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Ski Extras: What do I need?

Sep 21, 2018

Ski Extras: What do I need?

When buying a skiing holiday a basic package may include your flights, accommodation and catering dependent on your requirements. But what are the ‘Extras’ that you need so that you can actually go skiing? A simplistic answer is:

  • Lift Pass
  • Ski Equipment (Boots, Helmet, Skis and Poles)
  • Ski Clothing
  • Ski Lessons

You may then ask, what exactly are these and why do I need these things? New to skiing? - you may enjoy our 'Tips for Beginners Guide'.


Lift Pass

A Lift Pass; why do I need one?

Lift passes activate the barriers at the foot of chair lifts so that you can climb the altitude without physically climbing the mountain. A chairlift may take 10 to 15 minutes to take you to the top of a mountain and should leave you with lots of energy to ski back down – we highly recommend purchasing lift passes unless you’re super-fit and love a challenge!

A lift pass; what does it look like?

A lift pass is often a little credit card sized card that fits either into a pocket on your ski clothing or attaches to the outside of it. Often in Europe these will be generic cards with an issue number on them whereas in America you may have a unique card with a photograph on it.

A lift pass; how does it work?

The lift pass is typically placed inside your ski jacket sleeve pocket close to your left wrist. For those who don’t have such a pocket it typically placed inside the left ski jacket pocket or the left salopette pocket. At the base of a chair lift the skier will walk up to the barrier where the barrier will ‘read’ the activated card and let the skier through. Lift passes can be used to track your progress on the mountain by using apps.

Ski Lift

Ski Equipment

Ski equipment consists of Ski Boots, Skis, Poles and a Helmet. Ski equipment is typically hired by skiers in resort and can be changed as required throughout your stay. Hear our thoughts on 'Ski Gear: To Buy or Hire?'.

Ski Boots

The Ski Boots are rigid by design and clip into the bindings which are attached to the Skis. Ski boots, if fitted properly will be closely connected to the foot and ankle which will help to give control over the ski. There is a comfort/ control tradeoff with boots. See also 'Ski Boots: Choosing the ones that are right for you'


Skis are two long ‘planks’ that are attached to the skiers feet through ‘bindings’. Skis distribute the skiers weight over a larger area to prevent the skier from sinking into the snow.

Ski Poles

Ski poles are not strictly necessary but help on flatter terrain and can also help with balance when getting to more advanced levels. When hiring ski equipment poles typically are included as standard.

Ski Helmet

A helmet protects your head in case of a fall or collision. A bit like a bike or climbing helmet it is designed to sacrifice itself and preserve your head. Helmets with cracks or large scratches should be replaced immediately as the integrity of the helmet (and therefore its protection) is compromised. Most skiers choose to buy their own helmet but if you’re unsure about whether you’re going to like the sport they are readily available to hire in resort. 

Ski Equipment

Ski Clothing; what do I need?

The basic ski clothes that you will need on a skiing holiday are Salopettes (Ski Trousers); Ski Jacket; Ski Gloves and Ski Socks. All should have thermal qualities and the Salopettes, Ski Jacket and Ski Gloves should be waterproof too. Other items that we would recommend would be base layers (thermal underwear) as well as fleeces. Should you have a tendency to get cold hands we would also suggest glove liners which give you an extra layer of insulation. You may also wish to consider wearing a hat or balaclava underneath your ski helmet. It is sometimes possible to hire ski clothing but check before you go – most will bring there own ski clothing.

Need a checklist, check out our 'Ski Checklist'.

Ski Lessons

If you've not skied before, we definitely recommend them! Ski lessons will teach you what you need to know to get down the mountain safely. 

Don't want to do it on your own?

Spice UK organise ski holidays throughout the ski season and specialise in bringing individuals together to enjoy that 'Group Skiing Expierience'. Check out the holiday program here: https://www.spiceuk.com/eventsholidays.aspx/?search=ski 


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