Japan Ski Guide powered by SURF&SNOW

When you ski for the first time, it takes a lot of effort to get used to snow and ski equipment. You may not know where on the piste to ski, or how. Here are some tips about how to practice your skiing and what to be careful about.

Don't get on a lift straight away

Ski resorts have gentle slopes for beginners, but if you've never skied before, it's not a good idea to get on a lift right away and go on-piste skiing. Consider joining a ski school, or practice skiing first on a near-flat surface below the lift station.

Get used to skiing on a flat surface first

First, get used to skiing on a near-flat surface, in the area below the lift station. Areas with gentle slopes are excellent for practice, as you're unlikely to pick up speed. Some ski resorts have a beginner's area where you can practice snowboarding at a safe site fenced off with a net.

Choose a practice site with few people

When you practice, avoid areas with a lot of people. In particular, sites that skiers and snowboarders pass through at high speeds are dangerous due to the risk of collision. Gently sloped areas where there are few people, such as the edges of courses, are best.

Check the course level

Ski resort course levels are divided into beginner, intermediate and advanced. Check the course level on the piste map and signboards within the course, and select a route that suits your skill level. If you're not yet confident, we recommend that try the easier beginner courses and avoid steep runs designed for advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Challenge yourself starting from gentle slopes

Beginner courses have gentle slopes, so it's difficult to pick up much speed on these. It's perfect for practicing because you'll find it be easy to control your skis, slow down and stop without worry. Until you get used to skiing, stick to a gentle slope without pushing yourself too much, and step up little by little.

Joining a school is a good idea

If you're a first-time skier, it's best to go to a lesson at a ski school in the resort. Skilled instructors will teach you carefully, step by step, from the basics such as how to ski, stop and turn. This way you'll improve your skiing faster than by doing your own thing.