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Skiing with Kids

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 

What's happenin' everybody?

 

I assume there's a whole bunch of people on here who have lapped the magic carpet until their legs burned, gone in for hot chocolate three times by lunch, and hiked thirty yards back up the hill becuase someone dropped their pole. Yep. I'm talking about skiing with kids.

 

I just wanted to start a thread to share any tips and tricks to make skiing with a little one easier and more fun.

 

As for my family, we have a five year old that put in 28 days last year.smile.gif We mainly ski the weekends and we usually put her in a lesson for Saturday and then ski together on Sunday. Works pretty well.

 

By the end of last year, we finally were able to ski all over the mountain and this year we've got a trail map at home of our home mountain (Sunday River) and we're going to mark off every trail she's skied. Hopefully, it pushes her a little to improve.

 

Beyond that, we do a few drills here and there, and that's about it aside from just riding.

 

What are your little tips and tricks?

 

 

post #2 of 21

You may find a lot of info if you use google and do a search on this, because we have really put some thought into it: leashes, drills, lessons, ski friends, helmets, powder, powder skis for kids, trees for kids, kids and the fun factor, and so on. I hope you get some feedback, but given the recent volume of comments on the topic, you may not, at least in summer when there is but a skeleton crew here. There is a photo thread as well.

post #3 of 21

One of the better, more recent ones: http://www.epicski.com/forum/thread/103561/parenthood-and-skiing

 

There is also a "Family Skiing Discussions" subforum, although the traffic is pretty light: http://www.epicski.com/forum/list/35/family-skiing-discussions

post #4 of 21

Thanks for the re-direction, Matthias99

post #5 of 21
We usually put in our 5y/o for a 1/2 day, have lunch, and then one or both of us skis with her. I like having her with an instructor at least part of 2 days in a row, and we ask the instructor what to work on with her.
post #6 of 21
Non-technical, but I've found these to be most important...

Candy - preferably something that won't freeze to a point of breaking teeth when chewing - it will solve any meltdown, hunger...actually ANY issue
Ask about a bathroom break whenever you're near a bathroom - and if they say they don't need to go, make them go anyways
post #7 of 21

Skiing with kids is great, a few tips, most of these I am sure you are already aware of:

 

  1. Keep it fun.  If it isnt fun, the kids wont like it.
  2. Dont try so much to teach them to ski, as try to teach them to love skiing.  Great skiers loved skiing, before they became great skiers.
  3. You are skiing with them, they are not skiing with you.  Thus pick runs they like, at a speed they like, and yes, it is time to go in before they get tired, cold, wet etc.
  4. Invest in good clothes for the kids.  A comfortable kid, is a happy kid.
  5. Dont buy gear they will "grow into".  Kids gear is cheap, and you can usually sell it off easy too, thus dont be afraid to churn the gear.  It will help their development and fun factor.  And wont cost you that much.
  6. When sking, some of the best "drills" are to simply explore and play with the hill.  Take the jumps, go in the terrain park (many hills have a "green park" for kids), go in the bumps (you can across them, instead of "down them" if it is too steep), ski around the tree, go in the race course, go up the side of the bank, try to ski on one ski, try to ski with your arms over your head, etc. 
  7. Make sure they have "ski friends", ie other kids their age and ability.  Ski school and ski clubs are great for this.  This is critical as they get older and become more social.
  8.  
post #8 of 21

What everyone above said plus:

 

1) Take them in before they get too tired.  Kids hate this but they won't get hurt from their legs giving out. Give them a bad experience and they will want to stay home.  Give them a fun time and they can't wait to come back.

2) Make every learning experience into a game, and when they "win" the reward is hot chocolate or something that appeals to them.

3) Learning one thing a day is enough for the little guys and gals.

4) See this thread: http://www.epicski.com/t/92869/money-time-saving-tips-for-parents-with-small-children-who-ski 

post #9 of 21

Really good advice here, I don't have much to add. I'd say listen to them when they say they're cold or tired (and ask a lot too). Always offer the alternative of stopping, kids should understand that it's not an army drill or something. And remember that for kids the whole day is "skiing," eg, walking to the hill with Mom or Dad, booting up, lunch, play time afterward. If you can make as many of the steps "fun" as possible, you're laying the groundwork for them to like skiing.

post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post
 
Dont try so much to teach them to ski, as try to teach them to love skiing.  Great skiers loved skiing, before they became great skiers.
 



