Alas! I can finally tick-off skiing from my bucket list. Not that my skiing skills are something to be proud of but this winter activity has been on my list for a long time already. This tropical girl, born under the sun, finally got her hands on these skiing gears and that, my friend, is something that I can rejoice– for now. For the skills? Well, I guess I can improve that later on.
My first skiing experience was a fun and a memorable one— all thanks to the beautiful snow-coated Pamporovo which welcomed me with a heavy snowfall the moment I stepped out of the car. How did it know I was anticipating for snow? Prayers, I guess.
Pamporovo: a popular destination for winter activity
This ski-resort in Bulgaria is one of the most popular go-to resorts for tourists and locals when in Southeast Europe. Located in the Smolyan Province, Pamporovo holds different trails for beginners and pros. Not only for skiing but snowboarding enthusiasts can also enjoy the thick snow the resort is offering. Don’t have skiing equipment? Not a problem! The resort has a plethora of skiing equipment or gears for rent. I was lucky enough because Dimi had connections and I was able to get my equipment for free! In fact, my entire skiing experience didn’t even cost a cent. Ski pants, boots, skis and poles.. they were all borrowed from Dimitar and his uncle, who was also my ski instructor for the day. YAY! Million thanks! By the way, can you keep a secret? The ski pants are actually Dimitar’s ski pants when he was still 12 years old. Yikes! Who would have thought that 10 years later, his girlfriend will be wearing it? HAHA!
Unfortunately, I cannot give you a detailed introduction about the resort so I’m just going to leave this job to the “rightful one” a.k.a. the resort’s marketing and advertising team. So here it is! If you want to learn more about Pamporovo and its prices, you can check their site: https://pamporovo.me/en/ . It contains information about hotels and where to stay in Pamporovo, and live cam and interactive maps for further planning. If you check out the site, you’ll also know that Pamporovo is not only a winter wonderland but a summer destination, as well.
This is just the foot of the resort. Beginners can practice here before they ascend to the “mighty” trails.
Skiing in 4 easy steps.. or not.
#1. Gear up
- Ski Boots
So as a first-timer, I literally had no idea where to start and what to do but apparently, the first thing to do is to put on my ski boots. Duh! But you know what’s the most interesting part? Walking with the boots. It felt like I was holding my shit because I couldn’t even walk with straight knees. I can’t even spell AWKWARD that time. #struggleisreal
- Skis/ Bindings
Getting used to walking with the boots was just the first step. Little did I know, a lot of embarrassing moments were waiting for me as I stepped on the skis. I can’t even push hard enough to lock the skis to my boots! The ski instructor and Dimi had to help me out and I looked like an idiot in front of those kids. HAHA! Then, I literally forgot I was stepping on slippery ice until I started sliding downhill. Guess what? Dimi and the ski instructor to the rescue again!
#2. Walk like a crab
You thought that sliding down was the next step, right? WRONG! For starters, learning how to walk with your skis and poles is an essential part of this winter activity because, for the record, IT IS NOT FREAKING EASY TO WALK ON ICE! One of the ways to save yourself from sliding down the slope is to walk sideways.. like a crab! It takes a whole lot of time that I felt I spent most of my time walking like a crab than skiing.
So this is me when I decided that the best way NOT to slide is to pretend I’m a pole and not move at all.
Finally! After learning how to walk like a crab (without looking like an idiot), I practiced skiing down. I wish I can say that I took the advanced slope but I can’t. What I can say are…
- For the proper posture, you have to bend wide enough and push your upper body forward.
- Pushing the poles harder and more often can increase your speed.. so for starters, don’t be too obsessed on your skiing pole or else you’ll end up kissing the cold ice.
- First time in ski? Don’t worry, shaky legs are just normal. We all know that skiing is not an easy sport but if you let fear eat you, how will you learn? Trust me– it gets better the second, third, and fourth time. Just ski and ski until you can ski! Which brings us to our last step…
#4 Learn when to stop
Knowing when to stop is as important as learning how to ski. There were two types of skiers that I observed while in the ski resort in Pamporovo:
- Skiers who wait for the momentum to slow down
- Skiers who gracefully stop when they have to
Which one do you prefer? Obviously, those who wait will eventually crash, fall and get injured.
To stop, make a “V” where the front end of your ski is facing towards each other. This is why spreading your legs wide enough is important so that when you have to stop, you can easily make a “V” with your skis. If you come to think of it, this last step is important in every winter activity– skiing, skateboarding, and ice skating, right?
But when all else fails… another important thing to learn is HOW TO FALL.
I think falling is mandatory when skiing because no matter how careful you are, you will eventually fall. I was EXTRA careful not to fall but when I finally gained confidence in my skiing, I fell. So the best thing to do is to avoid any serious injuries by falling on your side— not backward and most especially not forward. Remember this mantra (I just made it up though):
“Fall to your side and then get back on track. Using your poles is a hack”
Definitely, skiing in Pamporovo is my favorite winter activity and I wish I had the entire
week winter season to ski. Some of the things I wrote may not be “professionally” correct since I’m just relying on what I learned from this experience. Anyway, I hope this post will give you enough reasons why you should try it too!
If you like this post, don’t forget to PIN and SHARE the image below and let others know why skiing in Pamporovo is my favorite. Maybe you can share your own experience in the comments section too?