A Beginner’s Guide on Skiing Gear: Everything You Need to Know - Fetop
Skiing is not a new human activity. People have been skiing for centuries, with early evidence pointing to as early as 8000 BCE with early skis being discovered in Russia. The reason why it has been around for this long has a lot to do with the need to find a mode of movement in snowy areas. Some places in cold climates are always in a perpetual snow cover, and moving about the normal way can be a little hard, even when using cars.

If you have just moved to such an area, you are probably entertaining the idea of learning how to ski either for recreational purposes or just to add another skill. This is a beginner’s guide that is going to explore everything to do with skiing, from learning how to ski, the necessary skiing gear and equipment that you need, and some of the things you should never do to avoid putting yourself into danger.

Table of Contents

Getting Started as a Learner

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Like everything else in life, you have to be taught how to ski, but unlike most of the other skills like riding a bike, this is a bit harder due to the surface you’ll be dealing with. You will first need to enroll yourself in a skiing program. It doesn’t have to be in an exclusive and expensive place like the Alpines, unless you have the money. There are many indoor ski training facilities that can be accessed easily if you know where to look.

These facilities are usually designed to mimic the real conditions of a skiing slope; you’ll be in the hands of qualified trainers who will take you through the safety measures before helping you to slowly grab everything you need to know how to move on snow on your own.

You can always carry your own equipment and clothing, but at the same time, most of these facilities do provide these items at a fee. For the best results, though, you need to buy them yourself to get the right fit. These indoor skiing facilities are in a controlled environment, and they try as much as possible to reflect what you’ll meet in the mountains later on.

Types of Skiing

To better understand skiing, you’ll need to know the types of skiing that exist so that you can choose to deal with the one you feel is more suited to your needs and style as each of them is different. The main things that set skiing types apart from one another are the type of surface and the purpose. Based on this and more, the following are some of the notable types of skiing.

Alpine Skiing

This is also called mountain or downhill skiing. It is the most popular owing to the fact that you only need to start from a higher point and let gravity handle the rest; you just need to control the speed of the descent by doing maneuvers in a zigzag fashion. To get to the top, you’ll need to be lifted by a lift while already dressed, ready for skiing. Alpine skiing is found in every high mountain resort in some of the most popular snowy parts of the world.

A ski lift system
Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

Cross-Country Skiing

Unlike alpine skiing, cross-country skiing is much cheaper and more demanding as you have to take care of all movements yourself; there’s no lift involved. This is the kind of skiing that is undertaken by people looking to attain body fitness, but it can also be mixed up with a little fun.

The boots used in this type of skiing are different too; they are much softer and lightweight as considerations are made for the distances one has to cover to reach a high point. The skis are also lighter as much of the movement is self-propelled over terrain that involves flat surfaces too. You will also need specialized cross country ski goggles for this.

Freestyle Skiing

This is a kind of skiing that is suited for the experts who have reached a level where they can pull off stunts. It is usually done by athletes and invoices varied disciplines like aerial jumping, choreographed routines called acro, jumping over bumps in a routine called moguls, and many others. Freestyle skiing is not something that a beginner can get into right away without packing years of practice and experience.

Freestyle Skiing
Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay


Rather than using two skis for each foot, snowboarding is where you use a single board like in wave surfing. Many pro skiers never consider it a form of skiing, but it works well and is much easier to pull off than normal skiing. So if you find yourself struggling to grasp skiing, then this is an option you could choose to explore. Just don’t forget to grab your snowboarding goggles.

Off-Piste Skiing

Also called backcountry skiing, this is a form of skiing where people ski on untouched snow. Usually, you don’t just ski on any snow surface that is in front of you, it may be too thin or not solid enough to hold that weight, and if you are not careful, you may be injured in the process. Off-Piste skiing is for experienced skiers who enjoy the rush they get from skiing on unstable surfaces. Only take part in this if your level of skiing has reached the intermediate region at least.

Backcountry Skiing
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Adaptive Skiing

This is a special type of skiing that is designed for people with physical disabilities through the use of highly specialized adaptive equipment. It is what is nursed by Paralympians. Every ski resort or training facility has a section designed for adaptive skiing, it is a little costlier owing to the many unique types of equipment used, but it is always worth it; everybody deserves to have fun at least once in their lives.

Skiing Gear: Must-Have Equipment and Gear for a Beginner

Ski Gear
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The journey to becoming a skiing expert begins with a simple step, and that step involves getting the right gear and equipment. The following are some of the items that must feature in your checklist.


