Yo, snow bunnies and shredders! If you’re gearing up for your first-ever skiing or snowboarding trip, or maybe you’ve had a wipeout in the past that’s made you hesitant to hit the slopes again, don’t fret! As someone who’s been carving up the pow in Australia for a decade and even jetted off to Japan and Canada with my squad, I’ve got some serious life hacks to help you maximize the fun factor and minimize the stress.
But wait, these tips aren’t just for newbies! Maybe you’ve spent your whole life zooming down hills on a boring old toboggan, or maybe you’re just looking for a new way to break out of your comfort zone. Whatever your situation, I’m here to inspire you to try something new and take your snow game to the next level.
So buckle up, grab your gear, and let’s hit those slopes with confidence and style!
Table of Contents
1. Timing is everything
Oh man, there’s nothing worse than hitting the slopes and having your buzz harshed by bad conditions, huge crowds, and wallet-emptying expenses. But fear not, fellow snow lovers, for I have some top-notch tips to help you time your snow trip like a pro and get the most bang for your buck.
Listen up, because this is crucial: mid-winter is where it’s at. Trust me, I’ve been hitting the slopes for a hot minute now, and I can tell you that going too early or too late in the season is just asking for trouble. You might get stuck with slushy snow, nasty rain, crazy winds, or blinding sun, and nobody wants that. So mark your calendars for early to mid-August if you’re shredding in Australia, when you’re likely to find those sweet, sweet powder conditions on the big resorts.
And if you’re jetting off to Japan or Canada, don’t go booking your flights and accommodations willy-nilly. The smart move is to plan for early to mid-February when the crowds are thinner, the conditions are pristine, and prices are friendlier on your wallet (since all those pesky families are heading back home after the school holidays). With these insider tips, you’ll be timing your snow trip like a boss and making memories that’ll last a lifetime.
Look for early-bird specials
If you’re planning your next epic trip to hit the slopes, don’t let those sneaky snow travel agents fleece you for all you’re worth. Instead, shop smarter and save some cash by taking advantage of early bird specials during the off-season months for all your essential gear and accommodations.
That’s right, my friends – it pays to plan ahead. If you do your homework and book online for consecutive days, you’re likely to score some sweet discounts on everything from lift passes to equipment hire to cozy lodgings. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love a good bargain? Just be sure to do your research using trusted flight and hotel booking search engines and websites, because you don’t want to get scammed by some sketchy operation.
So don’t let those greedy travel agents rain on your parade. Take charge of your own snow adventure and save some serious dough with these simple tips. Your bank account (and your inner powder hound) will thank you!
- Powderhounds – Great place to review snow resorts around the world.
- Booking.com – First place to look for and compare quality snow accommodation.
- Airbnb – Second place to look for value-added snow accommodation.
- SkiBig3 – A one-stop shop for accommodation and lift passes if you’re planning to go to Banff, Canada.
- Japan Snow Accommodation – A great source for accommodation options if you’re planning a snow trip to Japan.
- Sky Scanner – Find and compare the cheapest flights.
Go for at least 3 consecutive days to make it worthwhile
One-off day trips just ain’t gonna cut it. Unless you’re lucky enough to have a sweet resort right in your backyard, you need to commit to at least three consecutive days to really make it worth your while.
I’m not just blowing snow up your ski pants here, folks. Trust me, I’ve been around the block a few times. Going for multiple days when you’re just starting out is key to building up your confidence and getting those ski or board legs under you. Plus, you’ll be able to really hone your technique and make some serious progress on the slopes.
So don’t be a one-and-done kind of snow bunny. Put in the time and effort, and you’ll see the payoff in no time. And hey, even if you’re not a beginner, there’s always something new to learn out there on the mountain. So grab those skis or strap on that board, and get ready for an adventure you won’t forget!
Book a mid-week snow trip to avoid crowds
When it comes to hitting the slopes, timing is everything. Instead of cramming onto the mountain with every man and his dog on a busy weekend, why not lock in a 3-day snow trip in the middle of the week? Not only will you have more space to shred to your heart’s content, but you’ll also avoid the dreaded lift lines and enjoy some serious pow without the hassle.
I know what you’re thinking – “But what about work and other commitments?” Look, I get it. Adulting is tough. But trust me, a midweek snow break is exactly what the doctor ordered. Plus, you’ll come back to the real world feeling refreshed, energized, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way.
So don’t settle for a subpar snow experience. Plan ahead, take some time off, and hit the mountain when the getting’s good. Your ski legs (and your sanity) will thank you!
2. Choosing between skiing or snowboarding
Snowboarding is harder to learn but easier to master.
It’s time to face the facts: snowboarding is a tough nut to crack. But fear not – with a little grit and determination, you’ll be shredding like a pro in no time.
Let’s start with the basics. On your first day, you’ll likely spend most of your time “leafing” down the gentle green slopes, with your thighs and calves screaming for mercy. You might have eaten a bit of snow or landed on your backside a few times (or a lot of times, no judgment here), and getting off the chairlift might feel like a Herculean feat. It’s all part of the process, my friends.
But don’t give up just yet! As you start to get the hang of turning and controlling your board, you’ll find yourself experiencing a whole new level of joy and excitement. Sure, it might take a few faceplants and some sore muscles to get there, but trust me – it’s worth it.
Once you’ve got the hang of snowboarding, you’ll find it’s actually easier to master than skiing. So stick with it, keep practicing, and before you know it, you’ll be carving up those slopes like a pro. And if all else fails, well…there’s always skiing.
