What a Beginner Skier or Snowboarder Needs to Know: A Snowsports Glossary


Ski ClothesSince you’ll be outside most of the day, plan ahead to stay warm and dry.

Here is a basic list of what you’ll need: wool socks (just one pair), wool or synthetic long underwear (top and bottom, no cotton), sweater or fleece top, water resistant ski pants and jacket, water resistant gloves or mittens.




Don’t worry if you don’t have all of these items. Some resorts rent ski jackets and pants. You can also borrow from friends and family, or rent complete sets of clothing from companies like GetOutfitted.com and Mountain Threads.


HelmetsIn the old days, most skiers wore wool beanies or caps. Not only were these hats itchy and uncomfortable, but they didn’t protect anyone’s head from bumps, scrapes or falls.

Today, the majority of skiers and snowboarders wear helmets. Helmets are lightweight, comfortable and warm. Many resorts require them for children in ski and ride school. Helmets are a great idea for everyone.

If you don’t have one, rent one (along with some goggles) from the resort rental shop.


Goggles – Goggles protect your eyes from wind, sun and glare. They make it easier for you to see where you’re going and what’s around you. They are a must!


Sunglasses – Some skiers and riders prefer sunglasses on the brightest days. Use polarized lenses to cut the glare reflecting off the snow.


Sunscreen Snow reflects sunlight very effectively so it’s easy to sunburn when skiing and snowboarding. Wear sunscreen and reapply at lunch and in the afternoon on super sunny days.


HydrationA thirsty skier is a tired skier. Our bodies need water to function properly. And while you may not feel thirsty or sweaty when you ski or snowboard, you still need to hydrate throughout the day.

Take breaks to drink water. Not only will you feel stronger on the snow, but you’ll also stay warmer.

Water breaks are especially important for little ones.


Snacks and FoodLike water, food is essential. Plan on stopping for lunch and also bring some snacks with you. Consider cheese sticks, nuts, dried fruit, M&Ms, or granola bars. Ideally, a good snack should include some protein and complex carbs.

For lunch, enjoy a warming meal in a restaurant or cafeteria, either at the base or on the mountain.

If you bring your lunch, look for a brown-bag, or picnic, area in the lodge. Ask a mountain ambassador if you can’t find it.

Don't assume that you can carry your lunch into a restaurant or cafeteria.


Hand warmersAn absolute must on cold days, inexpensive, disposable hand warmers are sold in resort shops, as well as at ski shops and sporting goods stores.

Hand warmers fit in gloves and mittens and add a lot of extra heat.

They usually last all day and then you throw them away


and keep going for more fun stuff!


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