Getting on and off the ski lift can be a scary thing. The giant chair scooping people up the mountain on skis or snowboards is pretty intense for your first time. But with a little practice, a brave heart, and these easy steps you'll master it in no time.
Whether you're skiing or snowboarding, the best step to learn either is to master the bunny slope first. These smaller lifts are great to practice on; they move a bit slower than the big one and they are meant for getting the motions down.
Getting On With Skiis
For skiing: Clip your boots into your skis, grab your poles if you like to use them, and scoot forward. One thing to know is that the taller the mountain you're going down, the faster the line will go because the lift is moving faster. Another reason why the bunny slope is great to learn on is that once it's your turn, the chair lift guide will tell you to move up. Use your poles to glide your way to the lifting spot. There will be a marked line where you should stop and you do so by using your poles.
If you're riding alone, your poles can be on either side of you. Turn your head over your shoulder, keeping your skis pointed forward. Bend your knees slightly because the chair lift will give them a gentle kick to put you in the seated position. As the chair approaches, you may want to reach for the bars on the side for assistance. Once the seat hits your knees you can sit down. Pull the metal bar down over you like a seat belt and you're on your way to the trails. Make sure to not rock the chair. Sit steady and be patient until you get to the top.
Getting On With A Snowboard
For snowboarding: Release your back foot from its binding, making sure your front foot is still fastened tightly. The back foot helps you push forward on flat snow. Be sure to fold down the back part of the rear binding to prevent it from breaking by the weight of the chair when you sit down.
Skate to the chairlift by putting your back foot in the front or back of the board, whichever you prefer. Get in line and wait for the operator to move you forward. Make sure to point the nose of your board uphill. Then place your back foot on the heel side, toes pointed forward. Your board will sit behind your leg in an X position.
Look behind you as the chair approaches and bend your knees slightly so the chair won't knock you over. When it's right behind you, sit down and it will grab you and move you forward. Lift the nose of the board slightly to avoid it from hanging behind you. You can rest the board on your free foot.
Getting Off With Skiis
Thankfully, getting off is much easier than getting on. Once you get to the top of the hill, make sure your skis are pointed up as high as you can get them. Use those calf muscles to get them up there. The stomp pad will flatten them out on the snow giving you the opportunity to stand up. Once your feet are planted on the snow all you'll need to do is give yourself a graceful push from the chair to propel you forward and down the small slope.
Getting Off With A Snowboard
It's similar to skiing. Use the foot you have clipped in to point your board in a straight line behind you. Lift that foot up and place the free foot on the board. Use your hands to push you forward with both feet on the board. You'll be off the chair in no time.
Take On the Chair Lift
Now it's time to take these words into action. Go master the chair lift and enjoy your ride down. Just know that everything takes practice so even if you don't get it the first time, don't get discouraged, sometimes it takes a few runs.