It’s My First Time on the Slopes – What Do I Need to Know?

First timers are always keen to cash in on a spot of spring skiing, when the skies are clear and the winter crowd leaves with wide smiles, sore muscles and millions of memories. Strap the two long boards to your feet for a picture that almost seems comical… snow gear gets a few giggles the first time around. Before booking flights for your New Zealand holiday, or planning a few Queenstown side tours, get your head around the little things that will go a long way in influencing the success of your getaway.

Pack Layers

Ah, the New Zealand springtime. Beautiful, flowery and still very icy, bind your body in strategic layers to avoid an unfortunate this-is-all-I’m-wearing moment. It happens sometimes, the morning begins with brilliant warming rays through your bedroom window, promising mild temperatures and nothing nasty… by lunch time, you’re cursing clouds and calling the weather a liar. Be prepared for everything and pack layers, including singlets and shirts, thermal shirts, light jumpers, wet weather gear and thermal pants that will fit under snow pants, jeans and trousers comfortably.

Rent Your Equipment

You’re excited about your impending adventure, researching skis, poles, snowboards and jackets so you can ski New Zealand in style… it’s great to own your stuff if you’re a regular on the slopes, but we recommend holding your spending spree until you gain more confidence. In the meantime, hiring equipment can save you hundreds in the short term, as you’re not weighing yourself down with heavy luggage and gear you may or may not use again.

Get Starting with Confidence

Let’s be real. Nobody gets it 100% after a single day on the slopes. Be patient with yourself and your body, you’re asking those arms, legs, glutes and abs to move in a whole new way, natural ability or not. We understand you may want to expedite things though; skiing lessons are available pretty much everywhere with a ski field in New Zealand. Not sure how to get started? Talk to us about our learn to ski packages.

Experiment with Snowboarding and Skiing

Something to remember before you step onto the snow for the first time… you don’t have to like everything you do. Try both skiing and snowboarding, and find a style that works for you – don’t feel pressured to favour one or the other because of what your friends or family are doing… if you like to ski, ski every terrain available for your skill level. If you like snowboarding better, why not try your feet at some of the smaller jumps – safely, of course.

Protect Your Skin and Your Lips

You’ve probably been sunburnt before, red raw from a day at the beach or out and about, painfully sorry for a few days before peeling begins. Don’t forget to pack or buy a strong SPF, as the snow serves as a reflector and redirects those harmful UVs onto your face, arms and hands from dawn until dusk. Your lips deserve a little TLC too, as cold air and dry conditions can lead to a cracked kisser faster than you think.

Already counting down for when it’s your turn to make the snow your own? Start your snow addiction with Ski Express and explore our popular Learn to Ski packages.