Ask Hope: How do I get into skiing and snowboarding?

HOPEGetting started in skiing and boarding can be somewhat of a daunting task if you go it alone. It can be ever more daunting if you don’t have the cash-o-la since these outdoor sports are, admittedly, expensive. However, there are a few steps that you can take that will take you ever closer to the powder and ensure that you’re not a “gaper” once you get there.

Don’t Go it Alone
A friend of mine recently mentioned that, when he got into skiing, he went alone to ski resorts because no one would teach him. While I admire his sticktoitivness, it sure is more fun to go with friends who are at least willing to stick by you through a run or two.

That being said, enlist your friends to teach you. Since they’re you friends they should be willing to do this for free but, if they need some extra encouragement, off to buy them some beer or some new ski goggles for the season.

Haven’t built your friend network just yet but still wanna get on the slopes? Skiing and boarding lessons are very expensive but effective, so if you have the extra cash to throw around you can certainly go that route. If cash is in short supply, try finding a MeetUp group for novice skiers and you can all learn together.

Save, Save, Save
Bottom Line: Winter sports are expensive. Just for skiing alone you’ll need a jacket, skis, goggles, helmet, ski pants, underlayers, boots, bindings, and your pass. Now, you can always rent your gear, but if you’re truly invested in becoming proficient at the sport we highly recommend investing in gear. This can be done in cheaper ways if you’re resourceful. Be sure to check out the following sporting goods stores for deals: Sports Authority and Sniagrabs, Play it Again Sports, Craigslist

As for the ski passes, if you live near ski resorts, it can be well worth your month to invest since one day at many resorts will run you between $60-$100. Students often get a discount on ski passes, so make sure you have a current student ID.

Tip: Save for your pass and gear early in the year. For example, I put away a grand this summer just for skiing

Watch Some Flicks
Just as important as the gear and powder, Ski and Snowboarding Culture is a facet of these winter activities that is to be understood, respected and, at times, made fun of utterly and totally. Enter Warren Miller Films. There’s no better way to get pumped for skiing, to learn ski vernacular, and to just generally get a feel for what you’re getting yourself into than by watching one of these rad, hilarious, and exciting films. Check out the 64th Ticket2Ride and you’ll be dropping out of helicopters to ski down runs in no time.

Just Do It
I’ve been in Colorado for nearly three years and for two ski seasons I’ve said, “Oh, I’ll ski next season…Oh, I don’t have the money…Oh, I’m focusing on my climbing right now.” Point blank, I wasn’t prioritizing the powder. So, this season, I made a promise to myself that it was going to be my winter focus. I was gonna save, get the gear, and go. Which is EXACTLY what I did. Granted, it took some solid advice from friends and a few Warren Miller Films, but I’m well on my way and you can be to.

That being said, Gnar-Gnar, Pow-Pow, and stay wild, my friends!

Unless otherwise stated, images sourced from Thinkstock Images.