5 Mistakes Made by Every Skier and Boarder

Every skier and boarder will make at least one of these mistakes.

Progression is the key to becoming a mountain Jedi but to get to that point we must all make the same mistakes. Maybe Albert Einstein was referring to the trials of mastering skiing when he said “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new” or maybe he was referring to physics or something. Either way we have all probably committed these sins on the way to making us better riders…

Forgotten your lift pass


The lift pass is your key to the mountain. It unlocks the doors to the lifts and just like any other key it is useless when left at home in another pocket or on a table. For those who can remember photo passes there was always the chance you could get away without one if you were prepared to risk it.

Since the introduction of the electronic pass your only option is to jump the turnstiles or go back to the chalet and retrieve it.

With the advent of the barrier system a more prevalent mistake of placing the pass in the wrong pocket has arisen. Fortunately most people on the mountains are on holiday and are therefore tolerant of this faux pas and the scorn that a similar misdemeanour would be greeted with on the London Underground is avoided.

Not going back to ski school

Would you give up driving lessons once you mastered turning left and going forward? Would it be sensible to abandon learning the skills required to parachute at the point when all you knew was how to jump but not which cord to pull? No!

Many people naturally get better but like with most things there is always room for improvement and new techniques to learn. So why do so many skiers never return to ski school?

The people that you wish you looked like on the slopes are the ones who are always looking for ways to improve and they do this by taking courses and getting tuition from experienced instructors. Not just getting some advice from their mate who has done 2 more weeks skiing than they have.


Freestyle Touring Ladies retreat with Emily Sarsfield


Lying when renting/buying kit


You are in the hire shop and the cool looking ski technician asks you how good you are at skiing. “I’m okay” is your response. The technician find this response unhelpful so they give you the options of beginner, intermediate, advanced or expert.

Your skiing experience flashes through your mind: 2 sessions at the dry slope, a week with school 6 years ago and 1 week with your ex that was mostly spent arguing. Your response to the technician is “advanced”. You now have to spend the week with kit that is way to advanced for you and hinders your enjoyment just so you could impress someone you have never met before and who knew all along you needed beginner skis.

This is even worse if done when buying your own klit as you will have to live with it for a long time.

Falling over on a drag lift

It is hard to know which is the most embarrassing part of falling off a button tow. Is it the scrambling to get out of the way, the collecting of kit as others pass or could it be when you arrive at the top 10 minutes after your mates to a round of applause.

There are many factors that can cause you to disembark the Poma early and it can happen to  beginner and experienced riders. That doesn’t stop it being anymore humiliating.

Wimped out at the wrong time


This could be one of the biggest mistakes we all make and is probably why many people injure themselves. To drop off a cliff no matter how small, you need to be committed as aborting when you should be building speed and getting ready to tuck up will result in a less impressive tumble down a cliff.

The same goes for the park when you are hitting a kicker or popping onto a rail. A speed check on the takeoff can result in landing on the top of the jump or connecting with the rail in the wrong place.

Even as a beginner you need to commit and not wimp out. Controlling your speed is an important aspect of skiing which is achieved through turning. We have all had the feeling of going too fast that is accompanied by the fear of not making the next turn that develops into confusion resulting in leaning back and a yard sale.


We can’t teach you to remember your lift pass but we can build your confidence and improve your technique. Take a look at our performance courses. 

What is a Performance Course? from TTR Group on Vimeo.