Get Inspired: How to get into Skiing

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BBC Get Inspired - Kelly Gallagher & Charlotte Evans
Fast Answers
Why get into skiing?Nothing beats spending a day outside having fun, getting fit and being surrounded by beautiful, snowy scenery.
Who is it for?There are so many different types of skiing, that there is literally something for everyone.
Is there a cheap option?Dry ski slopes and indoor snow sport centres in the UK offer equipment hire, taster sessions and lessons that can be low cost.
What if I want a proper workout?Skiing is the perfect option, you can burn up to 500 calories an hour.
Can I take it to another level?Try alpine racing or enter a mass participation cross country ski event abroad.
Is there a disability option?Inclusive skiing has many variations to suit a range of disabilities.
Is there a family option?Most ski schools will accept children from around four years of age.

Skiing offers fun and thrills regardless of your ability, and for the more serious skier it can also demand strength and stamina. With a network of indoor snow centres and outdoor ski slopes across the UK, it's not hard to find somewhere to give it a go.

Find your local centre in England,Wales or Scotland to get yourself on the slopes. The Ski Club of Northern Ireland has a useful Facebook page too. There's also loads of information at Disability Snowsport for anyone looking for inclusive skiing.

Alpine skiing

It doesn't have to be fast and furious

Many people in the UK learn the basics of alpine skiing on dry ski slopes or at indoor snow centres which offer lessons and equipment rental. For real snow, head to Scotland or Europe, where you'll discover pistes for all levels of ability. If you want to try racing, alpine skiing has different events, including downhill and slalom. The downhill is for speed freaks and the slalom for master turners.

Disability skiing

mono skiing

Skiing is open to all and anyone with a disability, may it be learning, sensory or physical, can ski alongside other people. It can be a life enhancing activity for individuals or groups who require adaptive equipment and/or special instruction and support. Disability Snowsport UK has loads of advice about getting involved. They offer lessons, recreational adaptive skiing with local groups and a race league which is open to people with or without a disability.

Freestyle skiing

Freestyle skiing (slopestyle) involves jumps and rails

Freestyle skiing consists of slopestyle, halfpipe, ski cross, moguls and aerials. It's designed to be as much fun as it is exercise and with the increase of indoor snow centres in the UK, you don't have to go abroad to give it a try. It appeals to thrill seekers and is often one of the most intense sports you can compete in. The acrobatic nature of the various disciplines helps to tone the core muscle group and a day's worth of skiing can burn over 3,000 calories.

Cross country skiing

Cross country skiing appeals to all ages

Cross-country skiing is the marathon of the Winter Olympics world. It can be beautiful, rewarding and peaceful. But it is also physically demanding. Snowsport England have produced a guide on how to get into the sport and offer roller skiing sessions which are ideal to learn the basics when there's limited snow. Scotland is home to a number of cross country ski clubs.

Ski jumping

Ski jumping requires nerves

Ski jump is a complex, daring sport, which requires a great deal of skill and technique to compete successfully. Flexibility is key. Jumps also require strong balance, solid stamina and muscle mass. There are no fully fledged ski jump facilities in the UK, so to try the sport for real you will have to head to continental Europe. Contact the Snowsport association in your area to find a regional development officer who you can speak to first and find out what help is available.

Nordic combined

Nordic Combined

This men-only Olympic discipline combines ski jumping and cross-country skiing over two days. It starts with a ski jump competition and finishes on day two with a race for the gold medal on the cross-country ski course. To become a Nordic combined athlete you will have to head abroad to one of Europe's dedicated ski jump facilities, but get in touch with your regional development officer first to see what help is available. Snowsport England recommends taking out an insurance policy before you begin.

Skiing for Juniors

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Primary kids on the piste

Skiing is fun to learn at any age, but the energy and flexibility of youth make it even easier for kids. Snowsport centres and dry ski slopes around the country offer lessons to children as young as three years old! For information about competition skiing for young people, contact your local snowsport association.

Volunteering and Coaching

volunteer in the snow sweeping the course

Whether you have been a keen skier in the past or just have an interest in developing talent, coaching opportunities are available. Find out about becoming a coach in England,Northern Ireland,Wales and Scotland. You can also try Sports Coach UK.

For volunteering opportunities in Scotland visit Snow Sport Scotland and Volunteer Scotland. For other regions visit JoinInUK and Volunteer Now in Northern Ireland, who can help you find a club that needs your attention.

Aspire to be like: Kelly Gallagher

Kelly Gallagher

What's next?

1. Go to our Activity Finder to get into skiing near you.

2. Find local skiing opportunities in Scotland,Wales,Northern Ireland and England.

3. Share your story and inspire others.

Are you inspired to try skiing? Or maybe you are a keen enthusiast already? Get in touch and tell us your experience of the sport by tweeting us on @bbcgetinspired, visiting us on Facebook or email us on

See our full list of activity guides for more inspiration.