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Minimum age to teach direct to parallel - Page 2

post #31 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post
 

 

I thought they were one and the same -- what is the difference?

:D that is the question many who know have asked for years!

 

 

 

Anyway...can you teach a 3yr old direct to parallel?  Yes of course....works great at that age - or any age with modern gear - the real determinents of what approach is better is a function of terrain, (easier/wider terrain is better) and particular students level of personal comfort - some need the feeling of extra speed control the wedge provides - in my experience 70% of the general population dont -but some do, nothing wrong with that either.

 

 

Look at the hockey stick video....no wedge there.  Really obvious at 1:43 where he skis by himself for a bit - no stick.

post #32 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

And now to answer the OP questions directly...

 

There is no minimum age for using a direct to parallel approach as opposed to a wedge based teaching progression. You will most likely find that your ski school has standards (or at least suggestion) for teaching first timers and children. Some in the industry have very strong negative opinions about edgie-wedgies. Some don't. Some have strong opinions about direct to parallel (either positive or negative). Some don't.

 

Children grow from the center out. My experience with first timer "little littles" (around 3 and under) is that they have not grown enough to make effective braking wedges with or without edgie wedgies. For slope angles and conditions typically found at resorts, there's not a lot of terrain available where little littles have enough directional/edge angle control to be let loose without some form of outside speed control available (e.g. harnesses, kid-ski, hoops or hands on assistance from a parent or instructor. Once they get big enough/coordinated enough, controlling enough speed through directional change becomes possible. At that point choice of teaching progression should depend on a student's balance skills, the gear they are on, the conditions du jour and the available terrain (but many resorts make the choice for their instructors). Edgie wedgies can work for a wedge progression. In my experience, hands on teaching techniques like backward skiing in front of the child using their hands touching your palms to slow down and your hands grabbing their ski tips to control wedge shape/position is more effective than edgie wedgies.

I like supporting their knees with my palms (no fair grabbing my head!).  But putting out palms and having them make fists and bump their fists into your palms works, too.  I've done that with adults even.

 

I've never tried leaning all the way over and holding their ski tips, but I've seen one other person do this ... with a frightened high school student.  Now there was some momentum to deal with!

post #33 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

I like supporting their knees with my palms (no fair grabbing my head!).  But putting out palms and having them make fists and bump their fists into your palms works, too.  I've done that with adults even.

 

I've never tried leaning all the way over and holding their ski tips, but I've seen one other person do this ... with a frightened high school student.  Now there was some momentum to deal with!

 

I try my very best to never touch my students. I want them to do it themselves and if they can't I'll keep backing off until they can - even if it means taking off their skis and going back to boot games, etc. With that said, if I do feel like I'm going to have to help them, touching them lower on the body is always better than higher because they will lean into any pressure you give them. If you touch on teh shoulders you'll see everything below that move away from you. So just for example, if I feel like I need to help them load the carpet I might use my pole tips on the heel piece of their bindings to give them a little bit of help.

post #34 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
 

So just for example, if I feel like I need to help them load the carpet I might use my pole tips on the heel piece of their bindings to give them a little bit of help.

Ah, so that's how you do that double eject them onto the carpet trick!

post #35 of 50

If it was your own child then, you could achieve direct parallel with lots of patience. In my experience of teaching kids from 3-14. I really don't believe you can teach a child under 6 with direct parallel.  If you look at that 2 yo, he skis straight, decent balance but no evidence of ability to stop on his own or turn, he constantly relies on dad to slow and stop him.  That's the major issue with any learner!  The ability to stop/change direction.  I've seen plenty of 3-4 yo straight line but turning parallel in the first few lessons is almost impossible. 

 

This is due to physiology...

 - the child's neuromuscular system is not co-ordinated enough, some kids are very floppy at 3!

 - short attention span - 15min if you're lucky, their first ever lesson, you'll be lucky to get more that 40mins out of them even if they are super keen

 - low stamina

 - low strength

 

direct parallel will not work for 3-4yo.  Get ready for lots of tears.  A edgy wedgie is very useful early on to build confidence, provide a safe environment and help them to stop.  Who cares how they learn as long as they have fun, technique is not important at this stages, it's to get them hooked on that white stuff :))  If they leave with a smile and wanna come back that's job well done.

