If you have never skied, snowboarded, or if you are returning to the slopes after a long break you probably have lots of questions about what to expect. Many people are confused by the choice of ski equipment and how a ski holiday actually works.
The advice below is designed to answer the most general questions for first timers.
You need a lift pass to ride the ski lifts, everyone needs this. You will not be able to learn to ski without a lift pass and lessons. You have the wrong idea if you think you don't need ski lifts because you have never done it. You do need to ride the lifts!
Your lift pass is what allows you to ride the ski lifts in the resorts. It is the biggest single cost factor for a snow trip. In 2010 a Thredbo "day ticket" sells for $103 (if you buy it yourself in Thredbo). Most people with Ski Kaos chose Thredbo, but not everyone. Note that Ski Kaos are wholesalers for Thredbo but not for Perisher, so the discounted prices we offer for Thredbo are far better deals.
If you are a first timer you need to book a lift & lessons pass. The lessons are 2 hours everyday and run by the ski resort's own highly-trained instructors. They are very used to people who have never even seen snow so do not worry! Lessons last 2 hours at Thredbo & Perisher. Lessons can be for skiing or snowboarding and you can even switch between them from one day to the next (but to do this you need to rent or own both sets of equipment).
On the slopes you will need ski pants and a ski jacket. These are available for rental, if you have never been before its recommended you rent these items as buying them is not cheap! You can also rent snow walk-boots (also called "après boots"), but we only recommend these if you are wanting to do a lot of playing in the snow and are not renting ski boots or snowboard boots.
Staff at the rental shop are very used to dealing with first timers to the snow. Do not worry they will look after you - they will help fit your boots, clothing, skis etc. Leave it up to the rental shop staff to fit you out.
The sun is strong when reflected off the snow so you'll need good quality sunnies - 100% UV and/or ski goggles as well as suncream. Goggles are better in foul weather and sunnies are good for nice weather days. Sunglasses are all you will need unless it starts snowing since goggles will keep the snow out of your eyes. You can buy these at the rental shop Ski Kaos uses, as well as in Jindabyne and in the ski resort. If the weather is pretty certain to be clear for the duration of your trip then goggles are not needed. At the rental shop ask the staff what the weather forecast is and also how certain it is, then ask them if you will really need goggles. Buying goggles in the ski resort is considerably more expensive.
Bring pairs of long warm thick socks as well as long thin socks so you can pick your best boot fit - everyone tends to have their own preference.
Wristguards are only ever used by snowboarders and nowadays its rare for them to be used. People have slowly realised they are not really needed, maybe 15% of snowboarders still use wristguards. Helmets are not needed for beginners, except maybe for very small children. You will not be doing summersaults or racing on your first snow trip so helmets are generally not required, although you can rent one if desired.
It really up to you. About 70% of people ski on their first time, 30% snowboard. If you have no idea and you do not have friends telling you which to try then we recommend you give skiing a go first.
Please read the section Advice for Aussie Snow Holidays for details on driving to the snow. If you have never been to the snow before we strongly advise you go on a bus trip.
Please read the section Advice for Aussie Snow Holidays for details on accommodation choices.
Feel free to ask us questions if you have any. If you book on a Ski Kaos bus trip, then on your actual holiday the tour guide can assist with questions, queries, advice and their extensive local knowledge etc. You won't have to worry about a thing as our bus trips take care of it all for you.