getting the little ones out there could introduce them to a brand new activity full of thrills, snow, and smiles. Who knows? You may be introducing the ski world to a future pro!

As smaller kids aren’t so familiar with the cold or the equipment that comes with skiing, before booking a lesson, Michelle and Mackenzie both recommend taking your children out into the cold, letting them walk around with ski or snowboard boots on, strapping a pair of skis onto their feet or even pushing them around on a snowboard! Let them see what other kids are doing on the ski hill and watch how they respond to a new environment. Even if you don’t have the equipment, rentals are available for little people too.

“You’re never too young or too old to start something new, if you’re just willing”, Michelle adds.
Snow sports are for everybody, and if you’ve learned the basics and are ready to shred, use the tips above; it’s time to move away from that pizza slice, get your ski’s parallel and your snowboard turns smooth like wet spaghetti!

Go Ski Alberta
Author: Go Ski Alberta