How to choose equipment for skiing? Where to start? What is necessary to protect yourself from injuries? Useful tips for those who are just going to make skiing their main winter hobby.
The main point for any skier. After all, it depends, firstly, how convenient it will be for him to move, and, secondly, whether he will feel comfortable under various weather conditions. For skiing, you will need a special suit, helmet, shoes, gloves and glasses. When choosing them, it is necessary to take into account various characteristics, for example, water resistance and vapor permeability. Appearance is also an important parameter, but it is important to understand how much you are willing to overpay for a fashionable design and brand.
First of all, this applies to the ski suit. Overalls or a set of “jacket + pants” – everyone decides for himself. This is a matter of convenience and aesthetics. But you should definitely pay attention to modern technological materials, both outside and inside, which will allow you not to get wet and not to freeze. Beginners initially spend about 2-3 hours a day on the track, for these purposes, a suit with a water resistance of 10,000 mm of water column is enough. This information is available on the label of any self-respecting brand. To ski all day long. The suit must have a water resistance of 10,000 mm or higher.
Now about vapor permeability. It characterizes how effectively the membrane of a jacket or pants removes moisture from the body. We don’t need the maximum figures here – after all, we are talking about downhill skiing, not cross-country skiing. However, effective moisture removal is a matter of comfort and reducing the risk of a cold. The equipment with a membrane has high indicators of water resistance and vapor permeability. The inner layer of such clothing removes body moisture from the outside through micropores and at the same time does not let water from the outer layer into the inside. By the way, for a start it is better to take a brighter color of the jacket. Let it be better to see you on the slope. In order not to freeze, even at a temperature of 10-15 degrees below zero, sometimes a good synthetic or wool thermal underwear and a membrane jacket on top are enough. No more is needed – otherwise there is a possibility of excessive sweating.
The main rule for all ski accessories is simplicity and ease of use. If we are talking about gloves, it is important not only that they do not get wet, but also that you can unzip them, get your phone out of your pocket (special touch pads on your fingers will be a nice bonus ), take off your glasses or mask. A special fastener or a pocket on the sleeve for a ski pass (ski-pass) will not hurt either.
When choosing glasses, most experts recommend buying mirrored ones, if you ride in bright daylight, of course. The less sunlight the lenses let in, the less tired the eyes are when riding under the bright sun. There are also special models for people who wear glasses for vision.
More recently, fans of ski holidays tried to disown this inconvenient and cumbersome accessory. But technology does not stand still. Once heavy models have become much lighter, more convenient and more elegant. Now you can find a design for every taste, and modern materials practically deprive helmets of all the previous shortcomings. But the main thing is that they make skating safe. The helmet should sit on the head quite tightly-otherwise, when falling, it can fly off or get lost, not only without protecting, but even injuring the rider’s face or neck. There are models with a fixed size and with an adjustable one. In the first option, you just need to choose a comfortable size, given that the helmet should hold well on the head even without being buttoned up. The adjustment allows you to adjust the size more accurately, but it is important to pay attention here so that there is no extra gap between the back of the head and the helmet. The ideal situation is the fitting of a helmet directly by its future owner, because the size range within the same brand may differ – for example, for male and female models.
Special attention needs to be paid to choosing the right and comfortable shoes for alpine skiing. So, the shoes should fit the leg tightly and evenly, but at the same time do not press and do not hang out. Also make sure that the heel does not come off the insole when lifting on the toe. Rigidity also matters: for beginners, shoes made of non-rigid plastic, in which you can walk, will be suitable. When choosing shoes, give preference to models with metal fasteners: the chance that they will suffer from a fall is an order of magnitude lower than that of plastic ones.
Another point that you definitely can’t do without. If you are a beginner skier, and you are not sure that you will continue to ski, it is better to rent equipment. If you still decided to buy ski equipment, never buy it “by eye”. It is worth remembering one important rule: the most expensive uniforms are not necessarily the best, and the most beautiful skis are not necessarily the highest quality. So it’s better to go to the store with an experienced friend-a skier who can help you buy equipment that matches your complexion.