 

5-6yo

 

still don't think you can, although they are stronger and better stamina and also starting to understand tasks better. Again focus is on fun and games.  No kids this age likes drills!! Terrain games and trees!

 

 

Kids can develop as fast as they want or as slow depending on their own confidence levels.  So starting in a wedge at a young age, I don't think has detrimental effects on their development in skiing.  However for some kids it's really difficult to get them out of one!  I took the whole season to get a 4yo out of one, mainly because he didn't want to ski parallel.  I've also had 4 yo teams that skis parallel all the time that started in a wedge.

 

7+ more reasonable age to attempt it and get some success, starting to get better co-ordination esp from other life experiences eg ice skating.  Even the most determine kids get sick of falling.

post #36 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by jthski View Post
 

If it was your own child then, you could achieve direct parallel with lots of patience. In my experience of teaching kids from 3-14. I really don't believe you can teach a child under 6 with direct parallel.  If you look at that 2 yo, he skis straight, decent balance but no evidence of ability to stop on his own or turn, he constantly relies on dad to slow and stop him.  That's the major issue with any learner!  The ability to stop/change direction.  I've seen plenty of 3-4 yo straight line but turning parallel in the first few lessons is almost impossible. 

 

This is due to physiology...

 - the child's neuromuscular system is not co-ordinated enough, some kids are very floppy at 3!

 - short attention span - 15min if you're lucky, their first ever lesson, you'll be lucky to get more that 40mins out of them even if they are super keen

 - low stamina

 - low strength

 

direct parallel will not work for 3-4yo.  Get ready for lots of tears.  A edgy wedgie is very useful early on to build confidence, provide a safe environment and help them to stop.  Who cares how they learn as long as they have fun, technique is not important at this stages, it's to get them hooked on that white stuff :))  If they leave with a smile and wanna come back that's job well done.

 

5-6yo

 

still don't think you can, although they are stronger and better stamina and also starting to understand tasks better. Again focus is on fun and games.  No kids this age likes drills!! Terrain games and trees!

 

 

Kids can develop as fast as they want or as slow depending on their own confidence levels.  So starting in a wedge at a young age, I don't think has detrimental effects on their development in skiing.  However for some kids it's really difficult to get them out of one!  I took the whole season to get a 4yo out of one, mainly because he didn't want to ski parallel.  I've also had 4 yo teams that skis parallel all the time that started in a wedge.

 

7+ more reasonable age to attempt it and get some success, starting to get better co-ordination esp from other life experiences eg ice skating.  Even the most determine kids get sick of falling.

 

It's not impossible.

 

Story:  I taught a 3 year old to turn in both directions parallel her first day on skis, in 1 hour.  Actually, she wore out at 45 minutes so it was done in less than an hour.   She could also get onto the magic carpet using herringbone without my help, ride it up without my help, and slide off it at the top parallel without falling over.  She could walk herringbone on the flats, and ski towards me as I skied down backwards making turns in both directions.  She could not choose to make turns skiing in front of me, but she could do it if I skied in front of her.  If I told her to ski all the way to facing uphill, she could turn uphill enough to come to a stop, but I needed to point which direction.  

 

This is only one kid, but you are stating that it pretty much can't be done.  I've also given a lesson to a 5 year old who was ripping carved turns in the gates when she was given to me for a 1 hour lesson.  I don't know what her prior teachers did, but they did well.  I don't think it's as impossible as you think.  

post #37 of 50

Lots of good info here already. Wedgies are ok IMO. Ive used them a lot. Both professionally and with one of my kids. Comes in handy if a kid has problems forming a wedge and this becomes a problem to you, the kid or mom and dad. On the issue of DTP vs Wedging for kids my vote goes to the latter. Much to the same reasons jthski mentioned here above. Good posting. Also, isnt DTP is a bit old school now when we have carving skis? Kids learn how to carve by wedging first. Same movements. You dont turn your skis, your skis turn you. Just balance and use body movements.

post #38 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

It's not impossible.

