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For those with Kids - Page 2

post #31 of 53
I started my daughter at age 3. She loved it from the start and it was a real blast for me even though half a day with her was, at least for the first year, far more exhausting than anything I could dream up skiing by myself for an entire day (a lot of lifting, carrying, snowplowing, etc.). Outside of private lessons, ski school wasn't a viable option.

If I had to do it over, I would have waited until she was 5 as we did with her little brother. The beginning was no less work but for a much shorter time, and at that age, with pre-school and kindergarden under their belt, kids are much more comfortable with the idea of ski school.

Regardless of age, anyone planning on taking young children skiiing would be well advised that it requires a lot of patience (you're likely to spend more than one powder day on the bunny slope) and, if you want them to enjoy it, an obsessive level of organization (knowing exactly where you have to go beforehand, having all the equipment and clothing staged the night before, and carrying a large bag containing an extra of anything that could possibly get wet or lost). It wasn't always the most fun I ever had on skis, but I looked at it as an investment in "growing my own ski buddies", one that, half a dozen or so years later, has paid off beyond my wildest dreams.
post #32 of 53
Started my son at 3 & 1/2. He did fine. I found that he could get very tired very suddenly in the afternoon and had to ski him down once or twice. I also learned to keep a couple candy bars in my pocket for that late day energy boost - it really seemed to help.

He is now 11 and skiing pretty much the whole mountain and is very comfortable on skis. Like others have said here, I tried to keep it fun, snowball fights, obstacle courses, skiing backwards... and I didn't push him all the time.

I did encourage him to try more challenging runs, and I did, and still do, occasionally force him to take a lesson. I figure he'll listen to an instructor before he'll listen to the old man. But mainly I just made sure he got a lot of mileage in. I feel that's the most important thing.

He seems to have caught the bug from me, which is great. I hope we have many, many miles together on snow in the future. Hopefully soon!
post #33 of 53
We started our son late in the season at age four. He seemed to like it, but really didn't get enough time on the snow to become proficient at turning and stopping. he did take a few lessons, but He did get comfortable with the skis though.

Last year at age five, he got to ski quite a bit more, and he was really enthusiastic. He turns well, and stops, and rides the chair lift.

I discovered early on that I should not try to teach him. I think if I had he would have come to hate it. I am not much of a teacher, and I'm not terribly patient. We found a good kid's program, and put him in that for the day. He looks forward to going, and the instructors have really done their job.
post #34 of 53
My son was 5 (although we would have started sooner had we not lived in SoCal at the time), and my daughter was 3.

Everyone has given good advice, I believe. It really depends on the kid, and how much they want it AND are able/strong enough physically. Often a younger sibling will want to keep up with the older. Or not. Ours did, and it made for some extreme power wedging situations when she was 4. She really wanted to ski those blacks with big brother! But last year we worked through that and she's carving just fine.
post #35 of 53
My oldest(4), WILL NOT listen to me when it comes to learning something new , so went two private skiing leasons!

I think this season she is really ready to ski, so I am going to have a few more lessons fo her. My younger child (3) has stronger legs and a different personality! I have a feeling she will be swooping down the hill to keep up with big sister this season!

BTW I started at 3 1/2 yr old! I couldn't get enough of skiing!
post #36 of 53
We've started preparing our 3 year old daughter for the coming ski season. A cousin of hers gave her some rollerblades. It's kind of scary, because these are real rollerblades with real in-line skate wheels. Not the wide, flat, plastic wheels that only go forward! We've had her out on the driveway twice, for about 10 minutes each time. She seems to love it , and is starting to get the idea of what it means to point her toes where she wants to go, as opposed to picking up a foot and putting it down facing 90 degrees away from the direction of travel :

It's pretty greuling work for the parent because you're constantly holding both hands from in front or back and supporting her entire body weight about every 5 seconds (about how often she'd fall if not held up).

I figure, if we do this a dozen or two times before december, when she gets on skis, they'll seem incredibly stable, slow and easy, compared to rollerblades. I think it's a better use of my time and energy to do this now, so that she'll be able to enjoy skiing when we get on the snow. I think I might need to get a harness for her. I already have the edgy-wedgies, and will probably try it with and without them to see how she does. If she really gets the hang of roller blading, she may never need them.
post #37 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
Unless you live close enough to ski every day, your kid will never ski like a local no matter how early you start. Forget about training your kid for the Olympics, unless you can move to the mountains and give up everything else in your life. If you live in the city, at best your kid will grow up to be an enthusiastic tourist, and there's nothing wrong with that.
BK
You might want to reconsider that position, it's not supported by reality. Many of Canada's Olympic skiers come from small Ontario and Quebec resorts, and some of them are REALLY small <300 ft. vertical! You don't need big vertical to improve your skiing, even for an expert.