A ski is the most essential equipment, and without it, then you are simply an individual dressed for warmth standing on top of a mountain debating between jumping and running down the slope. Skis vary in size depending on the purpose and the size of the wearer. The ones designed for beginners are made shorter with softer flexing to make handling much easier. As you bet better, the skis get longer. Most beginner skis also come with safety bindings that lock the skiing boots in place but can be removed easily during a fall.

Getting the right ski can be challenging for a newbie; therefore, always get help from the trainers and ensure every strap is locked in as directed.

Source: Pixabay


Boots are the next most important setup for a skier. Skiing boots are not the conventional leg coverings you are used to. There’s a fine balance that has to be struck between lightness and warmth. They have to keep you safe from frostbite, and at the same time, they have to have a strong outer layer that can deal with anything that comes into their way.

The most important thing you have to keep in mind when it comes to boots is that they have to fit perfectly; they shouldn’t be too right or too loose. Your feet should not have too much space to wiggle about, which may interfere with how the ski moves.

Skiing Pole

While the ski does most of the movements, it is the ski poles that ensure this movement is done in the right and safest way possible. Poles are designed for maintaining balance, steering, and stability. Skiing poles come in varying sizes depending on the experience and the height of the user.

Ski poles come really handy for cross-country skiing as they are the only things that help you move across the snow once you have put on the skiing boots. For a beginner, skiing poles can be likened to trainer wheels on a kid’s bike; they give you the confidence you need to get over the fear of falling while skiing.

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Skiing Clothes
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Skiing Clothes

Snowy areas always experience subzero temperatures, and this means that keeping warm is very vital if you ever intend to enjoy the activity. Attention has to be paid to functionality; you don’t want to get warm clothes that end up being too heavy as this will affect the experience. Skiing jackets and clothing gave to possess some of the following qualities;

Waterproof: The fabric has to be able to keep water and snow out at all times. At the same time, they have to be breathable to allow sweat to escape. The bottom line is, coming into contact with any form of moisture should be minimized.

High Collars: Skiing is a pretty fast way of movement, and this brings you face to face with cold winds; you may need to cover your neck well to avoid freezing up on your way down. Get a gear with high collars to shield your neck from cold wind drafts.

Extra Long Sleeves: These serve the same function as high collars; their main purpose is to stop any cold from sneaking into the body through open sleeves. This also stops them from running up your arm and exposing your entire arm to the elements.

Colorful: Visibility is very important when skiing. When the environment is washed in white snow, it is easy to lose sight of some objects that may be on your way. Wearing colorful clothes that are in deep contrast to the snow increases your visibility and minimizes the chances of ramming into another skier.

An Insulation Layer: Trapping the body heat inside is as important as stopping the cold from coming in. The clothes have to have an insulation layer on the inside that confines the heat your body generates inside to keep you warm all through.


Gloves don’t just keep the cold out, but they are designed to give you a good grip on skiing poles. They also keep your hands dry from being wet with sweat as this may either lead to frostbite if you are exposed or make your hands slip from the pole, which could lead to you losing your balance and tumbling down the slope. When buying gloves, make sure they are breathable, fit snugly, and have good grips on the inner surface.

Source: Pixabay
Skiing Socks
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Socks serve a lot of functions. First, they keep you warm and stop snow and water from getting into the legs if they somehow breach the boots. Socks also provide your foot with an extra layer of fabric that occupies any space left inside the boots, stopping your foot from wiggling, giving it a tight fit. Choosing the right socks is vital; if they are too big, they may result in blisters; therefore, only wear one pair of socks and get the ones that fit well with the boots you plan to use.

A Helmet

Skiing helmets are the ultimate safety equipment across all professions and sports that involve high speed. Protecting the head is important when skiing down the mountain at dizzying speeds; you never know what may happen, so preparing for anything is wise. It is mandatory to wear a helmet for your own good; find one that fits your head well, and if you have long hair, get one that is ponytail compatible so that you can tuck in the hair. A good helmet should cover your temples well to stop cold winds from freezing your face.

Skiing Helmets
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Skiing Goggles
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The light that gets reflected off the snow is very harsh, and if you don’t protect your eyes with good anti-glare goggles, you may have problems later on. Good snow sport goggles must be able to cover most of the eyes on all sides, must have sufficient nose room for breathability since you don’t want to have fog forming inside as that will reduce visibility. They should also be tinted with a coat that stops UV rays from going through. When choosing a pair of skiing goggles, make sure they are compatible with your helmet.

A Rucksack

A skiing rucksack is one of the most essential things you can have as part of your skiing gear. It is a small bag that can be used to carry necessary supplies like water, first aid kits, spare gloves, sunscreen; anything you feel may come in handy can be fit into the rucksack. The rucksack is then flung over the bag, and you can go about your activities without worrying about anything dropping out. However, don’t make it too heavy as that will affect how you ski; it should just carry the necessary items.

