From Zero to Ski Hero: A Beginner's Guide to Skiing in One Day

Learn the basics of skiing for beginners: riding the lift and mastering the snowplow turn. Thrill in the exciting winter sport with the right approach!

From Zero to Ski Hero: A Beginner's Guide to Skiing in One Day
Photo by Slawek K / Unsplash

Skiing for Beginners: Mastering the Basics of Riding the Lift and the Snowplow Turn

Learning to ski can be an exciting but intimidating experience, especially for beginners. But with the right approach, anyone can enjoy this thrilling winter sport. In this blog post, we'll cover the basics of skiing, from riding the lift to mastering the snowplow turn.

Riding the Lift

Whether you're riding a button lift, an anchor lift, or a sit lift, the basic steps are the same. First, look ahead and see how other people are doing it. If you need help, don't hesitate to ask. Next, make sure not to wear the pull straps and push yourself forward to the marked area. Put your poles away from the lift and look towards the wire and the device. Hold on to the lift and enjoy the ride.

Once you reach the top, get ready to ski away toward the side where you're not in anyone's way. Before you come to the top left, release the bar, and push off. Congratulations, you've completed your first full round!

Mastering the Snowplow Turn

The snowplow turn is a basic technique for controlling speed and changing direction. Start with small turns and progress to rounder turns as you gain more confidence. Keep your feet close together, and turn across the slope to control your speed. You'll feel more pressure on the outside leg at the end of the turn, so flex that outside leg like a shock absorber to stay balanced.

As you improve, you'll start feeling a pedalling motion as the pressure shifts from one leg to the next. To go from the snowplow to parallel skiing, there are three strategies you can try:

  1. Increase your speed a bit, which makes it easier to put more weight on the outside ski.
  2. Flatten the inside ski by pushing out the knee and rolling onto the little toe.
  3. Steer the snowplow straight and off you go!

Avoiding Common Mistakes

Three common mistakes often arise when people are learning snowplow turns. First, they try to ski on terrain that is too steep for them. This makes it difficult to maintain a narrow snowplow and stay centred. It's important to stick to flat slopes until you gain more confidence. Second, they make a very wide snowplow turn to engage the edges more, but this can make you back-seated, which is a frustrating habit to break. Third, they don't flex their outside leg at the end of the turn, which can also throw them off balance.


Learning to ski is a fun and challenging experience, but it's important to start with the basics. Riding the lift and mastering the snowplow turn are essential skills that will help you progress and enjoy the sport more. By avoiding common mistakes and practicing consistently, you'll soon be skiing with confidence and style.