Originally Posted by Prosper
... Does anyone have any experience with any of these products: tip lock, wedge lock, kiddie lift/harness, ski leash, kiddie ski bar. Here's a link to their website and list of products. http://www.applerise.com/merchant2/m... de=1400-AIDS
Any help is appreciated. Thanks!
I taught my daughter at 3 1/2, using some of those exact products. Based on my experience:
Tip lock: Get it. It depends on the kid, but kids that small likely need some help with strength and co-ordination. We used the tip lock for awhile, occasionally experimenting without it. Some worry they become too dependent on the lock, however, at the start of her second season, we just stopped using it, and she never seemed to notice.
Wedge lock: I had one of these and never used it. If I were you, I don't think I'd buy it. However, it might
depend on the kid. My daughter was fairly careful about the whole enterprise: she wasn't comfortable until she understood that she could slow herself down. Other kids -- based purely on non-scientifice bystander obervation -- are heedless speed lovers who might schuss into the parking lot. Usually not repeatedly, though.
Kiddie lift/harness: Quite useful. Basically, it just puts a handle on the kid's back, so you can lift him with one hand like a loosely-packed and wiggly duffle bag. This comes in handy in chair loading, getting up from the ground, etc.
Ski leash: Never used one, didn't miss it. They seem to me like they would impede learning. On the other hand, based on the description and explanation, the Apple Rise one might not be as bad as some. Also, see above re the kid who won't stop. I'd probably pass.
Kiddie ski bar: Definitely useful with a 3 1/2 year old. Three reasons: (i) instills confidence sliding around in the yard, and for the first few times down the bunny hill, (ii) helpful even after that for moving the kid around the flats, into the lift line, etc. and (iii) maybe
depending on the kid and you, it might
be possible to maneuver him down something more interesting than the bunny hill early on. Apple Rise pushes the last point, though it didn't really work that way for me: a little too scary for the kid. Careful about this! You really don't want to ski carrying a child all the way down a run (I know, I've done it).
A few other things:
If you're reasonably adept yourself, you should be able to take just about any kid down the bunny hill on their first day with the bar ... which pretty painlessly and quickly transitions to the kid skiing the bunny hill him or herself. By "bunny hill," I'm thinking of the smallest chair lift at a typical area. Areas vary, of course, and some don't have a bunny hill at all, or only a rope tow. You're on your own with the rope tow. I rode them a few thousand times myself when I was a little kid, but I'm glad never to have been forced to deal with one with my kid.
No poles for the kid.
If you're using the bar, you can't really use your own poles. When I went without the bar, I always carried my poles. They are useful in the line (keep that kid from sliding over everyone's tails!), helping across flats, and here and there.
You'll get some practice skiing backwards, but that's easy on the bunny hill.
You need patience, in the sense you have to be able to survive going 'round and 'round the bunny chair a dozen times while the sun is shining and the slopes above are covered with fresh snow. Other than that, it's not that
bad, and it has its own rewards.