Skiing is easier to learn but harder to master.
Ah, skiing – the sport of kings (and queens, of course). The good news? It’s easier to learn than snowboarding. The bad news? Well, mastering it is a whole different story.
On your first day on the slopes, you’ll likely be riding the “green” runs, taking slow, wide turns as you make your way down the mountain. It might not be the most thrilling experience, but hey – at least you’re skiing! And don’t forget the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel when you successfully make it off the chairlift without face-planting (it’s harder than it looks, folks).
But as you progress in your skiing journey, things get a bit more challenging. Suddenly those wide turns aren’t cutting it anymore, and you start to crave more speed and more technical maneuvers. You might find yourself taking narrower turns and picking up the pace – which, let’s be honest, can be both exhilarating and terrifying.
And the truth is, mastering skiing takes time, practice, and a whole lot of dedication. But if you’re willing to put in the work, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of accomplishment and a whole lot of fun.
Take your pick and do what feels right for you!
3. Buy these snow essentials
We don’t want any more whiners up on the mountain complaining about the cold and the wind. It’s time to invest in some essential gear that will keep you warm and toasty all day long.
First up, you’re gonna need a good pair of waterproof gloves – trust me, there’s nothing worse than freezing fingers. And while we’re at it, let’s throw in some hand warmers for good measure. Your hands will thank you later.
Next on the list: a quality jacket and pants that are both waterproof and breathable. Don’t skimp on this one, folks – you want to stay dry and comfortable all day long. And speaking of staying dry, let’s not forget about a sturdy pair of snow boots with good traction.
And finally, don’t forget about the importance of layering. You want to stay warm without overheating, so invest in some quality base layers and mid-layers to keep your body temperature just right.
With these essential items in your arsenal, you’ll be ready to tackle the mountain like a pro. So don’t be that person complaining about the cold – invest in your gear and enjoy a day on the slopes in comfort and style.
Base layers – warm thermals and compression pants.
Mid layer – warm fleece jumper or hoodie
A good pair of mittens will keep you warmer than gloves and they look way cooler.
These Copozz snow goggles are around $20 more than a cheapo pair, are high quality and it’s easy to switch lenses if the weather turns on you (newbie friendly!).
A thin pair of snow socks.
Thick socks are bad because they get in the way and your feet will get sweaty.
Merino wool balaclava face mask
Nice to haves:
Waterproof slimline backpack
Waterproof slimline backpack to keep a water bottle, snacks, and any spares, only $20 from Ali Express (like the one below).
Snow helmet, if you can afford it.
I don’t recommend hiring helmets due to hygiene reasons, i.e. they smell bad and/or there is leftover hair from the person who has used them before. I highly recommend this helmet as it’s got an inbuilt audio feature to keep you relaxed with beats while riding.
I wish I had these when I started snowboarding, it would have been less painful.
The Aldi snow sale in Australia is highly recommended for cheap good quality snow gear.
Should I buy or hire clothing/snow equipment?
f you’re a first-timer, don’t be too hasty in buying all the gear. Renting is the way to go to test the waters before you splash out on an entire wardrobe of snow gear. But, if you’re hooked and ready to hit the slopes on the reg, it’s time to invest in your own equipment.
Check out these fantastic outlets for quality snow gear, no matter where you are in the world! Trust us, it’s worth it in the long run to have your own gear that fits like a glove and looks cool as ice.
4. Hire your snow gear up on the mountain
Don’t let dodgy snow gear ruin your mountain experience! Hiring your gear up on the mountain gives you the flexibility to switch things up if something isn’t working out. Trust me, you don’t want to be stuck with boots that feel like medieval torture devices or bindings that are about as reliable as a cardboard umbrella in a hurricane.
Plus, let’s be real, you’re going to want to look and feel like a pro out there. So, invest in quality gear from trusted outlets or hire up on the mountain to ensure you’re properly equipped for the slopes.
5. Get lessons every day
Don’t let your mates deceive you with their “you’ll be right” attitude. Get a lesson in the morning, and then go off and practice your moves in the afternoon. Trust me, it’ll make all the difference.
I mean, have you seen those people who think they’re hot stuff because they went snowboarding once with their friends, but really they’re just flailing around like a fish out of water? Don’t be that person.
Take a lesson, learn some skills, and then you can really show off to your mates. Plus, it’s a lot safer and you won’t be risking life and limb. So, do yourself a favor and book a lesson.
6. Set daily goals
Set yourself some daily goals when you hit the slopes. Make it something achievable, like not tumbling off the chairlift like a clown, or making it down a green run without face-planting into the snow. And if you fail to achieve your goal, don’t beat yourself up about it – you’re on vacation, after all!
Just keep in mind that everyone learns at their own pace. You might be a snowboarding prodigy, or it might take you a bit longer to get the hang of it. Don’t compare yourself to your friends who seem to be born with skis on their feet – they’re probably just showing off anyway. Just focus on your own progress and have fun with it!
7. The last run? Don’t overdo it and do it over!
Don’t be a hero and risk turning your good day into a bad one on your last run. Remember, there’s always tomorrow! Plus, the bar or café is calling your name and who doesn’t love a little après-ski treat? And let’s face it, you don’t want to be out there with all the other exhausted skiers and snowboarders who are just barely holding on. So, call it a day and get ready to do it all over again tomorrow! And hey, now that you’ve got the hang of it, why not check out some awesome snow trip ideas and hacks to keep the good times rolling? Click here and get excited!