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Snow Sports 101: 4 Essentials For Beginners

BY READERS DIGEST

28th Feb 2022 Life

Snow Sports 101: 4 Essentials For Beginners
Snow sports were initially performed during the winter for obvious reasons. These days, however, you can take part in winter sports any time of the year wherever there’s artificial snow and ice available.
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Even if you decide to try skiing for the first time in the middle of summer, there’s a place for you to put your gear to good use.
Beginners can find taking up snow sports quite daunting due to the number of things you need to wear, bring and remember. But it doesn’t have to be.
Ice rink kits are designed to simplify the process, providing all the essential equipment and gear to make your entry into ice sports more accessible and enjoyable. With an ice rink kit, you can streamline your preparation, focus on learning the fundamentals, and embrace the thrill of gliding on ice without the hassle of assembling your gear piece by piece.
Here’s a curated list of essentials to keep in mind before you take on the snow and ice, real or not:
  1. Mid-layers: This piece of clothing helps your base layer trap warm air while you’re out in the snow. A merino wool jumper or a hoodie should do fine.
  2. Boots: Depending on your sport, boots can be hard-shelled or flexible, but both have cushions inside to protect your feet.
  3. Jacket: Choose one that’s waterproof, windproof and has pockets for you to keep your wallet and phone secure.
  4. Gloves: Not all snow sports facilities or resorts rent out gloves, so it’s better to bring your own. These need to be waterproof and durable too and with fleece lining to keep your hands warm.
Before modern snow sports came to be, they were once transportation methods to move across winter terrain. Eventually, people turned them into pastimes, which then evolved into globally recognised sports with their own set of rules and regulations. 
There are several snow sports to choose from, but you’ll learn about the common ones many people take up no matter the season, such as the following:
  • Snowboarding
  • Skiing
  • Ice skating or figure skating
  • Ice hockey
After you’ve decided on one, you can begin the initial search for places offering the sport. You don’t always need to spend so much money on a location, especially if you’re still a beginner. Some sites provide affordable passes, especially in a number of European ski destinations.
Whether you want to take on a snow sport for fun or for the potential of competing, it pays to know which one you’d like to venture into first. It will help you take the next step—looking for the appropriate clothing and equipment.
All sports require you to wear a specific kind of clothing as a means of protection. Whichever sport you’ve chosen, what you wear and the quality it’s in matters.
In most winter sports, you’re required to wear base layers, preferably made of wool, to keep you warm. Staying warm is vital since you can’t move properly if your body drops below the average human temperature. Winter temperatures are unpredictable, and if you’re not careful, you could risk getting too cold to continue. It’s also better to wear quick-dry moisture-wicking outfits, since you can expect to fall a lot on ice or snow as a beginner.
Here are other crucial items you need to wear when doing snow sports:
  • Socks: Tall socks with a snug fit will stay in place no matter how active you get. Wearing one pair is enough, as two may leave you with blisters.
  • Water-resistant trousers. Snow and ice are both wet and cold. Hence, it’s wise to wear trousers that can keep you dry and warm as you move.
Ensure that everything you wear is comfortable enough that you’re not suffocating from thick layers or make you too stiff to take a step further.
If you’re a novice at sports like skiing, snowboarding or skating, you usually don’t need to invest in equipment yet. Your focus must be on keeping warm and comfortable first. Many public winter sports locations will typically have the gear you can rent for a few hours anyway. So invest in quality clothing in the meantime, and you can purchase your own skates or skis when you’re ready. But there are three necessary items you need to have as early as now:
  • Helmet: Falling is inevitable as a beginner, and your helmet is your best protection against severe head injuries you may encounter as you try out the sport for the first time. Invest in a quality helmet that’s fitted to your head and lightweight enough to help you get used to wearing one.
  • Goggles: Going down wintery slopes will be painful if you don’t wear goggles to protect your eyes from sunburn and harsh winds. Goggles will also prevent photokeratitis, or snow blindness, which may happen if you spend time on actual snow. Buy a quality pair of your own since rentals don’t always fit well, while some fog up from the weather.
  • Sunscreen: The snow’s clean, white surface can reflect up to 90% of UV rays, especially on a sunny day. Pack some sunscreen and lip balm with UV protection before you head off.
Like all sports, improvement comes from practise. When training on your chosen snow sport, continue practising proper stances once you learn them. You’ll eventually find the position you’re most comfortable in, which will show in your next performance.
Always ask your teachers for pointers on skills you have trouble executing. Or do some research on your own. Look for experts in the same sport online like skisurfwake.com for extra tips and information. Learning from other more experienced individuals adds to your knowledge of the sport and provide you with new tricks to try in the future.

Snow sports wherever and whenever

If you’ve been thinking about something new to do, try a snow sport. Taking up any sport is an exciting way for beginners like you to explore the world and meet new people. Even without actual snow, it’s an excellent form of exercise as well.
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