Rick
post #38 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by skirrr
You might want to reconsider that position, it's not supported by reality. Many of Canada's Olympic skiers come from small Ontario and Quebec resorts, and some of them are REALLY small <300 ft. vertical! You don't need big vertical to improve your skiing, even for an expert.

Rick
I know all about racers who came from small mountains. Dian Roffe started at Swain (NY) and Heidi Voelcker is from Bosquet (Massacusetts). My point was that your typical skier who does maybe 10 weekends a year is not on track for the World Cup.
The whole subtext of this thread is "my 3 year old skis the whole mountain." Ski instructors hear that all the time. The best thing ski schools do for kids is to give them lots of mileage on the green trails. The worst thing for a kid's skill development is to take them steep before they are ready. Most parents seem to think it's a big deal when their kid power wedges down some steep trail, but the truth is that just makes them defensive. I seen hundreds of kids ski, and very few kids younger than 5 or 6 are ready to learn any skills.

BK
post #39 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
... The best thing ski schools do for kids is to give them lots of mileage on the green trails. The worst thing for a kid's skill development is to take them steep before they are ready....
If that's your point, I'll agree (as do a good half-dozen or so posts above in this thread).

Though I did at first have the same reaction as skirr to your oblique side point. Libby Ludlow is an example of someone who's from a city (okay, a suburb) who is not an "enthusiastic tourist." I don't notice any subtext (or text, for that matter) in this thread about 3-year-olds who can ski the whole mountain. If anything, the opposite.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that 3 is not too young to start skiing for many kids, though not all. The point isn't that it'll make them great skiers, it's that they enjoy it. There's also nothing that suggests that waiting until you're 10 to ride a bike will hamper your development as a bike rider, or that starting at 5 will put you in the Tour de France.
post #40 of 53
BK--

me thinks you are missing part of the context- as parents, we look for things to SHARE with our kids - given a typical weekend your choices are hang out at home or take a trip somewhere. If the parents want to make some turns then heading to the mountain makes sense (we need not sacrifice ourselves 100% for the little darlings)- so what to do with junior? Mom or dad swap back and forth in the condo or base lodge for 100% of the day? or on the nice days do we take them outside and let them slide on some planks? no brainer for me- it is better for them to be outside and moving as long as they are having fun and are not dog tired.

ski school? teach yourself? -- all nuances- get your kids outside, turn off the TV, the VCR , the computer etc. Show them that there are things in your life that you really enjoy- they see us so often in the tedium of day to day life.

as for the next Franz Klammer, I come from an extended family of weekend skiers. Our kids that really love to race have done extremely well, including many top 5 finishes at the J6, J5, J4 and J3 level in VT and a bullet at last year J4 states- our kids ski most weekends but certainly not daily and I can assure you that with that much skiing they "ski like a local"--

-- let em rip if they want to-----
post #41 of 53
Hi all, great forum... Here is my two cents to this topic...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
Three is too young for lessons. They are not strong enough to work the equipment at all. Spend the time to play in the snow with your kid, and teach him/her to enjoy winter.
You are only correct about 3 being too young if you're expecting the child to perform. Even at that age, they will learn and can even ski if they find it fun to be there (hence the importance of a quality lesson program). If they start at the age of 3, it is not inconceivable at all to have them skiing along side with you by the age of 4. IMHO, it is not too young if they are just out there experiencing the snow, learning the basis, and enjoying the excitement that comes with the sport of skiing -- not to mention it being a confidence booster.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
Unless you live close enough to ski every day, your kid will never ski like a local no matter how early you start. Forget about training your kid for the Olympics, unless you can move to the mountains and give up everything else in your life. If you live in the city, at best your kid will grow up to be an enthusiastic tourist, and there's nothing wrong with that. BK
By "give up everything else in your life", don't you mean "go through a drastic change in your lifestyle". As a transplanter from NYC myself, I think living in the suburbs and the rurals have much more to offer in the "true" things in life than the big cities. Of course, that is just one person's opinion.
post #42 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by garylk
Regardless of age, anyone planning on taking young children skiiing would be well advised that it requires a lot of patience (you're likely to spend more than one powder day on the bunny slope)
Sure it takes lots of patience, but it is not much more than most things tried at this age (like going through school/preschool for instance). The biggest difference, as you pointed out, are the packing/unpacking/porting of the cloths and gears. Most kids don't like to (and will not) carry their own stuff until the age of say 8/9. And, the colder temperature does cause extra whining at times. On the flipside, while on the slope for the first couple of times, there is the joy of carrying him/her up and down the bunny slope or magic carper, ALL DAY LONG. Instructors put up with that, why can't you? =#}
Quote:
Originally Posted by garylk
It wasn't always the most fun I ever had on skis, but I looked at it as an investment in "growing my own ski buddies", one that, half a dozen or so years later, has paid off beyond my wildest dreams.
You have the right approach!!! The best has yet to come. And, depending on how often the child skis, it could be sooner than you think. There aren't too many activities out there that you can do as a family together and for a long run.
post #43 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
Anecdotal evidence suggests that 3 is not too young to start skiing for many kids, though not all...
The anecdotal evidence from parents is that all children are above average.