 That's my biggest goal. A love for riding the mountain. Acheive that, and the skills will sort themselves out. I do the same thing with riding waves in the summer.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

 

Invest in good clothes for the kids.  A comfortable kid, is a happy kid.

Dont buy gear they will "grow into".  Kids gear is cheap, and you can usually sell it off easy too, thus dont be afraid to churn the gear.  It will help their development and fun factor.  And wont cost you that much.

 

For clothing, don't be afraid of the one piece for kids. It's warm, snow can't get in, and it's simple to get in and out of. We had great results from a one piece this past year.

 

And you're so correct about being able to resell gear. I actually have felt guilty for what went down on ebay a couple times. We bought a pair of banged up used k2s with bindings for like $70 at a ski shop. We used them for two seasons and put 'em up on ebay describing them as hacked up kid's skis. They went for like $140. We turned around and bought brand new skis and bindings for $120. It's amazing.

post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vern View Post

 

For clothing, don't be afraid of the one piece for kids. It's warm, snow can't get in, and it's simple to get in and out of. We had great results from a one piece this past year.

 

And you're so correct about being able to resell gear. I actually have felt guilty for what went down on ebay a couple times. We bought a pair of banged up used k2s with bindings for like $70 at a ski shop. We used them for two seasons and put 'em up on ebay describing them as hacked up kid's skis. They went for like $140. We turned around and bought brand new skis and bindings for $120. It's amazing.



 Some of the brands (Obermeyer is one) help with kids growing by having an a cuff that can be cut and adding 1.5 inches to the inseam.  Both my daughter and grandson will be taking advantage of it this year from last year's purchases.  They get clothes that fit two years in a row from the same purchase.

 

Ken

 

post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post





 Some of the brands (Obermeyer is one) help with kids growing by having an a cuff that can be cut and adding 1.5 inches to the inseam.  Both my daughter and grandson will be taking advantage of it this year from last year's purchases.  They get clothes that fit two years in a row from the same purchase.

 

Ken

 


Spyder has it too. Works well in my opinion. We'll have to cut the threads for my daughter's one piece this year, but we'll get two good fitting years out of one suit.
 

 

post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by L&AirC View Post





 Some of the brands (Obermeyer is one) help with kids growing by having an a cuff that can be cut and adding 1.5 inches to the inseam.  Both my daughter and grandson will be taking advantage of it this year from last year's purchases.  They get clothes that fit two years in a row from the same purchase.

 

Ken

 




I just bought one of those Obermeyer one-pieces for my daughter. There was a sale over Labor Day weekend and it was marked down from $180 to just over $100. Not bad if it lasts for two years!

post #14 of 21

The answer is to just ski...ski a lot and ski with them...push them, cajole them into stretching themselves, have fun, but do it all the time and do it with them!  Let them see your passion and they will reciprocate

post #15 of 21

Well the past two season I worked as a ski instructor at a little mountain in PA and cant tell you have many kids I had to teach.  The main thing I have realized is kids don't want to be taught anything they just want to have fun.  Turn everything you can into a game.  I was teaching mostly beginners so I would do a lot of the red light green light game to work on stopping. Another good one is follow the leader, you lead for a while then let them.  One time my one student would barely turn so instead of trying to tell him to turn I asked if he wanted to draw smiley faces the entire way down the hill.  His job was to make a nice big smile then I would add the eyes, and what to you know... he started making pretty nice turns.  Another major thing I learned is know when to pick your battles.  At the beginning of a 2 hour lesson I had a 5 year tell me he wasn't going to ski and his parents were already gone.  Instead of trying to convince him I simply said ok lets make a snowman then.  We made a little snowman, he jumped on it, then I said let's go down the hill then make another down there... he agreed but we just skied non stop the next two hours. So instead of getting mad and forcing him into doing something he didn't want to, I took 10 minutes to make him happy then he was good to go.

