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Your First Ski Lesson: Everything You Need to Know

Congratulations, you booked your first ski lesson!

Now that the hardest part is over (the decision-making) let’s focus on ensuring that your first ski lesson goes well.

At My-Mountains we have been teaching skiing to beginners for years. To say we know how you’re feeling now, is to say nothing. That’s why our team has collected their best tips and tricks to help you navigate your first skiing experience.

Let’s start.

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What do I need for my first ski lesson?

It’s a fundamental question all beginners must ask. It seems simple: one needs something warm to wear, boots, skis and poles and you’ve got that right. That’s the basics of skiing preparation. Now for the harder part. Each of these elements has to be properly selected and adjusted to your body. The length of the skis, their model, type of boots, binding adjustments: all these factors are crucial for an optimal first skiing experience. 

To help you choose the right equipment for your first ski lesson, we listed all the necessary information below. If you want to come prepared and ready for skiing, then keep reading.

“A bad day skiing beats a good day at work”

Wear appropriate clothing for your first ski lesson

For your first ski lesson to be an absolute success, you need to dress properly. Yes, you heard that right. Appropriate clothing is the first step to a good ski experience. Your clothes will fulfill several tasks. The first breathable layer will keep your body dry. the second layer will keep you warm. The third will protect you from the elements: snow, rain and wind. All three will make sure you will stay comfortable and can focus on learning. 

Good ski wear is available online and in regular stores. Both places carry good options for every budget but we recommend beginners to purchase or rent their first ski clothing at physical shops. There you will be able to try them on and see how your body feels. Ski clothes, like any sports gear, must be first and foremost comfortable. Make sure nothing is too tight or too loose and you have a wide range of movement. 


Where to find the right gears for your first skiing clothes

Skiing outlets are a great option as well to find real bargains. As for the selection of brands, there is no immediate right or wrong. to be sure, buying a better quality clothing ensures that you won’t have to repurchase them after two seasons.

We always recommend to go to family owned shops as they will have that extra passion that big chains lack. 

As for the skis, the best option for beginners is to rent. If you live around Zurich we work with the ski rental Vock in Thalwill. Here you can certainly rent some of the best ski equipment for your first ski lessons. Ask professionals to help you select the best gear for you and you ski level. 

Most rental shops offer new equipment each season. So, instead of using the same skis over and over again, one of the benefits of renting is that you can find higher performance equipment as you improve your skills.

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First ski lesson- What to wear?

Since the weather in the mountains can be tricky, our advice is to dress in layers. It’s important to be prepared for the weather and temperature changes. It might look like it’s sunny outside, however, strong and cold wind can make you regret choosing to learn skiing during your holiday. Therefore, we advise you to check the list of the following equipment for your first ski lesson.


Ski pants, boots and, jacket

Ski pants, boots, and jacket will protect you from cold weather, snow, and wind.  We highly recommend you to find a warm, padded jacket, specially made for mountain conditions that will be waterproof and windproof at the same time.


Ski socks

Ski socks need to keep your feet dry and warm. There is a common misconception that cotton socks will make your feet warm. But cotton underwear is not a good temperature regulator. Therefore, we advise you to always wear wool socks or some other thermal socks. Since modern ski boots are well insulated, you’ll not probably need thick socks. Thin socks are suitable for circulating warm air inside the boots. 


Mittens or gloves

Water-resistant and breathable mittens or gloves are definitely ‘a must’ in order to keep your hands dry and warm. They’re certainly one of the most needed ski details.


Thermal underwear

Thermal underwear is highly recommended. Despite the name, it maintains a normal body temperature and will not make you sweat.



Find neckwarmers made of merino wool, soft fleece, or other breathable fabrics. Not only it will stop the wind going down your neck, but will also help in keeping your mouth and nose warm. Another great option is to wear a scarf if you already have one.


Ski helmet

Don’t go skiing without a helmet! Whether you take your first ski lesson or you’re an expert already, don’t go on snow without it. Wearing a helmet significantly lowers the risk of head and neck injuries. Let’s keep it safe on the slope. 


Sun glasses or Goggles?

Sun glasses or ski goggles? for beginners we recommend sun glasses, as goggles will get very likely foggy. Using sun glasses reduces the intensity of the snow glare. When taking your first ski lessons, wear appropriate sun glasses that will protect you from UV rays and snow falling directly into your eyes. We highly recommend you to find sun glasses with anti UV protection. You may want to try googles once you like skiing and you will hit the slope more often. 

A lot of layers

We always say: ’’One layer more is better than one less’’. Wearing clothes in layers will help you keep your regular body temperature!

Once you’re properly dressed, you can put on your skiing gear. A pair of skis, boots and poles can be rented from a local ski rental shop. As we mentioned before, these shops usually have a very professional service that will help you select suitable equipment. 


Protect yourself from the sun

You don’t want to forget a sunblock cream. The sun in the mountains can be very strong and UV rays are also much worse than in the city. Hence, always have sunscreen at hand. During your ski lessons, you may also want to have some water or warm tea with you. It will keep you hydrated, while small snacks can keep your optimal energy level.


Book a private instructor with My-Mountains

We hope this article helped you to get an idea how to prepare for your first ski lesson. Learning a new skill is beyond exciting and we are a little jealous that all the skiing thrills are still ahead of you.

If you want to read more on how to find the best place to ski in Switzerland, we prepared a list of our favorite ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. 

And if you’re still looking for a good ski school or private ski lessons, why don’t you have a look at our offer. We’ll be delighted to introduce you to the fantastic world of skiing.