Learn to Ski: The Outdoors Are for Everyone!

At Peace Surplus, we believe everyone should have access to the outdoors! Over the last year, we’ve created a video series titled, “Outdoors for All,” that aims to give anyone the tools to begin learning a new outdoor sport.

In the first episode, Jade Ahmed talked about how she learned how to rock climb. In episode two, two Flagstaff locals talked about their recommendations for beginning to backpack.

In episode 3 of our “Outdoors for All” series, two more Flagstaff locals, Kass and Ryzer will explain how they first started skiing and what they recommend when learning to ski. You can watch any of these episodes below.

Learning to Ski in Flagstaff

If you’ve never skied before, or you’re looking to improve your skills, here’s what we recommend:

  1. Utilize Snowbowl’s FREE Lessons: If you’re over the age of 13 and purchase a lift ticket, you can get a free first-time beginner lesson. This will really help you kickstart skiing with good habits. Click here to book your lift ticket and lesson.
  2. Be Patient: Skiing can feel really hard when you first start! Be patient with yourself as you learn on the bunny hill and slowly feel more comfortable. Snowbowl is a great place to learn. Click here to view the Snowbowl map. If it’s your first time, start on Little Spruce or Big Spruce trails. These are great beginner hills located to the left of Hart Prairie Lodge on the map linked above. Once you master those, head to Aspen lift for Aspen Meadow trail.
  3. Buy a Half Day Pass: On any week day that isn’t part of a holiday weekend, you can purchase a half day pass for a discounted rate. The rates change daily but they’re often close to 1/3 of the rate of the full day pass. Access to half day passes begin at 1pm and you can purchase them at the ticket counter. If you’re learning to ski, it’s likely your legs will be tired after a few hours of skiing so a half day pass is a great option.
  4. Rent Your Gear: You can rent skis or a snowboard from Peace Surplus for just $25 per day. This will help you decide if you like the sport and want to invest in gear later on.
  5. Wear a Helmet: Helmets are available at Peace Surplus to rent for just $7 per day. This will help you feel more confident in your safety as you’re hitting the slopes for the first time. Of course, we recommend wearing a helmet anytime you go!
  6. Ski with People Who Challenge You: Like Kass mentions in the “Learn to Ski” video, riding with people who challenge your ski level will only make you a better skier. You’ll be able to watch how they ski and they’ll be able to give you pointers too.
  7. Ask Questions: Our Peace Surplus staff has been trained in the ski shop and will be able to answer your gear questions. Many of us also like to ski ourselves and would be happy to answer any questions you may have about learning to ski.
  8. Check Ski Conditions: Snowbowl continually updates the mountain conditions on their website. You can see how many lifts are open, the conditions of the road and even recent snowfall. Click here for those updates, or you can monitor updates on Snowbowl’s twitter.
  9. Remember, It’s Supposed to be Fun: Like Ryzer mentions in the “Learn to Ski” video, you don’t have to be a great skier to have a really fun day!

Skiing Affordably

If you’re not careful, you could spend more than you need to while learning to ski. Here’s what we recommend to stay in your budget:

  1. Utilize Snowbowl’s Half Day Pass: Like we mentioned above, a half day price can be an affordable way to get on the mountain for the first time.
  2. Pick a Resort that’s at Your Level: There’s no need to travel to a large resort when you’re learning to ski. Smaller resorts will have plenty of space for your skill level.
  3. Choose Your Ski Days in Advance: The farther in advance you purchase your Snowbowl tickets, the more affordable they’ll be. If you buy before the season starts, all pass prices are greatly reduced. If you just want a day pass, try to pick a weekday or weekend ahead of time to save!
  4. Utilize Weekdays: Tickets are always less expensive during the week!
  5. Rent Your Gear: We wrote a whole blog about if you should rent or buy your gear. You can read it here!
  6. Try an Uphill Travel Pass: This one is tricky. If you have back country ski gear, meaning you’re bindings and boots allow you to move the heal of your ski, you can travel uphill and skip the Snowball lifts after hours. It’s an affordable way to ski, but it’s likely you’ll only get one run in and have to spend a lot of skinning (another word for using your skis to get up the mountain) up the hill. 

We hope that you feel like you have the tools you need to take the first steps in learning how to ski! Feel free to call or visit us in store with any questions!