Winter Or Summer We’ve Got You Covered 

16 Skiing Myths Debunked

Skiers are some of the best storytellers I know. Frankly, I can’t wait until I’ve got grey hair and can start telling old man stories to my friends and grandkids. There are a lot of common misconceptions in skiing, and in this post, I’m going to debunk them.

Let’s do some Myth Busting!


Myth: Skiing is Only for Athletes

Debunked: Skiing is for anyone willing to learn. I taught skiing for many years, and although athletes (especially those who ice skate) will pick up the sport faster, everyone, even the most uncoordinated, can learn and become an amazing skier. It’s all about putting hours on the snow and learning proper technique at your own pace.


Marriott Basin Ski Touring, Duffy Lake, Pemberton BC


Myth: Only Expert Skiers Can Backcountry Ski

Debunked: With proper terrain choice, gear, and training, even intermediate skiers can safely enjoy the backcountry. I wouldn’t recommend backcountry skiing for complete beginners, though. The better you are at skiing, the more opportunity you will have for getting more adventurous in the backcountry. Being a competent tree skier is a good precursor for backcountry skiing because you will often have to navigate some tree terrain on the way down as you pass through the subalpine. If you’re an intermediate skier, just be mindful of the terrain you’re climbing up and turn around before you think you can’t ski down.


Marriott Basin Ski Touring, Duffy Lake, Pemberton BC


Myth: You Can Only Ski In The Winter

Debunked: While most skiing occurs in winter, some glaciers and high-altitude resorts offer year-round skiing. Mt Hood in Oregon and Whistler Blackcomb often offer glacial skiing into the summer. Unfortunately, with the increased speed of planetary warming, summer skiing is becoming less available in an effort to protect these beautiful glaciers.


Myth: Skiing Isn’t a Cardiovascular Workout

Debunked: If you ain’t sweating, are you really skiing? Skiing is one of the most intense HIT workouts in the world. This opinion is coming from a guy who works out a lot. Oftentimes, intermediate skiers who haven’t begun playing around in trees, bumps, and carving super hard don’t experience the same cardiovascular workout as more expert skiers. Skiing engages various muscles and requires cardiovascular endurance, especially during longer runs and varied terrain. If you’re still not convinced that skiing is good exercise, check this out. 



Myth: Skiing is Extremely Dangerous

Debunked: There is no denying the dangers of mountain sports. Statistically, more people are injured driving to the mountain than on the mountain itself. Injuries are always going to happen, but with proper technique, appropriate gear, and sensible terrain choices, the risk of serious injury decreases significantly.


Myth: Skiing is only For the Rich

Debunked: Skiing isn’t cheap, but it’s not just reserved for the rich. I make little to no money and ski all the time. It’s all about priorities. Of course, gear and lift passes add up, but they are investments in an entire year of entertainment. I don’t go out to bars, I don’t go to movies, I don’t eat out, I ski. By shifting what you prioritize, skiing all of a sudden becomes more affordable. If you want to learn more, I’ve written an awesome guide on how to ski cheap.


Hiking up Terminator One at Kicking Horse mountain Resort


Myth: You Need to Start Skiing at a Young Age to Be Good.

Debunked: This is so far from the truth. Some of the best skiers and riders I know started in young adulthood. I’ve got buddies two years in who are already throwing double backflips. Learning later in life is absolutely possible, and I even had the pleasure of teaching a 70-year-old to ski! Everyone can do it. Older people tend to be a little more fearful, but once they get over fear, they are super quick learners.


Myth: Skiing Isn’t Accessible to People with Disabilities

Debunked: Adaptive skiing programs and equipment cater to individuals with disabilities, making skiing inclusive for all. I used to volunteer with Vancouver Adaptive snow sports, and the students and athletes always blew my mind. If you’ve never seen Trevor Kennison ride, check him out; he’s a full sender and a huge inspiration.



Myth: Skiing is Only for the Young and Fit.

Debunked: Skiing is for all ages and fitness levels. Heck, if you’re out of shape, skiing is a fun way you can get in shape without settling for a gym. My personal goal is to still be making pow turns when I’m 80 years old.


Myth: You Need to Be Fearless to be an Expert Skier

Debunked: Fear is natural; I get scared all the time. If you don’t believe me, watch me ski this spooky line at Kicking Horse. Skiing can be scary, but the great thing is that by learning at your own pace and gradually progressing onto scarier terrain, it helps you overcome your fear.



Myth: Skiing in Cold Weather is Always Freezing.

Debunked: With the right gear and proper layering, you’ll rarely feel uncomfortably cold on the mountain. I ski so hard I’m often sweating, removing layers, and opening my vents to manage moisture.


Myth: Skiing in Powder is Easy

Debunked: Powder skiing is the best feeling in the world. Experienced skiers make riding in powder look breezy, but it takes practice. Powder skiing involves an entirely different ski technique that takes many skiers and riders some time to learn. But once you nail the powder turn, life will never be the same.




Myth: All Ski Instructors Are Experts.

Debunked: Not all instructors are experts, but they’re certified to teach. In Canada, there are four different ski instructor levels. Most instructors tend to be level 1 or 2, like me! Most instructors are incredible skiers, but as long as you’re capable of linking turns, you can become certified to teach others how to turn. Ski resorts match the experience of their ski instructors with the experience level of the riders they will be teaching.


Myth: New & Expensive Ski Gear Will Help You Ski Better

Debunked: Quality gear is important, but technology doesn’t really change rapidly in the ski world. As long as you’re skiing on some shaped skis, you’ll be in the clear. My recommendation is always to use affordable gear when you’re starting off and upgrade here and there as you progress. It’s nice treating yourself to new skis or goggles when needed. It’s also great to have an understanding of your ski style and terrain preferences before you invest in quality gear for the next decade.



Myth: Skiing is Purely a Physical Sport

Debunked: Skiing requires mental focus and technique as much as physical strength. It’s a combination of skill and strategy. I’m constantly mapping out lines, assessing snow conditions, and thinking about the turns I’m etching into the slope. Try skiing through the trees without thinking just a little bit; you won’t last very long before you bite some bark.


Myth: You Must Ski Fast to Enjoy the Sport.

Debunked: Skiing at any speed can be enjoyable. It’s deeply personal and is about what you want to get out of the experience. If you prefer cruising, or you prefer mach chicken, it doesn’t matter, do what feels good.


Let me know in the comments of any other Myths you can help me Debunk! 

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