9 Ways to Have More Fun on the Mountain
Above all, skiing and snowboarding are supposed to be fun! Check out this list of ways to make a day on the mountain a little more fun.
First of all, if you don’t like something that is supposed to be fun, you don’t need to keep doing it. But you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t at least want to have fun skiing! If you’ve been skiing two times, you are already better than 83% of people, according to the National Ski Areas Association! That’s the amount of people who try skiing once and never do it again.
Whether you are about to ski for the first time, or you’re a seasoned professional who has lost the spark in your relationship with skiing, here are a few simple tips to get your groove on the slopes!
1. Take a Lesson
It may sound obvious, but the most important thing you can do for your first time skiing is to take a lesson. You already bought the lift ticket, rented or borrowed the gear, and made it all the way to the mountain—don’t waste it on a day of laying in the snow not knowing how to even get on a lift, let alone get down! Instructors know how to help you have fun! It’s a big part of their jobs, because if you aren’t having fun, they aren’t having fun, and everyone wants to have fun on the mountain!
Even as an experienced skier, it’s a good idea to have a lesson every season or so to fine tune your technique. If you have a bad habit that's hindering your enjoyment, it’s almost impossible to notice yourself. So let a professional take a look and give you solid tips for how to fix it!
2. Say “Woohoo!”
If you sound like you’re having fun, you’ll eventually feel like you’re having fun. It’s like manifesting!
3. Blast Some Tunes
Okay, maybe don’t blast them, because that's a safety hazard, but you can try one earbud on low volume so you can still hear your surroundings. Turn on your favorite dancing tunes! If you don’t have a favorite dancing song use my favorite mountain song, “Dance Yourself Clean” by LCD SoundSystem, and while you’re at it, listen to your new playlist on the way up the mountain so you associate the songs with good times. Or, if that's embarrassing, just keep your songs to yourself as a little secret you can boogie to and leave everyone wondering.
If you think about it, skiing is dancing—you twist your hips and bend your knees! Try practicing your ski technique at your next dance party… everyone will be doing it by the end of the night!
4. Stay Warm
It’s completely possible to be warm all day in any weather on the mountain. If you’re getting cold, you're dressing wrong. Here's a few simple tricks to stay comfortable:
- Never wear cotton, not even underwear, especially if you are skiing in a wet climate.
- Layer up. Start with a base layer which should be synthetic material or wool, next an insulating layer like a fleece sweater, then a waterproof/windproof layer. And don’t forget to cover your neck!
- If you’re still cold pick up some hand warmers and stop for a hot cocoa break.
5. Find Some Friends
If you don’t already have a group of friends to shred with or if you’re not having fun with your current friends, then find some new ones. You could find someone in a group ski lesson (another reason to take a lesson), or an avalanche course! Friendships can even bud on the chairlift! Look at the lift as basically speed dating. Just ask, “hey, where are you from?” “Here? Me too!” and see where the conversation goes. Then, if it's meant to be and you ski at the same pace, then you should accidentally meet up in the lift line again, or in the lodge.
6. Set Goals
Maybe you’ve mastered all the green runs on the mountain, so it’s time to try to master a blue! Just a short one—and once you’ve got that down, look at yourself and say “I’m a dang intermediate skier!” Then try another and keep going. Or maybe you have never ventured into the terrain park? Do it! Look for an opportune time when there aren’t many people around and hit a mini jump or box! Just remember to start slow! And respect park etiquette, which is basically stay out of the way, wait your turn, and announce “dropping” when you are going to approach a feature or pipe so you don’t bonk into anyone!
7. Make Your Equipment Work for You
If you’re on hand-me-down skis from your mom that she got before you were born… I think we found the reason you aren’t having fun. It’s acceptable to use those for your first few times out sliding, but once you want to start developing technique you’ll want to jump on some rentals.
Having the right gear is so integral to having a good day! Buying gear is tough, there are so many options, but all of them are out there for a reason. There are so many ways to enjoy your day on the mountain! Maybe you can’t think of anything better than a nice rolling groomer? If that’s you, then you want a narrower ski that’s pretty stiff for carving. Or maybe you like flying through powder? Then you want a fat ski with light flexible tips to help you stay afloat. If you use a narrow carving ski in deep powder, you might as well stay home, because all you’ll do is sink, but if you have the right powder ski on a powder day, you’ll be living the dream.
My fellow Ski experts and I here at Curated are happy to help you find exactly what you need to have a good day on the slopes. Let us know your personal skiing style and goals, then sit back, and let us send you a few perfect options within your budget. I promise, it will change your life!
8. Take Care of Your Body
Skiing is an intense sport. Don’t let anyone fool you with their effortless-looking carving—it took them years to make it look that way. But even if you’re just getting started, you can prepare to feel your best.
- Get a full night sleep, drink lots of water, eat breakfast, and bring a snack in your pocket.
- At lunch, consider how the chili dog with french fries will make you feel after. If the answer is amazing, then go for it; if not, go for soup or a sandwich, and you’ll thank yourself later.
- After the day, relax! Take a warm shower, grab a drink and do a little stretching so you’re less sore the next day.
9. Know the Root of Your Fear
Some people are naturally danger junkies, but if you’re a normal person who has a healthy fear reflex, that is GOOD! But if you want to have fun skiing, there are some fears you will need to get over. And you will, by trying new things, and realizing you CAN do it!
My journey to enjoying skiing took a decade of frustration with mental health showing up as irrational fears of steep terrain. This is my story of finally falling in love with my favorite activity.
I grew up skiing and definitely had a love/hate relationship with it as a kid. I would get sooo excited to head up to ski school every weekend. So excited that I always made my carpool group pull over at the McDonald’s bathroom on the way up because I couldn't wait. When we got there I would start my lesson with my best friend and make jokes with everyone on the lift, but once I got to that steep spot on a blue run called Tinkerbell, I hated my life. Why did they name the run that? I would always stop at the top of the steep part and pretend I was tired, or needed to fix my boot, but really, I was just having a mini panic attack. Then after the whole class was waiting for me, I would realize I had no choice. I used to think “well either I go down or I take a helicopter down.” After a whole season, I finally made it past without stalling at the crest of the “steep” part.
Even as a “good” skier who had mastered every black diamond, I needed someone to basically push me over the edge of my first double black! And I knew I could do it! I had been backcountry skiing in Alaska for crying out loud. But for some reason just knowing it was a “double black” scared me… I knew I was a good skier, but was I good enough to not die on a double black?? Standing at the top, I wasn’t sure. Once the peer pressure was too much to handle, I side slipped over the edge, did a mini hop turn, and then a few more, then yelled “WooHoo” so my friends at the bottom knew that I knew I could do it. I had fun and I definitely didn’t die… in fact I felt more alive than I ever had! It took me way too long to figure out that my fear of steep runs was because of fears in other aspects of my life.
Once I started dealing with irrational fears in my life off of the mountain I could actually ski with less fear and trust that I knew what I was doing. And now I have way more fun!
I hope these simple tips help you to have more fun on the moutain! If you simply need some new gear, chat with me or one of my fellow Ski experts here on Curated, and we will happily help you find exactly what you need. Or maybe all you need are some tunes in your ear reminding you to loosen your hips! Whatever it be, know that you can have fun. When skiing is fun it is the best thing ever!