There are many different types of skiers out there, but which one do you think you are? Beginner? Powder Hound? Park Rat?
Whether you’re on a family ski holiday in the French alps, a short ski break in Austria or even on a ski season you will encounter a variety of skiers on the mountain. But… Which one are you?
The beginner is the member of the group who has never skied before. It is their first time on the slopes and will most likely be spending their holiday having ski lessons. Beginner skiers are typically easy to spot… Look out for the skiers struggling to carry their rental skis and clambering up the stairs to the bar.
Everyone will start out here so we all can relate with how hard it is to be a beginner skier.
The Après Animal
Easy to find but hard to get home… these skiers will spend most of their time in the Apres bars consuming every last drop of the local liquors. If you ever manage to see this specific type of skier before 10am then be cautious as they might be seen as hungry, tired, grumpy and with a head ache! You know… the typical hangover symptoms. But after a few ski runs and cold chairlift rides to wake them up they will be ready to ski down to another Apres Ski Bar to make the most of the great night life.
The Park Rat
Baggy ski trousers, baggy ski jacket, makes skiing look effortless… the tell tell signs of a park skier. You will find these guys spinning, flipping, twisting off massive jumps, rails, boxes and anything they can find to jump off.
Head over to the snow park and enjoy watching these guys perform incredible stunts and tricks but be warned… it is harder than they make it look!
The Snow Queen
The snow queen brings style to the slopes. Making skiing look like a walk down the cat walk. Do not under estimate these girls, they like to party hard at Apres ski and will be on the slopes the next morning elegantly gliding down the toughest of pistes with sheer elegance and composure.
Normally caught wearing ski wear from big designer brands such as Armani, Moncler, Kjus Diamond and Kask Helmet complete with fur lining…
The Fair Weather Skier
‘’Ahhh it looks like there is a bit of could. Visibility won’t be too good today, I’m going to stay in’’ This is the most common phrase said by the fair weather skier. But why would you want to ski in bad weather right? There are different extremes to this kind of skier depending on the weather.
When the weather is not the perfect beaming sun, blue skies, fresh snow from the night before with perfectly groomed pistes you will find them exploring the finer things in life. Such as relaxing in the spa, sipping some Gluhwein in a local restaurant or visiting the local shops for souvenirs.
The Powder Hound
Up at first light, hiking to get the first tracks of the day and a beard full of snow… This is every powder hounds dream! What could be better? Seeing sunrise as you hike up to a ridge with the best un touched powder. These skiers will have the widest skis and have back packs full of goodies such as snow shovels and chocolate bars. Got to keep those energy levels up when shredding powder!
Time spent off the slopes? Mostly checking weather conditions, looking through GoPro footage and looking for new spots of untouched powder.
A Grom is a prodigy of the mountain, aged between 5 years old and 15 years old. They take to snow like a fish to water and will be skiing circles around you making you feel like you have never skied before.
These young prodigies defy physics, all with dreams of becoming a professional skier. You can find them in most ski resorts but Tignes in France are leading the way with specific camps set up to improve the young guns coming through.
French Ski Resorts have specific schools where a certain amount of their classroom time is spent skiing and improving the children’s ski skills.
The local is the skier of your group who has ‘’skied every resort’’ they will tell you that they know what ever resort you are skiing in like the back of their hand. Quiet often you will end up lost on the mountain with them… Do not follow this type of skier, I repeat! DO NOT FOLLOW THEM!
Anyone can read a piste map so careful that you do not get fooled into following them.
The Real Local
This is the skier you want to follow. Someone who has skied a lot and will ski the mountain like they have lived there their whole life. They spend their evenings quietly planning a route the night before and will do the hard work for you. Typically someone who doesn’t boast about their skiing ability and likes to ski to their own limits.
Some skiers can’t handle just the one or two ski holidays a year so they decide to do a winter season! To be honest, I am very jealous! Getting to ski everyday and live in the mountains is the dream. This type of skier will end up cleaning chalets, working at bars or even in child care but will love the Apres ski, be able to ski every day and also improve their own ski skills. They wages might not be the best but you will wake up every day knowing you can go skiing!
The average age group for this type of skier is 18 years old to 26 years old with a range of ski abilities from complete beginners to advanced park skiers.
Cross Country Explorer
Cross Country / Nordic Skiing is skiing but not on the mountain side… A great way to keep fit and a great way to explore parts of the resort you might not be able to get to normally. This type of skier doesn’t need a lift pass just some thin skis, some lycra and a water bottle to stay hydrated.
