18 Things You Must ALWAYS Avoid Doing While Skiing (Just for Fun)

by Simon Knott | Published: March 6th, 2023 |  Skiing Articles

There are so many new things to learn when you take up skiing or snowboarding, you can’t possibly pick them all up at once. However, that is part of the enjoyment of snow sports, where you are likely to learn something new each day you go out.


Ski Vacation

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1. Don’t Bother With A Helmet - Who Wants A Hot Head?

The wearing of ski helmets has become more mainstream in recent years. Possibly a couple of high-profile accidents involving Sonny Bono and Michael Schumacher focused minds.

Either way, major head injuries are still thankfully very rare on the slopes but understandably, they become more common with the increased risk of traveling into the backcountry - due to hidden rocks and bigger drops.

ski helmet with snow

Do: Always wear a helmet; it may save your life one day.

2. Leave Your Ski Pass On The Bedside Table - You’ll Know Where It Is Then!

Stevens pass
Photo by Ski Picture Archive at licensed under CC0 1.0

It’s a fine sunny morning and even the tedious walk to the first lift isn’t getting you down. Life is good.

You hold out your arm to the ski pass sensor and nothing! Why? Because your ski pass is still back in your room. You thought you were angry. Wait till you see your friends’ faces, as they spin you around on the trudge of gloom back to the chalet.

Do: Always keep your ski pass in the best sleeve or jacket pocket.

3. Book Your Equipment And Ski Pass On The First Day – What’s The Rush?

skiis gear

Buying online before departure works out a whole lot cheaper. Ski resorts and equipment suppliers need to know upfront what sort of demand they can expect for the coming season so they can forecast accurately, hence reducing prices.

Do: Search well for equipment deals and vouchers, which can significantly reduce the cost. Ski pass deals may be fewer but it’s still good to buy ahead if only to avoid the queues.

4. Lean Back When Skiing

ski leaning backward

When you’re learning to ski it’s a common mistake to lean back too far usually out of anxiety. Unfortunately, leaning back causes the fronts of the skis to lift off the snow so you have little control when turning.

Do: Keep your weight evenly over both skis and your shoulders slightly forward of your hips

5. Go Grab A Sandwich At 1 PM

Photo by Coconino National Forest, Ariz. under CC0 1.0

People are creatures of habit, which means everyone goes for something to eat around 1 PM. This means crowds everywhere, long lines to get served, difficulty finding a table, as well as long lines for the bathroom.

Do: Decide to eat at 12 PM or 2 PM instead or take a sandwich. Plenty of space and no queues.

6. Why Carry Around A Heavy Bottle Of Water

ski jackets waterproof

Skiing is energetic, so you will lose water vapor through breathing and sweating. High altitude often means low humidity, which means extra loss of water through breathing and sweating. This means you need to regularly rehydrate throughout the day.

Do: Carry a bottle of water with you to drink regularly. Often, restaurants on the trails have a tap where you can top up easily.

7. I’m Going To Keep Warm With 6 Layers Under My Ski Jacket

ski jacket features

Everyone wants to keep warm on the mountain and luckily most modern ski jackets are well-insulated. There is no need for multiple cumbersome layers, which will just make you feel uncomfortable and restrict your movements.

Do: Just wear two or three max thinner, man-made layers, which will wick away moisture from sweating.

8. Start To Play With Your Cellphone On The Ski Lift

Ski Travesia

It seems that getting on a ski lift seems to make people want to play with their cell phones or apply sun cream. Either way, it’s very easy to fumble up there and you’ll lose your cell phone, the sun cream, and more!

Do: Adjust your possessions at the top of the ski lift.

9. Start Chatting On The Magic Carpet As The Chair Approaches

magic carpets

There are lots of distractions when getting on a ski lift chair. It’s easy to be caught out chatting, instead of looking over your shoulder to see the chair approaching. If you’re lucky it will scoop you up and give you a fright.

Do: Keep your wits about you as you embark. You can chat on the journey.

10. Pull Up To Chat Just Over The Brow Of A Hill

couple skiing

It’s sometimes tempting to pull up just after going over the brow of a hill. You’re out of the wind and it’s quiet. However, to a following skier or rider, you are completely hidden. They will see you as they come over the hill, but by then it’s too late.

Do: Always pull over to the side of a run, so you’re away from the main traffic.

11. You Don’t Have To Worry About The Sun Because It’s So Cold

Photo by Edward Simpson licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

It might be cold, but that doesn’t mean the sun is any less powerful. In fact, the sun is stronger when skiing because there is less atmosphere to absorb the rays before they hit you.

Do: Always use sun cream with good UVA & UVB protection.

12. Don’t Start Off From The Side Of The Run Without Checking Behind

skiing pants

It’s good to stop by the side of a run, wait for friends or have a drink. However, when you rejoin the run, you need to see who is already coming down. If someone strikes you when you’re hardly moving, your injuries are going to be more severe.

Do: Always have a good look uphill before you pull out onto the run.

13. Don’t Bother With The Trail Map; You Can Use The Signs

Photo by Forest Service Northern Region licensed under CC BY 2.0

You’re on vacation; you want to enjoy yourself; who wants paperwork?

It takes some extra effort but once you learn how trail maps work, you have much more information at your fingertips. They show the interconnection of all the runs, but they also help you estimate the journey time back to base at the end of each day.

Do: Spend time at each resort understanding the layout of the ski area.

14. Buy All Your Ski Gear On Your First Trip - One Less Thing To Think About

If you like being organized it’s tempting to buy all your ski gear for your first ski trip. However, it makes more sense to beg, borrow, or steal clothing from loved ones. Afterward, you’ll know if you and skiing are a good fit. If not, you can simply return the gear.

Do: Rent or borrow as much equipment and clothing as possible on your first trip.

15. Try Out A Hard Run On Your First Day, It’ll Be Exciting

Running Downhill

It’s exciting being back on the runs, but it’s easy to get ahead of yourself. Heading for that hard run to regain your confidence may just end up as a bad lesson. Everyone’s level of confidence increases throughout a vacation, but it’s a gradual process, as you build layers of experience.

Do: Regain your confidence at your rate and don’t be cajoled into biting off more than you can chew.

16. Don’t Bother Checking Behind When Walking, As You Toss Your Skis Onto Your Shoulder

carrying skis

It’s the end of a long day and there’s no escaping that long walk back to the hotel.

You pick up your skis, throw them over your shoulder and hear a loud yelp! You turn round to see a big guy with blood streaming down his face. You hope you’re still good at talking your way out of situations.

Do: Before you throw your skis over your shoulder, check there’s no one behind.

17. Keep Your Cell phone Handy In An Outside Jacket Pocket


Everyone likes to keep in touch these days and that means keeping your phone handy. However, putting your cell phone in an outside jacket pocket will expose it to sub-zero temperatures, where its battery will shrivel to nothing in a blink of an eye.

Do: Batteries like the warm, so keep your cell phone in an inside pocket close to the skin.

18. I’m On Vacation: I Don’t Need Rules and Regulations

Family Ski Vacation

When driving on the roads there are rules and regulations, which help to reduce the number of collisions. A similar set of rules and suggestions exists for ski trails but there is no obligation to study them.

Important: Take a few minutes to learn and understand basic skier recommendations.