Forget getting down their first blue run without falling. The thing most beginner skiers and snowboarders are afraid of is getting off the ski lift.
Most people don’t expect to have to ski off a moving chair in the first few days of learning to ski and snowboard, but it is required to access just about every run on a mountain. That’s why the Mammoth Bound team has put together a list of our best ski lift tips to help beginners ride them with confidence.
Practice Getting Off the Lift on a Bench
The basics of getting off a ski lift are simple. You simply stand up from a seated position and ski or snowboard away. It gets complicated when your chair is moving and you have to ride down a small slope to get away from it.
Fortunately, if you can find a bench on the snow around the lift then you can practice getting up from a seated position on skis or a snowboard without the chair moving. Work on standing and pushing off from a stationary bench to perfect the movement before you get on a moving lift.
Practice Riding Around with One Foot
Snowboarders have the added difficulty of getting off a lift with one foot out of their binding. Still, they can also practice riding with only one foot strapped in on a flat surface before trying to do so on a moving lift.
Push around the base area and focus on pushing your back foot against the interior of your back binding to find stability with one foot unstrapped before you get on the lift.
Use the Chair to Find Your Balance
Now that you’re ready to get on the lift, you can make things easier by using the chair to find your balance while you’re getting off.
The chair may seem like your enemy since it’s pushing you forward, but if you put your hands on the chair as you get off and use it to find your balance it can be your friend. If you do, then the chair will help you get up and push you forward so you don’t stall out.
Get Away from the Lift as Quickly as Possible
No matter what happens when you get off the ski lift, make sure you get away from the lift area as quickly as possible. Falling when getting off the ski lift feels bad, but what feels worse is causing the people on the chair behind you to fall because they were trying to avoid you.
If you’re not hurt, then clear the ski lift area as quickly as possible after a fall.
Ask Which Direction Other Riders are Going
You can also prevent collisions and falls by asking other riders which direction they’re going off the lift.