24 ski hacks the Fall-Line team swear by

From money savers to ingenious gear tricks, here’s 24 tips Fall-Line’s skiing experts live by


Zermatt lets kids ski for free | Zermatt Begbahnen / Michael Portmann
Zermatt lets kids ski for free | Zermatt Begbahnen / Michael Portmann
  • If you’re organising a trip with old or young people and you’re choosing between resorts, check the lift pass discounts. Some resorts have great child discounts, others want to encourage oldies. For instance, Zermatt has no discount for oldies at all, yet children ski free till they’re nine. – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • To get extra value, pick a resort where the lifts open early and close late – this varies quite a bit between resorts in spring especially. – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor



  • When packing, stuff your ski socks, hat and thermals into your ski boots to save on space. Store your goggles and transceiver in your helmet. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • Pack ski clothing around your skis and poles in your ski bag – the weight allowance is there to be used. More importantly, it helps protect your expensive skis from rough handling. You may also save enough space and weight to pack your ski boots in your regular hold luggage, thereby avoiding the forever uncool boot-bag. – Will Robson, writer at large
  •  If the snow forecast looks iffy, and you’re travelling with mates who have one set of skis, ask them to split your rock-hopper pair as most bags fit three skis within the weight allowance. That way you’ll get the big boards out only when the conditions are right. – Will Robson, writer at large


Make sure you skis are properly serviced| Chrigl Luthy
Make sure you skis are properly serviced| Chrigl Luthy
  • Bring a couple of PG Tips tea bags with you and stash them in your ski boot at the end of the day – they’ll help absorb the post-ski smells (disclaimer: any brand of tea bags will do). Or, even easier, take your liners out and let them air overnight. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • Duct tape might be the answer to most ski bum’s gear woes, but don’t underestimate the power of super glue e.g. seams on leather gloves that are coming loose (faster than sewing!) – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • If you’re struggling to clear your steamy ski goggles, head for the nearest restaurant and stick them under the hand dryer for a minute. That should clear them up nicely. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • Always carry a buff or bandana with you – ideal for covering up to protect you from the cold or the sun. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • If you get blisters, zinc tape can be just as good or better than Compeed – experiment and see which your feet like best. – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • Buy gloves with wrist loops so you don’t lose them… but gentlefolk should remember to take them off when peeing to avoid offering a soggy handshake afterwards… I have two pairs of used Hestra gloves for sale, dried out now but one of each slightly stained… – Richard Fincher, publisher
  • Fiddle with wax. No need to get obsessive, but do at least make an effort to tune the temperature and humidity to your bases. Any good ski shop will have a simple rub-on waxing kit so you can stick some wet wax on come the end of the season. – Richard Fincher, publisher
  • Wax your skis (or get them serviced in your local ski shop) at the end of the season. Or now. Or at least before December. Saves all sorts of panic, rust and general flapping when you’re trying to scrape edges on the chalet breakfast table next season… – Richard Fincher, publisher
  • If you’re renting skis, or have moveable bindings, trying shifting them back and forward by a click or two to see how they affect the skis’ response. It can be dramatic… – Richard Fincher, publisher
  • An obvious one, but amazing how many people do it: never put your goggles on top of your wet hat/helmet, they’ll steam up in seconds. – Mary Creighton, digital editor


Photo | Alex Kaiser / Head
Photo | Alex Kaiser / Head
  • Ski with your boots loose for the first run (assuming you’re not going balls to the wall). You’ll be centred and set up for the rest of the day. – Richard Fincher, publisher
  • The best piste snow is nearly always found at the sides, right next to the markers, as most people pick a route down the middle, often sweeping the soft stuff to the edges – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • If there’s a flat stretch and you need speed, schussing is usually faster than skating (provided you have some momentum already and the snow is smoothish). Get the schuss position right to maximise speed but also not look like a wally. The key is getting your arms really forward, hands together with palms upwards (little fingers touching) stretched out in front of your face, sticks parallel to the terrain, and not poking up in the air. Go lower to go faster… – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • The smoothest route round hairpins on a path is riding the rut in a smooth arc rather than skidding round inside it – also a good opportunity for overtaking the skidders if needed. – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • On hill snacks – go banana flakes, dried apple etc. Tried taking a kiwi fruit once – after the inevitable there was a sudden olfactory explosion taking us momentarily to Hawaii. Took a while to clean the pack, too. Also, don’t bother with hydration systems – we’ve NEVER found one that doesn’t freeze. – Richard Fincher, Publisher
  • If you’re going to have lunch at a mountain restaurant go early or late to avoid the crowds, and enjoy the quiet slopes while everyone else is busy scoffing tartiflette. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • Nervous about your new pair of powder skis going walkabouts while you’re at lunch? Split them up – i.e. stick one ski on a rack and the other in the snow by the entrance. – Nicola Iseard, editor
  • Use your aluminium sticks to make a couple of click noises  when about to overtake someone on a path, or someone in front who looks like they might change direction without warning. Whatever their other merits, carbon poles are pretty useless for this. – Yolanda Carslaw, sub editor
  • If there’s a long lift queue, it’s nearly always fastest to take the outside line. If you’re afraid of rubbing shoulders, queue behind an aggressive ski racer and follow them through – you’ll be at the front in no time. – Mary Creighton, digital editor