Skis are a pain to carry, especially when you have all your other ski gear with you.
The good news is that you’re not the only one having difficulty with this and there are ways to carry skis that make it a lot easier.
I’ll share with you some of the ways that I carry skis…
Positioning Your Skis For Carrying
Before we get into some techniques for carrying your skis, there is one thing you always want to do before you try and carry them…link your skis together somehow. Linking them together makes them much easier to handle.
Use The Ski Brakes
Ski brakes are small metal pieces on your bindings with rubber at the ends. When you detach your boots from the bindings (or they fall off when skiing), they snap down to prevent the ski from sliding down the mountain on its own.
Because of the way they are positioned on the sides of the skis, they also make for a quick and easy way to link your skis together.
Just place your skis with the bottom flat side against each other with one ski higher than the other and then slide it down until the ski brakes sort of hook onto each other.
It’s not the most secure method but it’ll do in a pinch and doesn’t require any extra gear.
you can buy ski straps that will secure your skis against each other. Typically these are velcro simple velcro straps that you can just wrap around the skis.
The best part is that they take up very little space so you can store them in your pocket while you’re skiing. It’s easy to find quality inexpensive ski straps like these here.
Ski straps take a little more time to put on, but your skis are going to stay more secure, so this is a better option when you have to carry them for a longer period of time.
Carrying Your Skis
This may seem so simple that it’s a ridiculous topic to write an entire article on, but this is among the most common questions I hear from beginners, and struggling with something as simple as walking from the car to the ski lodge can really turn people off from skiing.
Pro Tip: Make sure to keep your gloves on when carrying your skis. The edges can be sharp and actually cut your hands if you aren’t careful.
Before we get into the ways you should carry them, I just want to tell you one thing you SHOULD NOT do.
Don’t carry your skis in front of you across your body so that they are sticking out side to side.
You’ll knock into things and people. You’ll never fit through a doorway. You might even injure yourself or someone else. I’ve actually seen other ski sites recommend this (which makes me question if they have ever actually walked more than 5 feet with skis in their hands).
So don’t be that person that takes up way too much space with your skis.
The number 1 rule for carrying skis is to be aware of where they are at all times.
So let’s cover 4 easy methods for carrying your skis…
1. Over the Shoulder
This one is super simple and how most skiers carry their skis for shorter distances.
The best way to carry your skis over your shoulder is to rest the portion of the ski between the front and back binding on your shoulder with the front of the skis behind you and then hold them near the back of the ski, like in the photo below…
Try to keep the skis as vertical as possible when carrying them over your shoulder if you are walking through a crowded area. This reduces the chances of smacking someone in the head, which is always a good thing.
This method is more for moving your skis a short distance in crowded spaces than for carrying them long distances.
Once the skis are linked together, simply grab them between the bindings, lift them straight up, and hold them in a vertical (up and down) position relatively close to your body either in front of you or to the side.
This method is useful when you are entering a lodge or walking through a crowded area at the base with your skis. The goal is to avoid hitting other people.
You can easily switch between the over-the-shoulder method and this depending on how tight a spot you need to walk through or how crowded it gets.
3. Use a Carrying Strap
Carrying straps work together with ski straps and allow you to carry your skis over your shoulder. Like ski straps, they are easy to pack in a bag or even in your pocket.
A carrying strap will usually include ski straps like the ones I talked about above as well as a shoulder strap that attaches to those ski straps. This strap then goes over your shoulder so you can carry your skis with very little effort.
Like ski straps, a carrying strap is easy to use and quite affordable. I like this one from Volk because it is well made and very durable.
4. Use A Ski Bag
A ski bag is a great accessory for every skier to have. It serves as a place to store your skis as well as a great way to carry them.
The benefit of a ski bag over the methods above is that in addition to them making the skis much easier to handle and carry, it also protects them from damage as you are carrying them. So even if you do smack them against something, the material of the bag will prevent your skis from getting scratched of nicked up.
The downside of using a ski bag is that it’s not something you can just throw in your pocket when you are on the slopes. So it is more suited to carrying your skis to and from the mountain rather than short distances around the ski area.
I prefer ski bags that have a little padding on them but aren’t too bulky, like this one from High Sierra. It’s affordable and lightweight and can easily fold up to put in a locker while you’re on the slopes.