 

Story:  I taught a 3 year old to turn in both directions parallel her first day on skis, in 1 hour.  Actually, she wore out at 45 minutes so it was done in less than an hour.   She could also get onto the magic carpet using herringbone without my help, ride it up without my help, and slide off it at the top parallel without falling over.  She could walk herringbone on the flats, and ski towards me as I skied down backwards making turns in both directions.  She could not choose to make turns skiing in front of me, but she could do it if I skied in front of her.  If I told her to ski all the way to facing uphill, she could turn uphill enough to come to a stop, but I needed to point which direction.

 

This is only one kid, but you are stating that it pretty much can't be done.  I've also given a lesson to a 5 year old who was ripping carved turns in the gates when she was given to me for a 1 hour lesson.  I don't know what her prior teachers did, but they did well.  I don't think it's as impossible as you think.

 

I dont think anybody claims its impossible. Just that some think me included that the alternative method of wedging is much more beneficial.

 

I would be interested in hearing what kind of technique the girl used to turn parallel as she was following you down the slope? Skiing is counterintuitive. Most of the time when people learn how to ski by intuition they do it falcely. Thats why ski-lessons are so important right from the start. Also, could it have been possible that the the 5y old girl ripping in the gates had learned to ski by wedging? Thats what our kids do at our ski clubs. Some ripp after one year of skiing. Some develop slower but in the end becomes much better skier. Whats the big hurry? Its a life long hobby.

post #39 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
 

Also, isnt DTP is a bit old school now when we have carving skis? 

Ah ... no.

 

Carving skis are the whole reason why we have DTP.

post #40 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

It's not impossible.

 

Story:  I taught a 3 year old to turn in both directions parallel her first day on skis, in 1 hour.  Actually, she wore out at 45 minutes so it was done in less than an hour.   She could also get onto the magic carpet using herringbone without my help, ride it up without my help, and slide off it at the top parallel without falling over.  She could walk herringbone on the flats, and ski towards me as I skied down backwards making turns in both directions.  She could not choose to make turns skiing in front of me, but she could do it if I skied in front of her.  If I told her to ski all the way to facing uphill, she could turn uphill enough to come to a stop, but I needed to point which direction.  

 

This is only one kid, but you are stating that it pretty much can't be done.  I've also given a lesson to a 5 year old who was ripping carved turns in the gates when she was given to me for a 1 hour lesson.  I don't know what her prior teachers did, but they did well.  I don't think it's as impossible as you think.  

 

+1

I talked with the guy who I saw teaching his 9 month old and saw him a second time when his 2 and 4 yo kids were also out. The 9mo was turning both feet to change direction and turning both in the same direction (makes sense when you think about it). The 2yo was skiing unassisted (more parallel than wedge) and the 4yo was ripping (full parallel). It was like watching the age/skill progression all at once because they all had learned the same way.

 

It all depends on who is doing the teaching. I would not have believed it without seeing it. The 9mo was not yet walking.

post #41 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

It's not impossible.

 

Story:  I taught a 3 year old to turn in both directions parallel her first day on skis, in 1 hour.  Actually, she wore out at 45 minutes so it was done in less than an hour.   She could also get onto the magic carpet using herringbone without my help, ride it up without my help, and slide off it at the top parallel without falling over.  She could walk herringbone on the flats, and ski towards me as I skied down backwards making turns in both directions.  She could not choose to make turns skiing in front of me, but she could do it if I skied in front of her.  If I told her to ski all the way to facing uphill, she could turn uphill enough to come to a stop, but I needed to point which direction.

 

This is only one kid, but you are stating that it pretty much can't be done.  I've also given a lesson to a 5 year old who was ripping carved turns in the gates when she was given to me for a 1 hour lesson.  I don't know what her prior teachers did, but they did well.  I don't think it's as impossible as you think.

 

I dont think anybody claims its impossible. Just that some think me included that the alternative method of wedging is much more beneficial.

