As Wikipedia puts it: "Skiing is a group of sports using skis as equipment for traveling over snow. Skis are used in conjunction with boots that connect to the ski with use of a binding. Skiing can be grouped into two general categories. The older of the two disciplines, originated in Scandinavia and uses free-heel bindings that attach at the toes of the skier's boots but not at the heels. Types of Nordic skiing include cross-country, ski jumping and Telemark. Alpine skiing (often called "downhill skiing"), originated in the European Alps, and is characterized by fixed-heel bindings that attach at both the toe and the heel of the skier's boot."
Great! Theory done, when's the practical!!!
Slopes are colour coded to reflect their level of difficulty and one would normally start out on a nursery slope, slowly progressing from Green, through Blue and Red to potentially attempting a Black slope. While it can be quite expensive (given that you first have to travel somewhere suitable, hire your equipment, buy passes and accomodation etc), Dry-slopes are a cheaper and more locally available alternative that can be just as enjoyable and a good introduction to the sport. You can use a dry-slope simply to find your balance, then organise your first trip to a multitude of places, including Scotland, France, Austria, Canada or one of the Nordic countries for a taste of the real deal! Skiing can offer exhilaration, tranquility, beauty and a fantastic workout! Note that for some people, one’s appearance on the slopes is just as important as one’s skill and the sport does carry a fashion focus, particularly at the more expensive resorts. Just remember that QUALITY counts for a lot, especially when you are likely to spend between £80 and £200 on clothing – you’ll want it to last! Above all this is one sport where you’ll surprise yourself and after an hour of perseverence, coupled with a good giggle at yourself and your mates falling on their arses a few times, you’ll find your feet and start to revel in the freedom and excitement that skiing never fails to deliver.
This is a brilliant video I discovered on YouTube that I believe covers the key things you need to consider to prepare for your first skiing trip.