New To Ski

7 Tips For Skiing After A Long Break (Counter-Intuitive Advice)

by Travis McCullough | Updated: October 27th, 2022
tips ski

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Maybe you suffered an injury that kept you off the slopes for a few seasons, or maybe you just moved back to your favorite resort town because you missed it so much.  Whatever the reason may be, you will need to do some preparation before getting back on the mountain, so what are the best ways to safely get back into skiing after a long hiatus?

When skiing after a long break away, be sure to prepare your body. Building some strength and stamina before skiing is a good idea – it will help you ski longer days with less fatigue and get the most from your ski trip.

Ensuring that both your body and equipment are in top shape before getting to your favorite resort is key in ensuring you will have a good time while still being safe. Here are our top tips for skiing after a long break or between ski seasons.

1. Check The Integrity Of Your Gear

If you still have all of your equipment from your former glory days, make sure everything is in working order to prevent equipment malfunctions that could lead to injury.

Skis

Doing a visual inspection of your skis should be the first thing on your list.

Top sheets shouldn’t show excessive signs of delamination.  Delamination leads to water getting inside the core, which can result in a broken ski while on the mountain.

Edges should be sharp and free of rust.  Dull or rusty edges can cause you to slide out and fall when in the middle of a turn.

Bases need to be properly waxed and free of core shots.  Any old core shots will allow water to get into the core, and a base without any wax will lead to a slow and frustrating day on the slopes. 

Bindings

Next up, take a look at the bindings.

Brakes are important in case of ejection so that you don’t have to chase a loose ski all the way to the lodge.  Make sure they aren’t bent, and the springs engage properly.

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Check the DIN setting on the toe and heel.  If you didn’t set them to zero and put them into storage for multiple years, the springs may be worn out causing them to release prematurely.

Boots

Now it’s time to dust off your boots.

Buckles should all be intact and functional, make sure to check that all of the mounting screws are nice and tight.

Toe and heel pieces need to be within the manufacturer’s acceptable range.  If they are excessively worn down, they can lead to premature ejection and injury.

Don’t forget to check your liners for holes!  Nothing quite takes the steam out of an epic ski day like cold feet.

Poles

A quick visual inspection of your poles will save you some time and money from renting a pair on the mountain if yours decides to break.

Ensure the shaft and baskets are free from cracks or dents,

Helmet

This is an important one folks, so pay attention!  The human brain is fragile and it doesn’t like sudden impacts, so make sure your brain bucket is in good shape.

A helmet with cracks or broken straps is no good.  They can’t do their job very well if they don’t stay securely on your head.

A side note about types of helmets, some skiers may not know that some helmets are designed to take what is known as multi-directional impacts better than others.  Some helmets will be equipped with a MIPS (multi-directional impact prevention system) liner, which is designed to protect your head better than older models of helmets.

If your helmet has seen its fair share of accidents, then go ahead and replace it with a new MIPS-rated helmet to give your brain the protection it deserves.

Goggles

Lenses should be free of scratches and cracks, and the foam around your eyes should be intact. 

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Older goggles aren’t great at regulating moisture inside of the lens, which means they are prone to fogging up and making the skier unable to see.

Clothing

Jackets, snow pants, gloves, socks, and thermal layers should all be free of holes.

Holes lead to a cold and wet skier, in other words, an unhappy one.

2. Educate Yourself With New Technology

Depending on how long your skiing hiatus has been, there is a good chance your gear is outdated and could use a revamp.  It would behoove you to familiarize yourself with new technology that has made its way into the industry.

215 cm shaped skis and rear-entry boots are few and far between these days, and their parabolic offspring have become the cornerstone of ski shape.  Skis have become much shorter and wider over the years, not to mention the extensive variations in their profile, so take some time to study the new shapes and profiles of skis to make sure you have the right skis for the terrain you intend to shred.

3. Consider Taking A Lesson

ski lesson

Even if you used to ski frequently, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your skills after a long break.  Taking lessons will refamiliarize you with the skills to get you down the mountain safely, not to mention they might even help you overcome some of those bad habits that may have developed over the years.

They will also serve as a benchmark for where your current skiing abilities lie.  If it feels like it is hard to keep up in your lesson, then you may want to consider starting with more basic skills in an easier lesson.

4. Get To The Gym!

Skiing requires a very specific muscle set that can easily diminish over years of not being used.  Even if you’re an active individual who enjoys other outdoor activities, it doesn’t necessarily mean your legs will be ready to get back on skis.

Ensuring that the muscles in your lower body are toned and ready to go, will reduce soreness after a long day of skiing as well as lower your chance of injury.

5. Don’t Push It Too Hard

Just because you used to ski double black diamonds with ease, doesn’t mean you still can and that’s ok.  Ease your way back into skiing, start easy and progress toward the more difficult. Slow and steady can be the difference between a great day on the snow and a season-ending injury.

6. Rest And Recuperate

No matter who you are, you will certainly be sore after your first couple of days back on the mountain.  It is important to give your body time to adjust to being back on skis, so make sure to fully rest and recuperate after a long day.

This includes alternating between ice and heat for sore muscles.  Soaking in a hot tub is a great way to get some relief after a long day. Allowing ample time for your body to catch up will also help prevent injury.

7. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

Funny Skier

This may be the most important tip in this guide.  Make sure to have fun! Don’t be hard on yourself because your skills aren’t quite what they used to be, give it time and they will return. As in life, it is about the journey, not the destination.

Conclusion

Taking a little extra time to prepare will ensure your safety and maximize your overall fun during your next outing.  This includes checking your gear for defects, obtaining the correct equipment for your skill level, relearning the basics, and preparing your body to get back into skiing.

These easy tips will make sure your first season back skiing will be one that you remember for the rest of your life.

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NewToSki.com is where over 1 million people a year come to learn more about skiing. I share everything I wish someone had told me when I was learning to ski. My name is Simon & I've been skiing since 2005. This winter, our family is taking a 3-month camper ski trip across the Alps. If you enjoy our articles, please join the free email club. We'd love to have you.
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