 

I would be interested in hearing what kind of technique the girl used to turn parallel as she was following you down the slope? Skiing is counterintuitive. Most of the time when people learn how to ski by intuition they do it falcely. Thats why ski-lessons are so important right from the start. Also, could it have been possible that the the 5y old girl ripping in the gates had learned to ski by wedging? Thats what our kids do at our ski clubs. Some ripp after one year of skiing. Some develop slower but in the end becomes much better skier. Whats the big hurry? Its a life long hobby.

 

I would have taught the 3yo to wedge, but after herringboning uphill to get on the carpet and making her two skis match on the carpet, a third configuration (tips together) was just too much for her young brain.  

 

So as for those parallel turns she made....there was no technique discussed.  She was waaaaaaaaay too young.  I skied backwards, my open palms on her knees.  I told her not to grab my head.  She learned to balance upright on skis this way.  I  turned left and right etc.  She kept up with me with no need to explain how.  

 

I backed away from her and asked her to see if she could catch up to me and bump her knees into my hands.  She did, and giggled; it was a game to her.  I continued, backing away farther and farther.  She fell some, but she was very very eager to bump her knees into my hands.  She especially wanted to bump me hard, which required catching up with me FAST.  Eventually she just skied to me without the bumps, skiing on her own making left and right turns.  I continued to ski backwards, and she continued to ski to me for most of the hour until she was tired and sat down in the middle of the trail and took off her boots, attached to her skis.  I picked her up and put her back into her boots and tried my best to keep the lesson going for the full hour.  Mom was watching.  


This little girl didn't need to know what she was doing.  She was 3 years old and analytically clueless, but was figuring it out that other way that kids do.  

 

Her mom was a non-skier.  Grandparents, who were out ripping the mountain, paid for this lesson.  Mom was pissed off her daughter wasn't skiing in a wedge.  Her vision of quality kid-skiing was wedge turns.  Thus no tip, and an angry look and questions about my ability to teach at the end.  Oh well.................

post #42 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post
 

 

I would have taught the 3yo to wedge, but after herringboning uphill to get on the carpet and making her two skis match on the carpet, a third configuration (tips together) was just too much for her young brain.

 

So as for those parallel turns she made....there was no technique discussed.  She was waaaaaaaaay too young.  I skied backwards, my open palms on her knees.  I told her not to grab my head.  She learned to balance upright on skis this way.  I  turned left and right etc.  She kept up with me with no need to explain how.

 

I backed away from her and asked her to see if she could catch up to me and bump her knees into my hands.  She did, and giggled; it was a game to her.  I continued, backing away farther and farther.  She fell some, but she was very very eager to bump her knees into my hands.  She especially wanted to bump me hard, which required catching up with me FAST.  Eventually she just skied to me without the bumps, skiing on her own making left and right turns.  I continued to ski backwards, and she continued to ski to me for most of the hour until she was tired and sat down in the middle of the trail and took off her boots, attached to her skis.  I picked her up and put her back into her boots and tried my best to keep the lesson going for the full hour.  Mom was watching.


This little girl didn't need to know what she was doing.  She was 3 years old and analytically clueless, but was figuring it out that other way that kids do.

 

Her mom was a non-skier.  Grandparents, who were out ripping the mountain, paid for this lesson.  Mom was pissed off her daughter wasn't skiing in a wedge.  Her vision of quality kid-skiing was wedge turns.  Thus no tip, and an angry look and questions about my ability to teach at the end.  Oh well.................

 

Thanks for the story.... you did great. Ive been in that situation many times myself LOL. With kids like that its really all about keeping the lesson going for an hour. To get your money and keep the kid interested and comming back. Kids love repetition so when they come back and they expect to have as much fun as the previous lesson you are in the position to teach them new stuff every time. I had this kid once where we did exactly the same thing you did except that we took our skis off and played arround outside the trail most of the lesson. Parrents did not see us from the parking lot so I was safe. And once the kid wanted to come back and was making progress the parrents did not question anything that we did.

 

Just as typical it is for parrents to demand a wedge at the end of a first lesson it is when they demand skis parallel at some point. Kid has been skiing in a wedge for some time and now its time for parallel turns. Thats what they think anyway. And what they pay for.

post #43 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Ah ... no.

