First Timer Guide

Tips for You


Everyone learns at different paces. It is important to keep your expectations reasonable. This way both you and your children will have a successful and rewarding experience on the snow.

Some factors that can affect learning to ski or snowboard include:

  • Temperament (how open you are to new things)
  • Age
  • Physical ability

Both skiing and snowboarding take specialized skills that improve with practice over time. Ultimately, your expectations for you or your kids should focus on the fun and excitement of the overall experience. Learning takes time. Remember to have fun!

Things to Bring

Well, no surprise here, but clothes that will keep you warm and dry! This is really important, especially if you end up falling a couple of times, which even the pros do! We do not recommend cotton clothing (jeans and a sweatshirt) because it becomes wet, then cold. What's great is that you probably have most of what you need. If you don't, just borrow some from friends. For more on dressing, see "Layer Up" below.

Layer Up

The best way to dress for winter is to wear layers. This gives you the flexibility to add or remove layers, depending on the weather and your activity. Turtleneck shirts, sweaters, long underwear and footless tights work well as under-layers. Avoid wearing cotton next to your skin, as it will absorb sweat and snow and make you shiver.
For that same reason, wool or acrylic socks are better than cotton athletic socks. Wear one thin pair. Ski and snowboard boots are designed to be warm. Thick socks, or multiple layers of socks, will only give you blisters. If you buy anything, it should be a pair of waterproof shell pants and warm long underwear. You probably have a winter sports jacket already.

But, Not too Much

You may not need as many layers of clothing as you think. On a sunny day, you may only need two layers - the waterproof outer layer and the turtleneck/long underwear first layer. But bring a middle layer (fleece or wool sweater) just in case. You can always take off clothes as you get warmer.
Interested in more info, check this out: In general, the three main layers:

  1. Wicking (worn next to your skin)
  2. Insulating (middle layer that keeps the cold out)
  3. Weather protection (exterior layer or guard against the elements)

What do beginners forget to bring the first day?

Sunglasses, goggles and sunscreen. The sun is very strong at high altitudes and against a snow-white background. Also remember to bring water-resistant gloves or mittens and a hat. Future snowboarders, wear wrist guards if you have them. If you already have knee pads, they will help cushion snowboard falls.