In your case take a 4 hour private lesson from a qualified professional instructor and then go practice what you were taught. You have some advantages in the cross skills from skating and water skiing, but there are many differences that need to be brought to your muscles. The next day take another 4 hour lesson from the same instructor. This package will be tailored to your skills and learning ability. Check with the area and your instructor, an all day lesson may be best. In many areas a private lesson has lift line priority when with the instructor.
Jump right in, unless the ski instructor is smokin' hot.
take a lesson bro. trust me. there are people who come into a lesson and say to me " i tried to do it myself but just cant" lessons give you basic knowledge and can help you get used to it. WE could all use another lesson. take one, see how you do. there are people who tell me they could do the hardest trail at some mountain, and turns out they suck. mountains vary.