Any time one tries something new, including skiing or snowboarding, mistakes are bound to happen. Mistakes are a natural part of learning, integral to gaining experience and expertise.
Thatís just how it is.
Unless, you have friends who share the knowledge theyíve gained through their own mistakes.
Today, let me be that friend, the ski mom who has made mistakes and learned from them.
Mistake #1: Cold Boots
Ski boots are mostly made of plastic and cold plastic is stiff and brittle. Stiff boots are hard to put on, especially when putting them on young children with soft, squishy feet. They are also cold and uncomfortable.
Never leave your ski boots outside without your feet in them. Donít store them in a car or an unheated garage. If youíre driving to the ski resort, keep them close to you ó at your feet or near a heat vent.
Remember, this bit of skierís math: Warm Boots + Warm Feet = Happy Skier.
Bonus Tip: When you arrive at the resort, put gloves and mittens on everyone, zip all coats and put on helmets before going out into the cold, even if youíre just walking to the lodge.
Mistake #2: Denim
Skiing in denim is something I thought had largely vanished. And then I saw a family skiing in jeans on a cold snowy day.
Donít do it! Wearing jeans while skiing will make you cold and keep you cold.
This is true for any garment made of cotton. When cotton garments get wet, they get heavy and they retain moisture. They offer little or no insulation and if they get damp, they may even freeze while youíre skiing.
Wear wool. Wear polypropylene. But donít wear cotton socks, cotton pajamas (in lieu of long underwear), cotton t-shirts, cotton sweaters or jeans.
Bonus Tip: Double baselayer bottoms and tops, but donít layer socks on cold days. Two pair of socks can make ski boots too tight, hamper circulation (resulting in cold feet), and cause blisters.
Mistake #3: Hitting People With Skis
There are many ways to carry skis from the car or bus to the lodge and lift line. You can hoist them over your shoulder, wrap them in your arms, hold them vertically by the bindings and so on, depending upon what you find most comfortable.
But please, be aware of the people around you. If youíre walking in a crowded space, taking stairs or an escalator, or boarding a shuttle, donít carry your skis on your shoulder lest you hit someone in the head.
Instead, hold your skis vertically, linked by the binding brakes. Using one hand, grasp the skis with the toe binding of the ski with the lowest brake. Voila! Everyone around you is now safe.
Bonus Tip: Parents do double, triple, quadruple duty when carrying gear to and from the mountain. Some resorts have complimentary red wagons to help parents pull their children and all that gear to the lifts.
If wagons arenít available where you ski, bring a collapsible wagon or sled to help you ferry between car and lodge.
Mistake #4: Blocking the Lift Line
We see this one everywhere. Parents at the front of a lift line waiting for their children who are way behind themÖ.or vice versa. And itís not just an issue for families.
The problem, especially on busy days, is that waiting inside the lift maze can slow everyone down by blocking the line. A better bet? Wait outside the lift line until your family and friends are together.
Bonus Tip: Ski behind your young children. While itís okay for ski instructors to lead children down the slopes like a mama duck, human mamas and papas should ski behind their brood in order to make sure no one falls or takes a wrong turn.
Mistake #5: Dropping Items From the Chairlift
Sometimes things fall by mistake, and sometimes things fall on purpose.
Here are some reasons why dropping items off the lift is bad: someone below could be hit and injured, someone will have to go get the item that fell, and the item may be irretrievable if it fell into closed terrain.
Teach your kids that what is on the lift stays on the lift and that dropping items intentionally can cause big trouble.
Tip: If something does fall and you canít get it, let patrol know. If a ski or pole comes loose while boarding a chairlift, let the lift operators know so that they can send the item up with the next chair.
What skiing mistakes have you made and learned from? Please share!
Hailing from Colorado (USA) Kristen Lummis, or as she is better known, the Brave Ski Mom, is an avid skier and true family mum in every sense of the word. www.thebraveskimom.com