BK
post #44 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldtimer
BK--

as for the next Franz Klammer, I come from an extended family of weekend skiers. Our kids that really love to race have done extremely well, including many top 5 finishes at the J6, J5, J4 and J3 level in VT and a bullet at last year J4 states- our kids ski most weekends but certainly not daily and I can assure you that with that much skiing they "ski like a local"--

-- let em rip if they want to-----
That's great that they are enjoying that much success. But at the J2 level they'll compete with kids from the academies. Are you ready for that?

BK
post #45 of 53
BK-

your point is what? parents shouldn't start their kids at any age unless they are prepared have them ski everyday and ultimately to send them off to an academy?? No one in this forum suggested that starting 'em at 3 was a ticket to the World Cup- that seems to be your suggestion.

I have a son who plays soccer very successfully in high school- he will not play for Man. U., probably not even a division 1 soccer program. He and his team have a hell of a good time and win their share.

Will some of my youngers go to an academy? maybe yes, maybe no, but that is irrelevant. They have the skills, they LOVE to ski and more important, they are respectful and great ambassdors for our area and our family. AND we enjoy skiing together-- as far as I am concerned that defines success after starting them at any age.

-- let em rip if they want to----------
post #46 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr
On the flipside, while on the slope for the first couple of times, there is the joy of carrying him/her up and down the bunny slope or magic carper, ALL DAY LONG. Instructors put up with that, why can't you? =#}
I have to admit I loved it, but my my respect for and appreciation of instructors increased considerably.
post #47 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
But at the J2 level they'll compete with kids from the academies. Are you ready for that?
Yeah, and:

- At the regional level in tennis tournaments, they'll compete with kids from Nick Bollitieri (so why should they learn to play tennis?)
- When they try to get into Julliard, they'll compete against kids from selective orchestra programs (so why should they play an instrument?)
- When they apply to Yale, they'll compete against kids from elite prep schools (so why should you send them to school?)
- When they run for President, they'll compete against kids who went to Yale (so why should you send them to college?)

The fact of the matter is any half-way decent parent encourages and helps their kids to do lots of things (Little League, soccer, play the violin, act in school plays, paint pictures, run track, ride bikes, climb trees, write stories) with little or no hope that the kid will ever become famously good at any of them.

You seem to have got your nose out of joint over some "subtext" that people are saying "my 3 year old skis the whole mountain." In fact, there are no posts in which anyone says that, and numerous in which they say the opposite.
post #48 of 53

My daughter will be 2.5 in December and I will be with her on the slope this Winter. My wife will be with our 10-year old daughter on the lifts.
Thanks to all of you who replied to initial message. I read all the replies several times and found them very usefull. Advantage of the area we going is that there is huge lodge with plenty of space for little ones, not far from the Magic Carpet. We can "escape" in case of elements ot else. Here are the skis I would like to buy for her soon. Please, comment them if you have time.
http://www.komperdell.com/english/index.htm
Look under Alpine Skiing/Junior/Kids Ski Set
I really like some comments here and I will pay attention to some this Winter. Here is the best:
... but I looked at it as an investment in "growing my own ski buddies", one that, half a dozen or so years later, has paid off beyond my wildest dreams.
Z
post #49 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bode Klammer
I know all about racers who came from small mountains. Dian Roffe started at Swain (NY) and Heidi Voelcker is from Bosquet (Massacusetts). My point was that your typical skier who does maybe 10 weekends a year is not on track for the World Cup.
The whole subtext of this thread is "my 3 year old skis the whole mountain." Ski instructors hear that all the time. The best thing ski schools do for kids is to give them lots of mileage on the green trails. The worst thing for a kid's skill development is to take them steep before they are ready. Most parents seem to think it's a big deal when their kid power wedges down some steep trail, but the truth is that just makes them defensive. I seen hundreds of kids ski, and very few kids younger than 5 or 6 are ready to learn any skills.