 

Carving skis are the whole reason why we have DTP.

 

IMO no. DTP has been arround way before shaped skis were invented. Carving skis just made it easier to ski parallel because the skis turn easier. Thats mainly because they are shorter and lighter while still being stable. The wider tip causes more sideways friction when tipped and adds to ski mass. But when you learn DTP or make basic parallel turns you dont use the skis real carving properties. Wedging -> carving. Parallel turns -> bumps, steeps and powder.

post #44 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiquidFeet View Post

It's not impossible.

Story:  I taught a 3 year old to turn in both directions parallel her first day on skis, in 1 hour.  Actually, she wore out at 45 minutes so it was done in less than an hour.   She could also get onto the magic carpet using herringbone without my help, ride it up without my help, and slide off it at the top parallel without falling over.  She could walk herringbone on the flats, and ski towards me as I skied down backwards making turns in both directions.  She could not choose to make turns skiing in front of me, but she could do it if I skied in front of her.  If I told her to ski all the way to facing uphill, she could turn uphill enough to come to a stop, but I needed to point which direction.  

This is only one kid, but you are stating that it pretty much can't be done.  I've also given a lesson to a 5 year old who was ripping carved turns in the gates when she was given to me for a 1 hour lesson.  I don't know what her prior teachers did, but they did well.  I don't think it's as impossible as you think.  

I did say nearly impossible. Your example would be quite rare. Well done! My point is at 3yo they are not so aware of what is going on, so if you just sent her down, I bet she wouldn't be able to stop, or turn. They are good at copying at that age and i agree games are great. My main point is I don't think it's important at that age how they start their skiing, direct parallel or wedge. It just doesn't matter. What matters is safety and then fun. I have no doubt that a child that starts skiing at 3 can be parallel by 5 and cruising blues and even easy blacks.

If I was teaching my own child 2-3 yr first lesson. I might just play games and get them sliding and straight lining on flat terrain. If they last more than 30min I'd be happy. Prob wouldn't even introduce turning or stopping. I'd use a hoop or stick.
post #45 of 50
Thread Starter 

What are some good games for 3-5 year-old children? I am working on a process chart -- am just getting started with a long way to go...

 

post #46 of 50
I don't see any bootwork in your progressions.
post #47 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson View Post

I don't see any bootwork in your progressions.

Just starting -- what age would you start that - 4? It is still pretty simplistic at this point.

 

Too bad this chart couldn't be interactive somehow with everyone adding their tips in the appropriate place.

post #48 of 50
I would do some bootwork with any beginner I expected to do anything more than just a straight run. I also wouldn't attempt DTP with anyone whose age limits cognitive movement and whose strength isn't sufficient to employ edges.
post #49 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by tdk6 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRusty View Post
 

Ah ... no.

 

Carving skis are the whole reason why we have DTP.

 

IMO no. DTP has been arround way before shaped skis were invented. Carving skis just made it easier to ski parallel because the skis turn easier. Thats mainly because they are shorter and lighter while still being stable. The wider tip causes more sideways friction when tipped and adds to ski mass. But when you learn DTP or make basic parallel turns you dont use the skis real carving properties. Wedging -> carving. Parallel turns -> bumps, steeps and powder.

You have a far different understanding of direct to parallel than I do. The core objective of current direct to parallel teaching methods is to get students to learn on day 1 to get the skis to turn them (using the sidecut) instead of them learning how to turn their skis. Yes there were parallel teaching techniques before shaped skis. GLM was a spectacular ... Tell you what. Never mind. Please forget I ever brought the topic up.

post #50 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by MidwestPete View Post
 

What are some good games for 3-5 year-old children? I am working on a process chart -- am just getting started with a long way to go...

 

 

You can refine step around in circles a bit. Have them keep the ski on the ground and slide it only step with the free foot. This will require that they work on edging control or they will be unable to move in a circle. With any of these things you are going to want to coach them. In the slide around in a circle part, coach where that ski is keep it under their COM not too far forward or back, or out to the side either. Turn it into a figure eight so they have to turn both ways.

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