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Expert Advice

You are bound to have some questions about returning to the slopes after taking a break. We turn to three professionals for their expert advice.

Petra Hutter-Tillian © SBSSV
Petra Hutter-Tillian © SBSSV
Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer © SALK Unterhauser
Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer © SALK Unterhauser
Martin Wulschnig © Ski- & Sportschule Wulschnig
Martin Wulschnig © Ski- & Sportschule Wulschnig

The ideal preparation

Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer
University Institute of Sports Medicine at the Paracelsus Private Medical University in Salzburg

As a sports medicine specialist, how would you advise to prepare for skiing after a longer break?
Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer: After a break it is especially important to be able to judge your own constitution and ability. A sports medicine specialist can run tests and give you individual advice.

What about pre-season training?
Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer: Regular exercise is highly advisable. The fitter you are for winter, the safer you will be on the slopes and the more you will enjoy it. Targeted training also reduces muscle ache and strains.

Which benefits can you look forward to when taking up skiing again?
Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer: Skiing is an endurance sport that trains the muscles and cardiovascular system. According to a survey we conducted, skiers are active one third of the time they are on the slopes, which will further increase as the lifts become even more efficient. The soft powder and sharp turns can get you working up a healthy sweat. It's just fun, being up in the mountains with friends!

Better, safer and more affordable equipment

Martin Wulschnig
Carinthian Ski School Association

Mr. Wulschnig, in what way has equipment developed for those returning to the slopes?
Martin Wulschnig: It is much easier for someone to go back to skiing after a break than it used to be. Nowadays there is a top range of equipment to hire at the resorts, rather than having to bring it all along. My advice is to reserve your gear online before you leave, saving you time on your first day. You can just collect it and head straight for the slopes.

What happens if you get the wrong skis or the boots are too tight?
Martin Wulschnig: You can exchange equipment without a problem at most rentals. The advantage of hiring skis is that they are always the latest models and can be exchanged if the snow conditions change.

And the cost?
Martin Wulschnig: You should budget from 99 - 200 Euro per week for a decent set of skis, boots, poles and helmet, depending on the type of model you go for.

A relaxing mountain experience

Petra Hutter-Tillian
Ski Instructors Association Salzburg

What do holidaymakers expect from a Ski Again package?
Petra Hutter-Tillian: According to surveys, they are looking for good instruction, real experiences and innovation. These are qualities they will find in Austria without a doubt.

People often seem to think returning to the slopes would involve too much hassle. What would you say?
Petra Hutter-Tillian: In Austria the conditions for refreshing your skills are better than ever before. The equipment has greatly improved and carving skis make it quick to learn. Thanks to their length, they are easy to turn and reduce the risk of injury. With an average fitness level you can expect to feel confident in just 3 days.

How can you guarantee it's a relaxing experience?
Petra Hutter-Tillian: There used to be a pressure to get as many runs in as possible. Nowadays the focus is on fun, the feeling of being active in the mountains, absorbing the fresh air and the peace and calm. There are ski passes and ski school offers, which give you the freedom of choosing four out of six days. So if you need a break you can go snowshoe hiking, cross-country skiing, tobogganing, or treat yourself to a spot of wellness for the day.