Skiing 101: Getting started

BELMONT, Mich. (WOOD) – Skiing is one of the most thrilling sports in the Olympics, as the athletes go on to star both on and off the slopes.

It is also one of the most popular sports in West Michigan, especially during winters like this year when there is plenty of fresh snow.

(file photo)

(file photo)

If you or your kids want to become the next Bode Miller or Julia Mancuso, the most decorated U.S. Winter Olympians ever, then Cannonsburg Ski Area, 6800 Cannonsburg Road in Belmont, south of Rockford in Kent County, has everything you need to get started, even for first-timers.

24 Hour News 8′s Marc Thompson continues our “Daybreak Goes Olympic” series with a closer look at the sport of skiing.

It isn’t the cheapest sport to get into, but the “shop” at Cannonsburg has a wide range of options to help keep costs down.

First, you will need the basic, including skis and boots.

“A beginner ski will be narrower, so it’s easier to turn and a lot softer,” said Brandon Willard, a sales associate at Cannonsburg.

The Cannonsburg staff also suggests that beginners wear a helmet to protect their heads from falls.

24 Hour News 8's Marc Thompson straps on a helmet before a ski lesson. (Feb. 2014)

24 Hour News 8′s Marc Thompson straps on a helmet before a ski lesson. (Feb. 2014)

“So you want something that’s going to be nice and snug on your head,” said Willard.

For outerwear or “soft gear,” the staff recommends a warm jacket, good gloves, and snowpants.

An adult can be outfitted for under $1,000, and children for $300.

But it is probably a good idea to give the sport a try before making the investment.

“I definitely recommend renting first to get an idea if it’s a sport you’re going to like, or which sport skiing or snowboarding you’re going to enjoy more,” said Willard.

Renting skis, a helmet and a lift ticket at Cannonsburg will run you anywhere from $46 to $65, depending on if you’re a child or an adult, as well as when you go – a weekday or weekend.

Watch “24 Hour News 8 Daybreak” on Tuesday, starting at 4:30 a.m., as Marc Thompson takes his first ever ski lesson.

An instructor shows 24 Hour News 8's Marc Thompson how to strap on ski boots during a lesson. (Feb. 2014)

An instructor shows 24 Hour News 8′s Marc Thompson how to strap on ski boots during a lesson. (Feb. 2014)

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