Top 5 Common Beginner Mistakes And How To Avoid Them

27 Oct, 2021 · 9 min read

We can all agree that with any sport comes physical and technical challenges and with skiing, it’s no different, which is why we want to start getting you ready even before your first lesson on the slope.  

Here are 5 common technique mistakes to avoid when out on the piste, to help you look the part and more importantly get the most out of your on-snow experience. 

This advice is just something to keep in mind before you hit the slopes, if this doesn’t make sense just yet, don’t panic! Your instructor will explain and demonstrate all of this.


1. Leaning Too Far Back 

Without a doubt the most common and frequently seen mistake made by any skier…not just beginners. So don’t worry if this is you, you’re certainly not alone. Leaning too far back often results from fear of the slope or your speed. By leaning back your weight is transferred through the back of your ski boots onto the back of your skis. This reduces pressure on the front of the skis making it harder to stop, slow down and turn. It’s a vicious cycle with your speed only further increasing! Ever wondered why your legs burn after only a short distance?? Well, this may also be from leaning back as this puts more strain on your legs, tiring you out faster. 

How to avoid it: Try to stand in your ski boots with your ankles, knees, and hips slightly bent with your weight travelling through the ball of your foot. Ideally, you want to feel constant pressure between your shins and the front of your ski boots

2. Leaning Inside 

As you may have gathered from the above, your body position whilst skiing is hugely important. Whilst the concept of “leaning inside” may initially sound rather confusing, it really is quite simple. Leaning inside refers to your body weight being over your inside (uphill) ski instead of your outside (downhill) ski. Leaning inside means there is less pressure on your outside ski, the one which is responsible for helping you turn and control speed. If you lean too far inside you may even end up hitting the deck!

How to avoid it: Try to keep your inside leg bent and focus on keeping your upper body over your outside ski. Sometimes it can help to try and imagine you’re making a banana-like shape with the side of your body. 

3. Skis Too Far Apart or Close Together

It can often be tricky for beginners to figure out how far apart to keep their skis, especially with modern carving skis transforming the way we ski. Whilst you may see some skiers out on the mountain skiing with their legs almost glued together, this is in fact an old-school technique, designed for old-fashioned straight skis. Unless you have the ski suit to match these retro rippers, try to avoid keeping your legs too close together as this can reduce mobility and balance, making it harder to safely stop and turn. Conversely, too wide a stance may lead to you becoming out of control and you risk falling or colliding with others.

How to avoid it: Aim to keep your skis hip-width apart in a position that is comfortable for you.

4. Arms Hanging By Your Side or Waving Erratically

Whilst skiing does heavily involve your lower body, it is also important to remember to control your upper body. Just like tightrope walkers, your arms are key for balance and help with correct body positioning. Moving your arms erratically can throw you off balance and lead to unnecessary upper body rotation and excessive movement. On the other hand, letting your arms hang down beside you increases the probability that you will lean back and brings all the issues associated with that. 

How to avoid it: Try to keep your arms bent and positioned to the side of your body. Whilst they shouldn’t be straight out in front of you, imagine you are carrying a tray of water down the slope whilst trying not to spill any. 

5. Unable to Control Speed 

Having too much speed or being out of control isn’t strictly down to one technique error and often is a combination of many. Skiing too fast can greatly increase the likelihood of falling or even colliding with others, and we want to keep you safe, and you avoid any injuries or reckless skiing. For your safety and that of those around you, many ski resorts have strict rules about skiing dangerously which could result in lift pass removal but don’t worry, your instructor will make sure your slope etiquette is perfect before you head to the slopes by yourself. 

How to avoid: Practise on easier beginner slopes until you are comfortable with the basics. When you choose to progress to more challenging terrain take it gradually and try to initially travel across the slope and not directly downhill. Stay away from busy or crowded slopes as these can also be more rutted and bumpier. 


Taking on a new sport is always challenging and there is a lot to learn, therefore we always recommend the help of a trained professional, but we promise you it’s all worth it once you go down that glistening white slope all by yourself.

A Maison Sport instructor can increase the speed at which you progress, allowing you to make the most of your holiday and safely enjoy everything the mountains have to offer! If you’ve started planning your winter vacation already, make sure you find the perfect instructor for you by checking their profiles and reviews left by previous customers. 

The Maison Sport Instructors are Waiting for You!

 

 

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