How long does it take to learn how to ski?
A carefully planned beginner ski course should have you up to speed and mastering the basics in just one day. The course should cover an introduction to ski equipment, sliding on a flat area, balance and posture, how to master snow plough, control speed, and how to turn using snow plough. At least - this is what Rachel Wilson learned when she headed to Chill Factore, Manchester, in search of the best way to learn how to ski that would fit around her busy lifestyle!
Learning to ski as an adult with a busy lifestyle
Like most modern women, Rachel has a busy lifestyle with a lot of priorities to juggle. Business owner, mum to two young kids, wife and keen fitness enthusiast - she was eager to learn a new skill, find an exciting way to keep fit, and do this as efficiently as possible. Chill Factore is a specialist ski and snowboarding facility based in Trafford City, Manchester. It is home to the longest real snow slope in the UK and brings in hundreds of new learners each month. With trainers qualified to the highest standards and extensive training packages tailored to beginners, developers and improvers, booking a session at Chill Factore certainly seemed like the best way to learn how to ski.
A crash course to a successful snow plough
“I’d always been keen on the idea of skiing, but it’s not something I ever got around to learning,” says Rachel.
“I do a lot of yoga and attend personal training sessions to keep my fitness up, but I really wanted to try a new sport that would challenge me in a different way. Chill Factore offered a one-day skiing course that seemed perfect for me, because I wanted to move onto more advanced techniques quickly.” In order for Rachel to learn how to ski in a day, she was first introduced to the equipment and taught the correct handling techniques for her skis and boots. Her instructor, Stuart, made her feel at ease straight away, and soon she was on the snow ready to tackle the first challenge - sliding on a flat area.
ONE DAY SKIING STEPS AT CHILL FACTORE:
- Introduction to ski equipment
- Sliding on a flat area
- Mastering balance and posture
- Developing snow plough
- Turning in a snow plough
Sliding on a flat allowed Rachel to adjust to the snow and begin to manoeuvre comfortably on her skis. She soon mastered the correct posture that would give her stability over uneven ground, and after a few runs down a gentle hill, she progressed to the top of the beginner slope, where she would learn to control her speed.
Learning to ski in record time
Rachel started at the top of the beginner slope with Stuart guiding her down towards the flat in a steady snow plough. When Rachel was confident she could control her speed effectively, she was soon moving down the slope alone - keeping her snow plough steady and controlling her downhill progress.
“When I considered how long it would take me to learn how to ski, mastering the basics in one day didn’t enter my head,” says Rachel.
“I assumed I would struggle with my balance and fall over a lot, but I was surprisingly stable. Once I’d mastered the snow plough, I felt really confident tackling the main slope. And when we moved onto turns, it felt totally natural.” Following snow plough development, Rachel learned how to shift her body weight and lean into an effective turn. Once she was linking turns together, Stuart progressed her onto the next stage of the course - mastering the button lift and tackling the main slope.
Best way to learn to ski
“Following my experience with Chill Factore, I would say the best way to learn how to ski is to just crack on and don’t think about it too much. I realised that if I was overthinking my technique, it didn’t flow well enough. After a while, turns and speed control started to come naturally, so when I accepted that I developed much more quickly.”
Stuart took Rachel to a midway point on the main slope. At this point, the gradient is the same as the beginner slope but the terrain is more rugged and there are lots of other skiers moving down the slope at pace - so the learning environment becomes more intensified. This also gave Rachel the chance to get to grips with the button lift and learn how to get on and off the lift without hindering other skiers.
“The button lift was a bit of a challenge,” laughs Rachel.
“It’s difficult to get your timing just right and judge when to get on at the bottom. And of course if anyone behind you doesn’t get on smoothly, the whole thing stops for health and safety purposes, so I did have a bit of a wobble a few times! But I soon got the hang of it.”
Rachel was soon moving down the main slope in a controlled and measured way. She practised lifting one ski off the ground whilst travelling downhill, which helped to improve her balance and challenge her coordination. She held her poles out ahead of her and balanced them across her forearms - again working on her coordination. And when she was confident in her progress, the poles were removed entirely so that she was moving downhill with confidence with no additional aids.
Learning how to ski at Chill Factore
If you’re wondering how long it might take you to learn how to ski, and fancy mastering the basics in just one day like Rachel did, book a session at Chill Factore today. Beginners Skiing Lessons and Courses come at a fixed price regardless of how long it takes you to learn. One day, two days or three weeks - the price is the same. Which means you can master the basics and learn a new skill at your own pace, with specialist courses built around your schedule.