I’ve skied and ridden from Newfoundland to New Zealand, Vermont to Vancouver, Great Britain to British Columbia, and I’ve learned a thing or two along the way. Here are my top ten laws for skiers & riders – newbies and core, alike.
- Never ride a new lift during its first week of operation. Never ever ride one on its maiden voyage. (They have tendency to break down with under-dressed dignitaries aboard). There are lots of folks out there who want to be the first to try a new lift. Let them.
- Despite what your mother told you, don’t wear scarves when you go skiing. Scarves and equipment don’t mix because if they should mix… well, remember what happened to Isadora Duncan. Wear a facemask or neck gaitor instead.
- Your mother was right about hats, though. Unless it’s warm out, wear one. They not only provide insulation to the part of your body where sneaky heat thrives, they keep your head dry during snowfalls, thus preventing the big chill caused by evaporation. (And yes, helmets count as hats.)
- Try not to let your fast friends talk you into skiing over your head. Trust your instincts and the trail signs instead. Sheer terror is not an aid to improved skiing.
- Neither is excruciating pain. If something hurts — and nine times out of ten that something is your feet — get off the mountain and have your boots checked.
- Speaking of checked, that’s what you should have done to your bindings at the start of every season. Yes, even if you only skied three times last year. Weight changes, age changes, level of skill changes, and all these changes affect binding settings. Look upon the annual check-up as, well, an annual check-up.
- But don’t turn down the settings of your bindings in the fall. That used to be a good idea, but materials have improved, and it’s no longer needed or recommended.
- When you store your skis at season’s end, iron a big, sloppy coating of wax onto their bottoms and edges. There’s no better protection against dehydration and rust.
- Between lessons and instruction books, competitiveness and hardheaded determination, it is astonishingly easy to forget the reason you started skiing in the first place. The reason was to have fun. Even more astonishing, when you remember to have fun, your improvement rate skyrockets. So have fun.
- Never eat anything bigger than your head.
What are your top laws for skiers and riders? Share them below in the comments!