Winter is here and the perfect time to make some new family memories together in the great outdoors. If you’ve ever wanted to learn to ski or snowboard, Pennsylvania is the place to do it. From the Alleghenies to the Poconos, the region is home to some of the best beginner ski terrain in the country. While it may seem a little overwhelming to plan a ski trip for the first time with kids in tow, it doesn’t have to be. SkiPA has five helpful tips to make the experience simple, so you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying the Pennsylvania slopes.
1. Rent Equipment First, Before Buying
Before embarking out on your first family ski trek, don’t stress about purchasing equipment. Let the experts do the work. Plan ahead to visit the resort ski rental shop to ensure everyone in the family is fitted properly for the right equipment to match your specific needs. Rental shop technicians are trained to adjust equipment for just the right fit. And, many resorts offer special discounts for first-timers, which includes rentals to make it easy and affordable to get started.
2. Wear a Helmet
Think safety first. The National Ski Areas Association recommends wearing a helmet. It is important to make sure the helmet fits correctly for maximum protection and comfort on the slopes. A ski and snowboard helmet are not something to grow into. Learn more at the Lids on Kids website.
3. Dress for Success
Properly suiting up for a day on the slopes is key to staying warm and dry. Cotton clothing such as jeans and a sweatshirt will become wet, then cold. So, the key is to make smart fabric choices and dress in layers. Layering allows the body to adapt to changing temperatures. Look for fabric that is water and wind-resistant. Most importantly, kids should wear a hat or headband, polyester or wool socks and gloves or mittens as the extremities are the first to feel heat-loss.
4. Wear Sun Protection
Always make sure you have sunscreen and ski goggles. The sun reflects off the snow, so it is stronger than you think even on overcast days. Goggles provide the best protection for every day on the slopes, especially for children. Making sure the goggles fit properly is very important. When fitting children, be sure to try on the helmet and goggles together to make sure they fit seamlessly.
5. Take a Lesson
Make sure beginners in the family take a lesson first by a trained professional. Some resorts offer special group lessons and most resorts offer lessons for kids as young as three or four. Children’s instructors know how to teach kids specifically by starting with key fundamentals and slowly progressing to make the experience fun while building confidence on the slopes.
Now that you know how to get started, it’s time to hit the slopes. For help in planning where to visit and more useful first-time tips, visit the skipa website or learn more about winter activities in PA by checking out the visitPA website. Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram to stay up-to-date on even more great ideas and places to visit around our state.