Always tell the attendant at the rental shop how well you ski, or whether you’re a total beginner. The skilled personnel handing out the skis and boots and poles will match you to the proper ski, regardless of your size or sex. Then they’ll make the appropriate DIN setting on the binding .

If renting an hourglass, the beginner should start only with the very soft models specifically designed for new and low intermediate skiers. If the rental shop has such a ski, by all means grab it. Use it from the very first day. The standard length for the hourglass is slightly shorter than that recommended for regular soft-flex skis.

Boots for beginners are softer than those for experienced skiers. Do make certain the boots you’re fitted with are both snug and comfortable. A good attendant will have you put on the boots then ask you to walk around in them, wiggling your toes and lifting your heels to determine if they fit properly.

The attendant also should make certain you and your pole are matched in length for each other.

Okay, put on your boots, pick up your gear, and head for the slopes.

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