Is this something I just let him be and give him more time and will develop naturally? Or should I be doing something to encourage it more?
Put him in a NASTAR course for half a day. Trying to improve his times will get him running parallel more and wedge less on an intermediate slope with zero nagging or begging. Just make sure he knows that french fries are faster than pizza.
Meh. My kid did that for quite a while. I never bugged him about technique. Just kept taking him down the toughest slopes he could handle safely and made sure he was having fun. Eventually, the wedge disappeared. A lot later than I'd assumed it would, but I really don't think it held him back; he's pretty damn good now. Once he was 12 or 13 and skiing parallel on his own, he would start asking for pointers and we'd have technical discussions and do drills, etc. but personally I don't think it's much worth trying to get little kids to worry about technique. As long as they can ski in control and are having fun, I just don't see the big deal about whether their skis are parallel or not. Then again I wasn't trying to raise an Olympian, maybe you are.
Not sure that reasoning applies to a 7 year old. My guess he's more concerned about having fun (his definition of fun) than progressing.
100% agree. I didn't mean to say kids can't be taught advanced technique and have fun at the same time if that is what they are into. I just thought I'd share my experience that it's not worth stressing if they aren't doing it on a timetable that we adults expect. They'll catch on. Take it or leave it. Race programs are a great way to support a kid's development but yeah they are pricy. A few lessons might be within your reach and most ski schools have instructors who can introduce drills that are still a lot of fun.
I've taught a lot of kids who have a braking wedge ingrained into their technique. There are several things that seem to help most of the kids, but the more ingrained the wedge, the longer it can take to brake them of the habit (even when they have shown you they are capable of parallel)..
1. Turn Shape- get him completing round turns across or even up the hill to control his speed. Call them octopus turns if you think that will resonate with him. (If you draw the shape of the turn, it looks a bit like an octopus's head). Good skiers control their speed with turn shape, not a braking wedge (except in lift lines, etc.)
2. Stand Parallel when stopped
3. Demo a side slip while asking him if he can ski sideways.
4. Tell him a wedge/pizza doesn't work very well in powder or over boxes in the park. Using a wedge in these situations can give instant feedback that a different (more parallel) technique is preferable.
You are correct that if he can do an outside ski turn, he is definitely capable of skiing parallel. If he likes outside ski turns, have him continue to do it. Whatever you think will motivate him, run with it.
I also like the idea of having him run Nastar. Show him how to carve an uphill arc and explain that carved "racer" turns will help him lower his time. While some students seem to slowly but surely become more parallel over time, I have had some make dramatic improvement once I introduced carving to them.
Keep it fun!
I agree with you also. All I was saying is your son may not think spending time on drills and technique is fun...to him they may be mutually exclusive. Every kid is different. Best of luck.
Glad the tips helped. One of the next steps might be to get his skis more on edge. Show him some angulation with upper/lower body separation (C shape reaching down towards the outside ski/reverse airplanes/