In just over a week, Will and I will be
heading off to Bansko in Bulgaria for a mini winter ski break in the Pirin
mountains. It’s the first time going on this kind of break for both of us, so we
had a lot to get ready and a whole load of stuff to get. Luckily for us we both
had a lot of family and friends who have been skiing and they gave us some
really handy tips and lent us some of the gear we would need too. Having those
bits of advice were so useful to us, so I thought it might be handy to create a
post with all of their little tips in one place…
1. Research a resort that is beginner friendly
One of the most important things to check if you have never skied before is that the resort you are going to is beginner friendly. Ski routes are usually colour coded by difficulty, so make sure they have plenty of the easier routes to keep you busy without sending you flying because they are waaaay too advanced.
2. Take lessons before hand
If you’re anything like me, learning a new physical skill doesn’t always come easily! It’s definitely a good idea to get at least one lesson before you go as the better skier you fly out as, the more you will get out of the holiday. If you are skiing in Bulgaria, you can also get very reasonable priced lessons when you are out there, but watch out because lessons in Austria or France might not be such good value.
3. Speak to skiers in the know
Speaking to people who have been before can be a great way of picking up some insider tips. We have been given some great advice from what time to get to the ski lift, to how to make sure you keep hydrated when you’re on the ski routes. Talk to anyone you can about helpful things they may have learnt on previous ski trips and make sure you take it all on board.
4. Book as much as you can before you get there
This is a great way to try and save some of the expense when you get there, and you can also very often get percentage off promotions for booking online before you arrive. We have booked all of our ski hire, transfers and a full day ski lesson each using a great site called Bankso Blog. If you are thinking of heading to Bansko specifically, this site is amazing with everything you will need including snow reports, restaurant guides and even a Bansko app you can download straight to your phone.
Beg, Steal and Borrow
If it’s your first time
skiing, there is always the chance that you might get there and find it’s not
for you. If you have family or friends that are the same size as you, then see
if they would mind lending you some of the ski clothing and equipment and that
way, if you do find that hitting the slopes just isn’t your thing, you haven’t
wasted loads of money buying all new stuff!
6. Get the right gear
For a first time skier there
is definitely a lot of specific clothing and equipment that you will need. Stuff
like skis, ski boots and even a helmet you will be able to hire when you get
there, but it’s always best to try and take as much as you can as the quality
of stuff you hire can’t always be guaranteed! Here is my visual checklist of
stuff you will need…
1. Play Down Jacket*, Dare2B
2. W Prime Jacket*, Helly Hansen
3. Freeze Dry Fleece, Dare2B
4. Headturn Pant*, Dare2B
5. Comfort Wool Thermal Set, Helly Hansen
6. North Face Micro Baffle Bootie, Snow and Rock
7. No Fear Helmet, Sports Direct
8. Barts Maria Beanie, Simply Piste
9. Nebula Goggles, Simply Piste
10. Ski Socks, Costco
11. Salute Glove*, Dare2B
12. Manbi Combi Sunscreen, Simply Piste
We were lucky enough to be sent some great ski wear for both me and Will to test out from Helly Hansen and Dare2B a few of which I have included in the list above. The quality of this stuff is amazing, keep a lookout for a more in depth review of those items, after we have given them a proper test drive on the slopes!
Although some of the stuff in here is
specific to Bulgaria and Bansko, a lot of it will hopefully come in useful
wherever you book your winter getaway. Now there’s just the small matter of
learning to ski…
Have you got any other tips for people organising their first ski break?