First of all, well done for taking the plunge and signing up to a skiing holiday. If you’ve never been before it can be a little daunting but it could be the best idea you’ve ever had. You’ll either have the time of your life or you’ll spend a lot of time on your bottom flying down the mountain – or perhaps a bit of both. You may find that you enjoy the après more, but either way, having the right kit will help you enormously, so here are a few things to consider before you start shopping.
The big stuff
If it’s your first skiing holiday, don’t get carried away and buy all the big equipment. Even if you’ve been tearing down the slopes learning and you know you love it, it’s definitely best to hire the first few times round. It’s a lot cheaper and you may not really know what type of skis will suit you best yet. As your technique changes you’ll come to learn which skis or board is best for you.
Looking the part
Learning to snowboard? It might be best to go for an all-in-one. This is because you spend a lot of time on your bottom snowboarding to begin with and the powder ends up going down your trousers or up your jacket. To avoid this, an all-in-one is your best bet because you’re protected all over. But if you want to go with separates, there’s some really cool women’s ski wear out there to mix and match to ensure you look super stylish on the slopes. Have a good browse and do your research before making a purchase.
Sunglasses and goggles
You’ll need both and you can’t rent goggles, so it’s best you purchase your own before you get to the resort, as they tend to be more expensive out there. You don’t have to go expensive – you can still get really good protective goggles from as little as £12.99 and The Independent’s guide to getting yourself the best ski goggles ranges from these budget styles to more technical goggles at £465.95. For the warmer days and lunchtimes, you’ll just want your normal pair of shades to lounge around in to protect your eyes from the glare off the snow.
Ski helmet and a hat
You can usually hire helmets from most ski rental shops but you may find this a little unhygienic. Don’t trick yourself into not wearing a helmet because you’re a beginner and you don’t think you’ll be going fast enough. Falling down on hard snow is a bit like falling on concrete so look after your head and get a helmet sorted.
The skiing essential: gloves
You can’t rely on your winter gloves for skiing. You need a waterproof and insulating pair of ski gloves or mittens. You won’t need to spend over £30 if you have a good look around, just make sure they’re well-insulated, waterproof and big enough to give your fingers room to grip onto poles with.
You could just go in normal socks but your shins will be in tatters by the time you’ve been down a couple of slopes. Snowboarders don’t have it so bad as their boots are fairly comfortable but with skiers, you need some skiing socks. You need them to be warm and long enough to get just below your knee without being too tight. There are loads of sock options online for under £10.
Finally, ski insurance
You’re a beginner, careering around on the mountain for maybe the first time so make sure you get insured. It’s easy to do online just ensure you’re covered for your ability and resort and don’t let the instructor take you off-piste unless your insurance covers this too.