 

These are some things I learned from teaching children, I understand its a little different if your skiing with you own child but hopefully some of this may help. Just keep them having fun, try teaching them things without them realizing it, and kids love when they beat you in a race lol.

post #16 of 21

I could write a book.  I got my three kids out there every Saturday and most Sundays from the time my twins were 3 years old and their older sib was 5.  Did it all alone.  Wife doesn't ski, I was on my  own.  I agree with most comments.  My thoughts mosty apply to those with lots of youngsters. Definitely extreme parenting if you're going it alone.

 

1. Lay out their outfits in 3 piles the night before.

2. Dress 'em up 100% before the car ride, including ski boots.  Don't overheat the car. Ready to ski on arrival.

3. Family season pass is key.  No time to buy tickets each outing.

4. They must pee before the car ride and before they hit the slopes.

6. Find a nice young woman to take the extra kid up the lift

7. The lift is key.  This is what scared my kids. Make sure they slow it down at both ends if needed.

8. Invest in good gear.  Esp gloves/ thermals/pants/helmets.  Much cheaper for kids.

9. Make it fun, like everyone else said.

10. Don't worry too much about those bad moments, like when they're freezing or unhappy.  This is where I disagree with other posters.  Kids are resilient and have poor memories.  They'll forget those bad moments if the day was awesome.  Also, kids are way less sensitive to cold, so stop worrying so much about it!

11. Try to hook up with another family.

12. If all else fails, bribe them.

 

Now they're 7, 7 and 9.  Two of them are addicted and the third one has a good time too.  They're all starting development team.  I really love sking with them, so the work is paying off.  But it was a lot of work up front!

post #17 of 21

Exactly.

 

Bringing my son into skiing is the single best experience of my life, bar none. so enjoy, it doesn't get any better.

 

What he said. A different angle on it. There was a period, my son must have been 8, 9, 10 and skiing since 3, that he was my exact mimic, a clone of my technique, a double image. He could follow me down a run and we were bop and little bop. He learned a lot at that time, not just turns but strategy. It was fun for me. My friends loved to see us out there shredding together, and his first time up Palisades he had total support from the tribe on an epic day. He saw the passion and just took off with it. It's contagious when you're having the time of your life.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by UGASkiDawg View Post

The answer is to just ski...ski a lot and ski with them...push them, cajole them into stretching themselves, have fun, but do it all the time and do it with them!  Let them see your passion and they will reciprocate


 

 

post #18 of 21

I forgot about rule #13:

 

Don't ask your 5 year old "Would you like to go skiing today?"

Tell them: "We're skiing today and we're going to have an awesome time!"

 

Too many of my friends noshowed because their kids said "I don't really feel like skiing today."  After they were asked.  A 5 year old really can't make that decision. 

 

The policy is "Tell, don't ask."  The kids always loved it, and never had to make a choice.  Now that they're getting older, that equation is changing...

post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by hirustler View Post

I forgot about rule #13:

 

Don't ask your 5 year old "Would you like to go skiing today?"

Tell them: "We're skiing today and we're going to have an awesome time!"

 

Too many of my friends noshowed because their kids said "I don't really feel like skiing today."  After they were asked.  A 5 year old really can't make that decision. 

 

The policy is "Tell, don't ask."  The kids always loved it, and never had to make a choice.  Now that they're getting older, that equation is changing...



 

I have to do that with almost everything with my 6 and 8 year olds.  I often find myself saying "I'm sorry that was't really a question....it was a statement"

post #20 of 21

I recently played the "Would you rather.....?" game with my 7 year old daughter.  Would you rather go swimming or skating?  Skating or sledding?  And so on, with many activities and sports, to find out which things to enrol her in this Fall/Winter.

 

The top of her list when all was said and done?  Skiing.

 

I think I shed a tear of joy.  My wife and I must have done something right along the way......and now her little brother is watching how much fun his big sis has, and he's getting excited too.  Gonna buy him used gear for this year.  Our first family winter trip will be to Smuggler's this January.  I can't wait.

post #21 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skidude72 View Post

Skiing with kids is great, a few tips, most of these I am sure you are already aware of:

...across them, instead of "down them" if it is too steep), ski around the tree, go in the race course, ...


I would urge caution with just jumping into the gates, unless your and your child are in a race, or training.  I've witnessed far too many citizens jumping in the gates either thinking the course was clear or just not checking at all and been on the receiving end of some nasty collisions. 

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