How to Become a Professional Skier

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World Olympic skiing events are the launching pad for anyone wishing to become a professional skier. The International Ski Federation also known as Federation Internationale de Ski (FIS) is a major ski organization for both amateur and professional skiers. The Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA) is the governing organization for registered ski instruction professionals.

Things You'll Need

  • Instruction/Instructor
  • Skis
  • Lift tickets (practice)
  • Skiing attire
  • Membership in FIS/fees
  • Learn skiing basics first. You should start at any early age since it takes many years to develop professional caliber skiing skills. Watching skiers compete in the Winter Olympic Games, either live or on television, is a good way to learn some of the basic techniques and styles employed by top skiers.

  • Join your school’s ski club, if it has one. There may also be ski clubs in your area. Contact ski resorts and inquire about ski clubs.

  • Find an experienced ski instructor. This is very important in order to develop techniques that you would not otherwise learn. An instructor can tell you what you are doing right, and what you are doing wrong. The Professional Ski Instructors' Association (PSIA) website allows a search for ski instructors by locale.

  • Practice skiing on a regular basis. It is easy to lose your skills when not practicing often.

  • Compete in local ski contests. Information about ski events can usually be found by asking other skiers, ski club members or resort operators.

  • Contact the United States Ski Team if you are interested in participating in the Winter Olympic Games. To do so, you will be required to compete in qualifying ski trials.

  • Start competing in European and American professional ski events. There are few professional events in the United States but in 2007, 24 professional skiers competed for a share of over $450,000 in prize money at the Skiing and Snowboarding World Professional Championships in Telluride, Colorado. Most of the professional skiers in the U.S. earn most of their income either from instructing novice skiers and/or from endorsing ski-related products. In order to obtain professional credentials as a ski instructor, you should contact the Professional Ski Instructors Association (PSIA). For more information about European professional skiing, contact each country’s ski governing body.

Tips & Warnings

  • Skiing is a dangerous sport. Don’t attempt stunts or techniques that you are not prepared to undertake. Bones are often broken in this sport.

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