This type of skiing uses two types of style, a classic style and a skating style. The classic style is gliding and going straight ahead pushing with your arms and long poles. The skating style involves a V shaped glide from one ski to the other to propel yourself forwards. A very similar movement to ice skating or roller skating.
The In-Over-Their-Head Skier
We all had to learn to ski the black diamonds at some point, but why do some people always seem to do it right below the chairlift, where everyone can see? This skier will often be crumpled in a heap, unable to keep going or even clip into the skis they lost because the DIN setting is at “beginner.” The snowboarder may be ground to a halt because they didn’t keep their speed up in the deep snow. Those on the lift will cheer the wipeout with laughter, which turns to pity when they’re still foundering in the snow on the next lift ride. The best thing you can do is holler unsolicited advice from the lift that will only make them angry. It’s the only way they’ll learn.
Catchphrase: “Can someone help me find my left ski?”
The Old School Skier
Ski technology has made amazing leaps and bounds in recent years, from fat skis for powder to super-responsive bindings. But this skier found a good pair of skinny twigs at the ski swap back in 1994 and there’s no need to replace them. Never mind that it just snowed a foot and the skis are designed for racing on groomers. They work for going downhill and that’s just fine with the old skier on too-skinny skis. After all, you should’ve seen the awkward bindings and skis they had when they were a kid!
Often heard saying “Are those powder skis you have? How much did those cost?”
The Off-Duty Ski Patrol
Nobody knows the mountain like the off-duty ski patroller, because that’s their job. You won’t see them unless the snow is deep and fresh, because why spend a day off at the office unless there’s powder? And when there is powder, the off-duty ski patroller isn’t content to ski the close stuff. They’ll hike and traverse and spend 20 minutes sniffing out snow that nobody else has even seen yet, much less skied on. They might only get five runs in, but that’s okay, because it’s about quality and not quantity.
The Selfie Sticker
What could make skiing a little more dangerous? If the skier is focusing on a camera on the end of a pole instead of where they’re going. Some people like to enjoy a day riding, reminiscing with friends or tracking their runs, but for the selfie stick rider it’s all about watching themselves skiing. Never mind that there are millions of these videos out there on the Internet, or that it never looks as epic as it felt. Their friends that can’t be there are jealous and that’s all that matters.
One of the most hated skiers on the mountain. The skier who thinks they have more rights than anyone else out there. Cuts in line on the lift ques, pushes people out of the way to get on the lift first, cuts up people on the slope, the list goes on.
There is always a snake on the mountain. Normally found stopped in the middle of the slope or under a roller, Stood in these places makes it a danger for not only them but other skiers also.
You will most commonly see them arguing with someone in a lift que for pushing through. It is best to avoid this type of skier!
The Gear Junkie
Want to know about a specific ski, jacket, pole, boot, goggle, backpack, ski pant, base layer, mitten, glove, etc., etc.? This skier can tell you the pros and cons of everything, along with where you can get the best deal. Oh, they’re only too happy to tell you what’s wrong with your stuff, too.
There are all kinds of skiing apps out there, and the Statistician knows them all. Why? Because if you’re not keeping track of the days you’ve skied, your vertical feet, your maximum and minimum speeds, slope angle, altitude, duration, and more, what can you brag about back at the lodge?
Now… This is not something I approve of but if it is your cup of tea then well great. Don’t let anyone tell you that riding down a mountain on skis that are 99 cm long held on with two clips that have no real release system is an unnecessary risk. Screw those people, if you want to shatter your leg in a billion pieces that’s your call not theirs.
The “just one more run” guy
This guy is equal parts awesome and dangerous to have as a friend on the mountain. The awesome part is that you’re always going to have someone to ski with if this guy’s in your crew. The dangerous part is he just flat out doesn’t know when to quit. Last run isn’t when you’re tired; it’s when the lifties won’t let you get back on the chair. This guy gets to the bottom of the run at the end of the day and his legs are shaking and he’s like “no I’ve got one or two more in me.”
Warning… You may find yourself on the wrong side of the mountain with this skier and the only way back to be a €150 taxi ride back. Make sure you can get the last lift home…
Now you know the different types of skiers you might meet on the mountain, what one is you? Send to your friends and let them know what type of skier they are too.
Images credit: Pixabay – no copyright infringement is intended