Carrying your ski equipment (Skis and ski poles):
There are a few options available depending on circumstances when it comes to carrying your equipment. The first thing to note is that you always hold your skis with the ski tips (the front of the ski) upwards and when you are stationary you place the tail (the back) of the ski on the ground. Your skis will have ‘ski brakes’ that provide two functions. The first is to hold you skis together when you carry them and store them and the second is to stop the skis sliding away from you on the snow if they release whilst skiing. When carrying your skis insure that the brakes are holding the skis together as they are designed to do. Whenever you carry your skis it is normal for you to hold your 2 ski poles in one hand, if you are right handed hold the poles in your left hand and visa versa if you are left handed. We will presume you are right handed for these instructions.
1. If you are travelling a short distance:
(EG: Under 100 meters) then it is advisable to just pick up the skis with your right hand roughly between the tips of the skis (the front) and the ski bindings (the apparatus on the top of the skis that ‘clamp’ your boots in place). You can then walk whilst using the skis as a form of ‘walking stick’, lifting them up and putting them down as you go. Try not to ‘bang’ the skis down hard on the ground when you walk like this as if there is no snow then you might cause damage to the skis. A variation on this short distance approach is to hold the skis directly by the bindings which provide a ‘natural’ handle. This can cause problems with the skis coming apart but it’s worth a try if you struggle to get your hands to reach around the 2 skis.
2. If you are travelling a longer distance:
Then placing the skis on your shoulder is the only option. The first thing to insure is that when you lift the skis onto your shoulder there is no one directly behind you. If there is, move away, otherwise you might hit them with your skis. Again, holding the ski poles in your left hand, place the skis on the ground directly behind the right side of your body. Reach around with your right hand and grab the ski just below the ski tip. Pull the ski against your right shoulder and ‘lever’ it over your shoulder keeping your grip in the same place at all times. The front part of the ski binding should always rest just behind your shoulder and the tail of the ski should be angled upwards to avoid collisions with other people when you turn around. With your poles in your left hand you can now walk. When you come to putting the skis down again, it is important to check behind you, and then slowly lower the tip of the ski down behind your body in a reverse motion of when you picked it up.
Now you can carry your skis in a safe and confident manner. These foundations will carry you in good stead during your future in the sport of skiing.
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Next time in beginners ski tips, I will start to discuss the first time you put on your skis.