Many people know the fact that there are different ski slopes. If skiing is new to you, choose the resort where there are good trails for beginners, convenient cable cars, rental of high-quality ski equipment and competent instructors. The international marking of ski slopes will help with the choice of a ski resort, according to which there are 4 types of ski slopes:
“Green” – trails for beginners: wide gentle slopes ending in a large gentle section. They are also called “frogs”. Here it is easiest to learn to ride.
The “blue” ones are also among the simple ones, with flat areas, although there may be irregularities, but without jumps and height differences. The slopes are smoothly smoothed and well equipped, and there is a whole infrastructure around them: all kinds of services and entertainment.
“Red” – trails of medium difficulty, with a steep descent along the entire length or with an alternation of gentle and steep sections. These slopes are more suitable for experienced skiers who are already confident on skis. Beginners should stay away from them for now.
“Black” – tracks of increased complexity, designed for professionals: athletes and extreme athletes. On these tracks there are steep descents, sharp height differences, and you will need the ability to maneuver and make jumps.
Choosing an instructor
It is impossible to learn to ski yourself. It is important to understand this immediately and not to be a hero. It is also not always worth counting on friends, even from among the coolest riders: a good athlete will not always be a good coach. The most correct thing is to hire an instructor – so you will definitely get positive emotions, save time, and if you are lucky, you will get a hobby for life. Experienced skiers are advised to first ask the instructor for a certificate that guarantees that he has passed training and certification.
The first lesson
Almost the first thing a good instructor will teach you is the correct fall. This is as much an integral part of learning as skiing itself. Everyone falls on the ski slopes – from beginners to professionals. And the only way out is to learn how to do it correctly.
First, try to fall sideways on your side, and not forward or backward – this way you will protect yourself from dislocations. After falling, try to fix your body to prevent further sliding down. Do not try to get up immediately, but stay lying down without straightening your legs, and try to lift your skis a little, without touching the slope with them, until the sliding speed becomes safe for this. Otherwise, there is a high risk of injury and dislocation of the joints. If you fall, you also run the risk of bumping into your own sticks, hitting them or getting caught. Therefore, do not forget to take them forward and away from yourself.
Insurance and first aid kit
Going to conquer the mountains for the first time, it will be useful to arrange insurance. Especially if you are going to the mountains for the first time and still do not fully understand what a ski holiday is like. If necessary, you will be provided with the services of a doctor, the necessary medicines and medical care. In addition to insurance, you should take a regular first-aid kit with you, which will contain painkillers, a cream or ointment for sprains, an ointment with a warming effect, a special winter sunscreen for the face, as well as a patch and an elastic bandage.
Accuracy and measure
And finally, a few important rules of behavior on the slope itself, which will help to avoid injuries:
For the first time, the main thing is not to overdo it. On the first day, try to assess your capabilities by the number of descents and the complexity of the trails. For the first ride, it may be worth planning a short trip – for example, for the weekend. If you plan a long-term trip to the mountains, it is important to listen to yourself and, if necessary, give your body a day off. After all, training in alpine skiing is always a serious and serious, sometimes non-standard, load on the muscles.
On the slope, do not exceed the speed limit and try to stay at a sufficient distance from other skiers to have time to avoid a fallen or maneuvering skier. Avoid trees and fences and do not try to brake on them.
When going up or down on foot, stay closer to the edges of the track.
If you fell – crawl away. A very simple and useful rule. After all, a rider moving from behind may not notice an unexpected obstacle around a turn or in the snow.
If you have witnessed an accident, place crossed skis or poles above the injured person to warn other skiers about the need to go around the crash site. Send the information about the accident with the location (the number of the nearest lift support, the type of slope) to the lift station or to the ski patrol.
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