A Rucksack
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Source: Unsplash


Where accidents are involved, insurance has to be there. Nothing is ever guaranteed when you decide to learn skiing. Therefore, many training facilities, resorts, and tour operators always demand to see any form of insurance cover that will come through for you in case of an injury. This helps most of the blame of their back once you have signed waivers and such. Therefore, for your own good, Choose a good insurance cover first before going down this route.

Skiing Safety Tips for Every Beginner

It is easy to get carried away once you have nailed down the basics of skiing as a beginner; this is the most dangerous phase for anyone as that false confidence can lead to severe accidents. To ensure that you stay safe while skiing, the following are some of the safety tips you have to adhere to at all times.

Never Ski Alone

Always have some company with you when you go out skiing or make sure other people know where you are skiing. Many people that end up getting injured badly or worse usually get into that predicament because they chose to go alone. Locating you when injured can be really hard since moving on ice is difficult, and using aerial means is hampered by poor visibility.

Skiing in Groups
Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Exercise Beforehand

Just like any other intense activity, you will be better off being in the right state of fitness to avoid unnecessary injuries. Getting muscle cramps while speeding downslope because you forgot to stretch a little is not a good look and can end badly. Being in good shape makes you flexible and fast enough to deal with situations as they come. Your reactionary reflexes will also be top tier, which is suitable for this kind of activity.

Follow the Rules

There are rules to be observed at every skiing ground. There are trainers and safety personnel whose work is to minimize accidents, and the best way to do this is to follow the rules. Always keep to the designated trails at all times, obey the signs and always keep in mind that other skiers on the trail have the right of way.

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Know your Limits
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Know Your Limits

If you are a beginner, do beginner level things; never punch above your weight as that is the number one reason that leads to nasty accidents. Declaring your true skill level also gives the attendants and trainers reason to look over you in case of anything. If you feel the need to impress someone on the skiing track, save that for another place. The trail is not a place for games.

Take Breaks

Don’t get caught up too much in the excitement; learning should not be rushed. Take frequent breaks between sessions, and don’t make it a daily thing. Skiing is brutal to the body, and it consumes a lot of energy. Hydrate properly and eat well before and after hitting the ski trail. Never ski yourself to exhaustion because you never know what might happen in a place that is tricky and cold.

Take it Easy
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Ski Gear Shop
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Use the Right Equipment

If there’s one thing you should never do is compromise on the quality of the equipment for an activity this intense because it will be your safety on the line. It is easy to get tempted into buying second-hand gear as they are cheaper. Most times, they do work, but it is advisable to get new gear that has no faults or flaws to be safe. Everything should fit you perfectly, from helmets, snow goggles, boots, etc. Don’t get clothes and boots that are too big or too small.

Carry Some Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important when skiing; don’t make the assumption that being in a cold climate makes it safe to expose yourself to the sun. Carry some sunscreen with an SPF of 30 and above for daytime skiing. Apply that with lip balms to stop your skin from cracking due to a combination of the sun and cold winds.

Source: Pixabay
Source: Pixabay

Be Conscious of the Weather

Keep checking the weather forecast well in advance to avoid surprises. Snowy areas are very notorious for abrupt changes; things could go from calm to a blizzard storm within minutes. If you were to get caught up in such weather, you could find yourself in a very tight spot. Check the weather forecast and go prepared for anything.

Check Equipment Before and After Use

Maintaining your gear is crucial; check it before use to see if there’s anything that may require your attention. You don’t want to find out your ski has a defect while you are hurtling down a busy slope, followed by other skiers who won’t have time to dodge if you stopped. The same applies for post skiing maintenance. Clean everything before storage to ensure that they are in good condition for the next outing.

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First Aid Kit
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Learn Some First Aid Skills

You have to be knowledgeable in first aid skills so that you can be ready for anything. It doesn’t necessarily have to do with your condition; it could be someone else getting injured on the trail; you have to be able to perform emergency first aid on them as you await proper help. You should also have sufficient knowledge of what to do in case you are caught in an avalanche. Preparedness is key.


With all the tips now at your fingertips, there’s nothing left to stop you from taking that bold step and enrolling yourself into a skiing class. Finding one shouldn’t be hard for you. However, all this will hinge on the nature of the gear and equipment that you chose to take with you. Always use the best, and when it comes to gear like ski racing goggles, there’s only one place that makes the best ones in the market, and that is FETOP. So don’t hesitate to contact us and we will take you through what we offer.