You're Doing it Wrong: How to Fail at Skiing

Spring is here and the days are already warming on the slopes. It's time to lighten up a little and have a laugh. When I learned to ski, there was a lot to learn. Silly me thought I would simply slide from the top of the hill to the bottom, easy peazy.

But noooo, there were all sorts of things to learn, like what to wear, how to ride a lift, and then there were all those little kids trying to kill me. Wow! It seemed there were more ways to do it wrong than right. Lets review all the wrong ways to learn to ski, or ski in general, in this light hearted post. Enjoy!

Ski Crash Photo Courtesy of Hoorayforpeepee

1) Wear jeans — Face it; you'll be on your bottom a few times while learning to ski. To ensure you're really cold and miserable, ski in dungarees.

2) Skip the helmet — Hey, the world needs organ donors. Helmets reduce the incidence of any head injury by 30-50% according to Jasper Shealy, professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, N.Y. So if you don't want to survive with math skills intact, skip the helmet.

3) Ski above your level — This is a highly effective way to wreck your day and the signs at resorts make it easy. Simply look for the black diamonds and danger signs. It's an excellent way to give ski patrol some experience and demonstrates to the world your lack of intellectual prowess.

Danger Skiing sign Photo courtesy of Dan Zelazo

4) Ask your significant other to teach you how to ski — This technique is multi-functional. I recommend using it when you want to fail at skiing and break up a relationship on the same day. Genius!

5) Ignore the code — The skier responsibility code is a common sense guide to staying safe on the slopes. This means it should be ignored if you want to fail at skiing. It's like having a road map of what not to do, very handy. Here it is for quick reference:

Skier Responsibility Code

  • Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

  • People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

  • You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.

  • Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.

  • Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

  • Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

  • Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

ski rescue Photo courtesy of Ran Z

6) Be rude — This requires skill building for most people, while others are born with talent. Generally, skiers are polite and helpful, so this will help you stand out in a crowd.

7) Ski close to small children — Yes, they're cute, but they can be squirrely targets. Taking one out requires quick reflexes. A decidedly low-class way to ruin more than one person's day.

8) Ski wasted - Knock a few back before hitting the slopes and you'll automatically feel like a better skier. It's possible you'll be inspired to break into song. Nothing says FAIL like a drunk skier bombing their way down a run singing "I'm Sexy and I Know It." Do this and you might find yourself in the Skier Fail hall of fame.

Now that you know what not to do when learning to ski, find a professional instructor to teach you the right way to have fun on the slopes!

posted by
Erika Wiggins
Blogger at The Active Explorer
Erika Wiggins is a Salt Lake City based freelance writer specializing in travel, food and adventure sports. She travels extensively throughout North America and Mexico seeking new experiences. In addition to adventure sports, her passions include fitness, local cuisines, strong coffee and beer. You can follow her on Twitter, Instagram and
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