Becoming a pro skier isn’t easy, but it’s also not impossible. Every season, new skiers appear on the professional circuit, and we all need to start somewhere. With enough practice and focus, anything is possible!
I’ve been skiing since I was a kid and have known a few professional skiers over the years. While I’m not a pro, I consider myself an expert skier. I know what it takes to reach the highest levels of the sport.
This post will provide you with some tips to help you become a pro skier. While I obviously can’t guarantee you will go pro after following this advice, I know that every pro skier has followed the tips and tricks mentioned below.
Let’s jump into it.
What is a Pro Skier?
Before looking at what it takes to become a professional, it’s important to understand exactly what a pro skier is. In a broad sense, a pro skier is anyone who gets paid to ski in one way or another.
Some pro skiers are pretty famous and make a living skiing. Other pros still get paid to ski but might not make enough money to live off of all year round.
Some professionals compete in well-known events like the Winter Olympics and X-Games. Others are professionals because they stick to the backcountry and earn recognition through ski movies and magazines.
Just because you are an advanced or expert skier, that doesn’t make you a pro. Skiing needs to be the top priority in life, and you need to make some money doing it if you want to be considered a professional.
How to Become a Pro Skier
As I mentioned earlier, there is no guaranteed way to become a pro skier. You need to be really talented at skiing, but you also need to have some luck along the way to reach the top. Here are some tips and tricks that can help.
1. Ski As Much As Possible
One thing all pro skiers have in common is that they ski as much as possible. And they probably have been doing that since they were kids. You need to get out in the snow as much as possible to stand a chance at becoming a pro.
The more time you spend skiing, the better you will become. Even if you have a natural talent for the sport, you need to take the time to perfect your skills and improve. There is no better way to do this than getting on the snow.
There are many different ways to approach your time on the snow. Most serious skiers who eventually become professional live for the snow, and skiing is their favorite activity. They get on the slopes every chance they get, regardless of weather or snow conditions.
Some skiers travel all over the world to have opportunities to ski year-round. When winter ends in the northern hemisphere, they will head to the southern hemisphere to live in a perpetual winter season.
Living near a ski resort is an excellent way to help you ski as much as possible. Many professional skiers grew up close to a resort or live by one currently. This will help you train and stay active more than average skiers.
2. Take Lessons/Have a Mentor
Another thing most pro skiers do is take lessons when they are young and have a mentor who teaches and guides them along the way. This is a crucial aspect of becoming a really good skier because to be the best, you need to learn from the best.
I always recommend that beginner skiers take lessons, but even experienced skiers can benefit from skiing with highly skilled people. This will help you push yourself out of your comfort zone, allowing you to develop skills and techniques better than you could on your own.
Some of the best skiers in the world are naturally gifted, and they might not need years of lessons to improve. But nearly every one of these skiers has a mentor that has pushed them to become better at some point during their career.
Lessons are easy to find and sign up for, but finding a mentor isn’t always straightforward. Most mentors are found through word of mouth or meeting randomly on the ski slopes. Always connect with other skiers when you have the opportunity.
3. Pick a Skiing Style to Focus On
While professional skiers are pretty good at any type of skiing, most have a specific skiing style that they focus on for competitions or professional life. The sooner you pick your preferred style, the more focus you can put on it.
If you want to be a professional ski racer, you need to start ski racing early and learn all of the techniques and skills required. You also need to have race-specific ski gear that will help you go as fast as possible.
If you want to become a professional freestyle skier, you need to spend plenty of time in the terrain park working on your aerial maneuvers and other tricks specific to this skiing style.
Even if you want to pursue several different disciplines, you should have a specialty that you focus on most of the time. This will help you excel in that skiing style and give you the best chances of becoming a pro.
4. Networking/Brand Building
Networking is another essential aspect of becoming a pro skier. The more people you know in the ski industry, the better off you will be. You never know who might be a potential sponsor or work for a ski brand that can hook you up.
Whenever there is a competition or ski event, make the most of it. Talk to as many new people as you can to develop relationships that might pay off. You want to connect with other skiers, but all types of people are out there who can become a part of your network.
Similar to networking, you also want to focus on brand building. This is easier than ever with the increased use of social media as a marketing tool. If you build a large following through social media, you can have a more extensive reach for fans, connections, and potential sponsors.
Networking and brand building are essential for pro skiers, especially if you want to make consistent money. Sponsors want skiers with a broad reach, and all sorts of people are out there to help you achieve the goal of becoming a pro.
On top of becoming the best skier you can, finding a mentor, and building your brand, you should also understand what the life of a pro skier looks like. You will constantly be traveling in search of good snow or competitions, and you need to be comfortable with that.
Being a pro skier isn’t always as glamorous as it sounds. There are plenty of struggles and challenges along the way, and it’s not always as simple as getting paid to ski endless lines of deep powder.
But if you have the motivation, skills, and mindset to dedicate your life to the sport, becoming a pro skier is more than possible. And you’ll never know if you don’t try!