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When you first walk out of the ski rental shop in those moon boots awkwardly clutching your new pair of skis trying not to hit anyone on the way -- you might just be wondering, why didn’t I Google this!
Skis are heavy and long, so I’m going to show you the exact technique for holding your skis so they’re comfortable, don’t fall apart and make you look like a seasoned pro.
First -- link your Skis
Skis are heavy and even more cumbersome if you don’t hold them as one item. Before you walk anywhere with your skis, you’ll first want to interlock them together to stop them sliding about in your hands.
All skis come with two little bits that stick out in the middle of the ski. They’re the ski brakes and they’re designed to stop the ski from running away from you if it comes loose on the mountain.
(Previous to the invention of the ski brake, if you took your ski off and it wasn’t parallel to the mountain, it would fly off downhill and you’d lose it or it could hit someone on the slope!)
You can use the skis brakes to hold both skis at once. S
- Simply put the skis together so the inside flat part of the skis is facing.
- Then pick up the ski with the brake that is underneath.
If you use the higher ski, they weight won’t be support by the other ski and it will come loose. It’s a very simple technique but can be deceptive for beginners who hold skis by the wrong one.
Give your skis a quick glance and pick them up by the skis with the support brake -- that’s it!
Technique #1 -- Hold skis vertically
This method is the best for people who aren’t comfortable with the more advanced technique and don’t want to support both skis with one hand (technique #2 & #3).
- Link both skis and together with the poles..
- Pick them up and place them in both arms to cradle them between your forearms.
- Hold them either side of the bindings for a balanced weight.
If you find it easy, hold out your arms and ask a friend to place the skis in your arms. Be careful to not hit people either side of you as you walk.
Holding your skis like this isn’t recommended for walking far, as it will tire you out.
This method works your arms more than the over the shoulder method, so be sure to practice in a clear open space when you get the urge.
Technique #2 -- Hold skis by your side.
This is the best way to hold your skis in a crowded area or for a short walk. It’s simple:
- Pick up the ski by the binding (the bit that sticks out where you attach them to your boots)
- Make sure hold them by the ski with the supporting break (lower ski)
- Lift it up off the ground in one hand, while you hole the two ski poles in the other hand.
Technique #3 -- Hold skis over your shoulder.
This method is more advanced, but takes more weight off your arms and so makes carrying the skis lighter on your muscles.
It uses your shoulder to support the skis and I’d recommend holding your skis like this if you have to walk a long distance and you have more room to maneuver.
It can be tricky at first, but with some practice, you’ll be fine.
- Make sure the skis are together and then pick up the skis and place them on the shoulder.
- Hold the skis with the weight evenly distributed over your shoulder, with the tips pointing downward and your arm gently resting on top of the skis.
- Keep on hand firmly on the skis and hold both poles in the other.
Use a carrying strap. Great way to stay hands-free or carry your kid’s skis. This one is less than $10 on Amazon.com.
P.S I have a whole guide to ski carrier straps.
Things to avoid
Be careful of the people around you and don’t swing around. Imagine your turning circle to be 3 times as big!
Wear your gloves. I was holding my skis back to the car the other week and I had taken my gloves off to zip up my backpack. Somehow while carrying them the metal edge of the ski caught my finger and gave me a small little gash -- so be warned, skis can be quite sharp!
How to hold poles.
Skis poles add an extra bit of complexity to the skiers kit. While snowboards can cooly walk around with one board in their hand. Skiers have 4 items to carry (along with their backpack!).
Getting used to your ski poles take some time, but there are a few ways that you can carry them to make life easier:
1. Hold both skis in one hand and both poles in the other.
2. Put the ski pole fabric loops over the ski bindings while holding the skis over your shoulders -- that way the hang on their own leaving you a free hand.
What to do with your skis during a break.
All around town and up at the ski station where the restaurants will be wooden or metal racks that are designed to hold your skis and boards.
You can stack your skis here while you’re eating your picnic or sat in a nearby bar.
Most skis left are safe, but always be nearby and check on them every once in a while. If you can have a line of sight to your skis even better, as thieves have been known to target ski racks.
If there are no ski racks, you can put your skis vertically into the snow.
This is a good method to stop skis being in the way of others or from sliding away.
Take a photo of your skis.
If you are renting skis, others are likely to have the same make and model of ski and it could be possible to mistake your ski for someone else’s.
Take a photo of your skis rental sticker -- which will have a unique number.
If you own your own skis, take note of any identifying marks, in case you need to report them lost or the same model of ski is nearby.
Not only have you got to learn to ski, but you’ve also got to learn how to get to the piste without hurting yourself or others.
So my top tips are, learn the proper technique and save your energy for your skiing.
Stay safe and don’t make any sudden turns!
If you’re looking for some more abstract ways of holding your skis, look at this: