9 Must Read Books for Your Dive into the World of Skiing and Snowboarding

Luke Guilford |
Reading and Skiing
Learning on the fly! Photo Credit: Aspen Sojourner

Yes, YouTube is a great resource for beginners looking to explore the beautiful world of skiing, but there is also merit to books that can be an excellent resource for all things skiing. My first discovery of mountain sports was reading a book back in the 4th grade. Growing up in Kansas, I didn’t have exposure to skiing or snowboarding, but after reading a book on Shaun White, I was hooked. Since then, my passion for skiing and snowboarding has flourished, and I believe this set of books can do the same for you! These nine books are great for understanding the physics of skiing, dialing in your turns, discovering mountains, and inspiration for clipping in for the first time.

For the Mentals: “Skiing with Confidence” (Kay Gill)

Skiing with Confidence
Skiing with Confidence by Neuro-linguistic programming practitioner Kay Gill. Photo Credit: Amazon

If you’re anything like me, being around the mountains for the first time can be intimidating. Looking up the mountain and seeing gnarly exposure and steeps can rattle your confidence. Maybe you get spooked going fast down the slopes or making the wrong turn and taking a tumble. Kay Gill will help you overcome some of those mental hurdles. Gill is a ski instructor and neuro-linguistic programming practitioner (NLP), and more information can be found on her website: Ski with Confidence.

Ski in All Conditions: “Ski the Whole Mountain” (Eric and Rob DesLauriers)

Ski the Whole Mountain
Ski the Whole Moutain by brothers Eric and Rob DesLauriers. Photo Credit: Amazon

Eric and Rob DesLauriers put together a great read that prepares you for any and all snow conditions. From moguls to steeps and all the ice in between, this book will elevate your skiing. It’s a book I would crack open after you figure out your basic turns, but nonetheless, a great read to be ready for anything the mountain will through at you. Even if you’re a ripper, through your ego aside and be humbled by these two legendary skiers, I’m sure they can teach you a thing or two.

For the Snowboarders Out There: “Mastering Snowboarding” (Hannah Teter and Tawnya Schultz)

Mastering Snowboarding
Mastering Snowboarding by Olympic gold medalist Hannah Teter. Photo Credit: Amazon

Mastering Snowboarding will get you started by teaching you how to set up your board and bindings to tricks in the pipe. If you’re looking for one book to get you up the mountain or to dial in that trick you’ve been working on, this is for you. Hannah Teter has been a legend in the snowboard community since she was 15 and has gone on to win medals at the Olympics and X Games. Teter went on to win the 2006 ESPN ESPY Award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete. Tawnya Schultz is the founder and editor of Tahoe Snowboard magazine and has done work for Snowboard magazine.

Master Your Skills: “Ultimate Skiing” (Ron LeMaster)

Ultimate Skiing by Ron Lemaster
Ultimate Skiing by the late renowned ski instructor Ron Lemaster. Photo Credit: SnowBrains

Ron LeMaster spent over 30 years as a ski instructor and race coach. Certified and accredited by the Professional Ski Instructors of America, LeMaster was a technical advisor to the U.S. ski team and Vail Ski School. Ultimate Skiing is an excellent book to take your turns to the next level and a book where you probably want to have the basics down before you really dive into it.

Great For the Coffee Table: “The Man Behind The Maps” (James Niehues)

The Map Behind the Maps
The Man Behind The Maps, by legendary ski artist James Niehues. Photo Credit: Amazon

Basically, every ski map you’ve thrown in your pocket and collected over the years has been created by James Niehues. If you like picture books or just want a conversation starter to leave on your coffee table, this is the one. It’s also a great tool to discover new mountains if you’re new to the sport and learn about new locations to add to your bucket list.

Inspiration: “The Art of Shralpinism” (Jeremy Jones)

The Art of Shralpinism
The Art of Shralpinism by snowboarding pioneer Jeremy Jones. Photo Credit: Jones Snowboards

Jeremy Jones is a must-know figure for jumping into skiing or snowboarding. Not only does he make beautiful backcountry films, but he is also the founder of Protect Our Winters (POW). POW’s project is… well, protecting our winters and making sure people can ski for generations to come. Jeremy is truly connected to the environment, and in his book Shralpinism, you get just that. He shares insightful and soulful work in the form of journal entries and poetry. Turn to this book if you are looking for inspiration to build a fiery passion for the mountains.

Avalanche Safety: “Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain” (Bruce Tremper)

Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain
Staying Alive in Avalanche Terrain by former avalanche forecaster Bruce Tremper. Photo Credit: Mountaineers.org

As you progress in skiing or snowboarding, you might be drawn to the backcountry. Avalanche safety is going to be the first thing you need to learn and educating yourself as much as possible is key. So along with this book and hopefully your AIARE 1, you can prepare yourself for the next step. Bruce Tremper provides easy-to-understand avalanche safety tips and skills, including snow research and techniques for evaluating snowpack, as well as how to rescue your buddy in an avalanche.

A Bit of History and a Bit of the Future: “DEEP The Story of Skiing and The Future of Snow” (Porter Fox)

Deep by Porter Fox
DEEP The Story of Skiing and The Future of Snow by Porter Fox. Photo Credit: Amazon

DEEP covers the rise of skiing from prehistoric Norwegian hunters to present-day freeriders. This book also serves as a wake-up call regarding what must be done to save our winters and the world. Fox explains the importance snow and ice has to our climate and how we can protect it.

Impress Your Friends: “Squallywood” AKA The Book of G.N.A.R. (Robb Gaffney, Scot Schmidt, and Shane McConkey)

Squallywood by Robb Gaffney Photo Credit: Amazon

This book had to make the list. It can be hard to find (a copy is for sale on Amazon for $2,755.22), so if you can’t get your hands on it, at least educate yourself on the story. The book of G.N.A.R. (Gaffney’s Numerical Assessment of Radness) is one of a kind, and it embodies ski culture at its finest. This game will forever change how you approach your day on the slopes and challenge your friends. Give it a watch!

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