Here Are Some Of The Biggest Mistakes Rookies Make When They First Try Skiing

Who doesn’t love the snow? From making snow angels, and gliding through the mountains on skis, to throwing snowballs at little children who say your snowman looks ugly.

Not many Aussies get around to seeing the snow, and if you’re planning your first ski trip, the amount of knowledge you’ll suddenly have to absorb on the mountain can be immense.

To make sure you’re ahead of the curve, here are some of the biggest mistakes most skiers that you should avoid.

Not taking a lesson

A surprising amount of first-time skiers go out onto the mountains for the first time and start skiing. Just because you absolutely aced the winter sports in Sonic vs Mario At The Olympics on the Nintendo Wii growing up, doesn’t mean you’ll be a natural here.

Lessons can be a bit pricey but are completely worth it. Working with an instructor to correct mistakes, and learn how to properly break and control your speed can help you get the most out of your skiing experience and also keep others on the mountain safe. Most resorts will also offer group lessons which can save ya a few bucks.

Not wearing the right gear

Wearing the right ski gear is absolutely vital to staying safe and comfortable in cold mountain temperatures. What might surprise you, is that your ski gear should fluctuate depending on the weather.

It may sound redundant to check the forecast for a skiing trip. “Oh look, it’s definitely snowing,” will probably be most people’s reaction. But you should still do it.

You can still overheat while skiing, especially if the weather is mildly warm.

Another big error fresh skiers make is wearing big bulky socks to keep their feet warm. Any pro skier will tell you that you want your socks to be thin. If your socks are too bulky, you can actually lose circulation in your foot, causing numbness and pins and needles.

Forgetting sunscreen

Yes, despite being in the slow and being covered head to toe in gear, your face is still exposed to the sun. The sun reflects heavily off snow, and can actually make you more susceptible to sunburns.

The sun’s rays are also at their most intense up high in those mountains, and in Australia where we have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world, not wearing sunscreen while skiing can drastically increase your chances.

Damaging your boots

Boot maintenance is probably low on your list of priorities as a fresh skier, however, without good quality shoes, your skiing experience will quickly become very negative.

Leaving your boots in the car overnight covered in snow will freeze up the plastic, making it incredibly tight, or even preventing you from getting them on your feet. Leave them by the heater or fire? Now you’ve just melted the plastic altogether, and can’t wear the shoe at all.

Taking out the liners and insoles to clean, and storing them somewhere inside at room temp to dry will mean you can slip your boots on with no hassle each time you wanna hit the slopes.

Not following the piste map

Ever wondered what those flags mean when you go skiing? Well, those are piste markers.

A piste is a marked run off a mountain slope where the resort has smoothed and flattened the snow to make it ideal for skiers and snowboarders alike at different levels of skill.

Each slope is graded by colour to make these levels easily identifiable, blue or green for beginner, red for intermediate, and if you’re willing to enter the speed force, black for the most skilled.

While we all love ignoring red flags, it’s important to tame your ego and understand your limits on the mountains.

Not having insurance

Skiing and snowboarding are super fun, but it’s easy to injure yourself if you’re not careful. I mean, there’s a reason why even the pros call their most iconic tricks incredibly fatal names like “the crippler” or “the long suffering death“. With around 1,500 people hospitalised each year in Australia due to skiing, ice skating and snowboarding, it’s pretty important to get your admin sorted before strapping on your boots.

If you don’t know where to start, Flip Insurance is pay-as-you-go insurance. There are no lock-in contracts either so you’re free to choose when you’re covered i.e. for the five days you’re away. 

Sign up on your phone in the time it takes you to ride the lift to the top of the slope for just $7 a day.

Underestimating fresh snow

Snow is by far the most deceptive thing to fall from the skies besides that single heavy drop of rain on a walk that you wipe in a panic to make sure isn’t bird poop.

While soft, once this thing clumps, it’s no longer that powdery texture you expect. Skiing powder is actually incredibly exhausting and difficult to do, as the terrain is harder and bumpy to move on compared to the freshly ploughed snow.

Lift etiquette

Something all hobby skiers dread during the holiday period is the lack of chairlift etiquette.

From queues piling up thanks to people demanding they ride with their friends, to people stepping on you in life with their skis, lifting the guard up to get out ASAP and sometimes bonking their fellow chair neighbour on the head.

Before taking that lift up, be sure to educate yourself and your ski trip companions on how to approach the chairlift so no one fantasises about abandoning you on top of the mountain.

*Flip advice is general in nature. We don’t take into account your personal circumstances, so please consider how appropriate it is for you before purchasing. Read our PDS, FSG and TMD available at before purchasing, too. HCF Life Insurance Company Pty Ltd (HCF Life) is the issuer of Flip Insurance.

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