BK
That I agree with completely, but it is not what I read in the previous posting. I completely agree with the steepness issue, and find it frustrating instructing at all levels/ages, not just with parents of kids. I'm not sure where the concept that we need to ski steeper to ski well comes from but it sure is common.

Rick
post #50 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by skirrr
That I agree with completely, but it is not what I read in the previous posting. I completely agree with the steepness issue, and find it frustrating instructing at all levels/ages, not just with parents of kids. I'm not sure where the concept that we need to ski steeper to ski well comes from but it sure is common.

Rick
Maybe it was my crack about my daughter power-wedging the blacks that took the discussion off topic. And I meant it as a crack, not as a point of pride, which I thought I made clear in the next sentence. Perhaps not.

My POINT was that some kids push themselves in order to do what their older siblings can do; it's not always the parents pushing the kids. We allowed her to ski some of those runs, because we didn't want to just say NO. But we knew that wasn't the best way for her to learn to ski. It was a "reward" of sorts.
post #51 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
My POINT was that some kids push themselves in order to do what their older siblings can do; it's not always the parents pushing the kids.
A little self motivation doesn't hurt so long as they don't become too obsessively competitive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by segbrown
We allowed her to ski some of those runs, because we didn't want to just say NO. But we knew that wasn't the best way for her to learn to ski. It was a "reward" of sorts.
While steeps are not the best terrain for any novice to learn the basic forms, regardless of age, it may be good to expose them to something more challenging every once in a while.
post #52 of 53
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoran
My daughter will be 2.5 in December and I will be with her on the slope this Winter. My wife will be with our 10-year old daughter on the lifts. <snipped>
Here are the skis I would like to buy for her soon. Please, comment them if you have time.
http://www.komperdell.com/english/index.htm
Look under Alpine Skiing/Junior/Kids Ski Set
I really like some comments here and I will pay attention to some this Winter.
IMHO, you can probably skip these. They are neither practical nor safe even if you're just using them in your backyard. They are also not resellable. Consider going with real equipment for a fraction more. Unless your younger one is really small, shaped skis by major makes do come in really short lengths nowadays. I believe I have seen some 65s or shorter. They should come up to no higher than her nose.

Poles are not necessary to start out (some may dispute that). In fact, for little munchins it's very likely that poles will just get in the way until they get to the blue/black level. Before then, they are only good for hand positioning and pushing on the flats. For your 2.5 year old, holding her arms forward while skiing will be a challenge and I am sure she would rather be pulled and/or carried while traversing through the flats.
post #53 of 53
My 2 cents-
I started my oldest daughter at 4 1/2 with daily ski lessons during a week long vacation. Had definitely 'talked it up' a ton to make her want to be our ski buddy. Made sure every day after lessons, she got the choice to do more skiing with Mommy and Daddy or to simply end the day - No pushing (although lots of hoping she would show us her stuff :-) which was most of the time). Last year at 8 1/2 and continued yearly lessons, she strongly / confidently skied down a long colorado black mogul run with me - boy was I proud. (no zipper line but good strategies and confidence from the lessons).

Daugher #2 started at 2 1/2 years old. That year was just for fun, a few bunny hill runs with mommy and daddy at the end of the day until she said she was tired. Funny anecdote #1: changing diapers with ski boots on in the lodge will certainly get some laughs.

At 3 1/2 she then began appropriate ski lessons during our week vacations.
Funny anecdote #2 - skiing with a pacifier will surely get some comments on the slopes. Anyways, last year at 5 1/2 she is a great skiier almost out of Level 6 at Keystone. She confidently goes down blue moguls and will even ski flatter blacks. Of course these are still the exception and she puts her time in on the blue cruizors.

I can't share with you enough how proud it makes me to share the mountain bug with them.

-Guy
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