or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Do they teach children to carve?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Do they teach children to carve?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
My 8 year old daughter wants to learn to ski. We took several trips last season (Thunder Ridge, Belleayre, Stratton) and group lessons each outing.

This year we leased skis and boots for her. We are starting our season next weekend.

I learned to carve back and forth across the trail to control speed and to only use a snow plow at slow speeds and on flat slopes. At higher speeds and steeper slopes it is not effective and can also cause spiral fractures of the leg bones. I learned to skid, make a "hockey stops", and carve to control speed. I do not do it well or gracefully, but I am improving!

So my question....they have only taught her to snow-plow. Is this okay for kids? When do they teach them to traverse the slopes and carve (turn)?

-Scott
post #2 of 8
Is this a PMTS troll?:

I don't know where to begin...

I'm not sure who "they" are, however, "they" didn't do much to get anyone on the right track.

1. Find a PSIA level III cert for you and your kid.

The key to enjoying skiing is to learn how to make offensive movements as opposed to defensive. Turning is offensive. Braking is defensive. The ability to pick the right line precludes the need to brake.

Can an eight year old carve? Yes. Don't fall into the trap of any turn type or description being a goal for you or your kid. Instill a love for the outdoors and for the mountains in your child and you will have a blast for the next few years.

Tomorrow I'm spending the day with my eleven year old at Copper and I assure you there isn't anything more fun in this world.

There is nothing that we do in skiing that has a nexus to spiral fractures, unless you have rotary bones as opposed to lateral bones.:
post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 
"they" were the ski instructors at Stratton and Belleayre.

Since I am not a ski instructor, I'm barely a skier, I assumed the instructors were teaching the correct hing(s). I am not sure now. That is why I asked.

Should she be learning to edge/carve, or steer via the snowplow.

Sorry for the confusion.

_Scott
post #4 of 8
Young kids in group lessons generally are taught to wedge in lines (like little ducks) following a path set by the instructor or indicated to a lead group memeber by the instructor. The goal is to keep everyone moving at a safe, controlled pace. Steered wedge turns can become wedge christies (ending on parallel edges), and resulting edge use can lead to the edging skills needed for "carving". So your daughter should be learning to use turns, not wedge straight down the hill. What happens in groups, though, is that the pace is determined by the weakest child. There should be some individual attention from the instructor, but one of the instructor's greatest concerns will be keeping the entire group moving in the same area at the same pace. Safety is the continuous first thought with children's groups. If you think your daughter may be being held back by groups, perhaps Rusty's suggestion of a private lesson would be more appropriate.
post #5 of 8
Scott K, keep one very important thing in mind: at 8 years old, the key for your daughter is going to be to have a great time. She'll have plenty of time to learn how to ski well as long as she really enjoys it. Group lessons can often help with this if she connects with the others in the group.

That said, children's group lessons are often taught by low-level instructors who may not really know the purpose for what they are told to teach. Worse, they may be teaching what they learned when they started years ago. My recommendation is to check in with the ski school and ask for a group lesson for your daughter that's taught by a PSIA level III (or even level II) certified instructor (ideally with the children's accreditation). That should help a lot.
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kneale Brownson
Young kids in group lessons generally are taught to wedge in lines (like little ducks) following a path set by the instructor or indicated to a lead group memeber by the instructor. The goal is to keep everyone moving at a safe, controlled pace. Steered wedge turns can become wedge christies (ending on parallel edges), and resulting edge use can lead to the edging skills needed for "carving". So your daughter should be learning to use turns, not wedge straight down the hill. What happens in groups, though, is that the pace is determined by the weakest child. There should be some individual attention from the instructor, but one of the instructor's greatest concerns will be keeping the entire group moving in the same area at the same pace. Safety is the continuous first thought with children's groups. If you think your daughter may be being held back by groups, perhaps Rusty's suggestion of a private lesson would be more appropriate.
There's more to it than just keeping the kids skiing in a line. What often happens is that the weakest kid ends up wedging striaght down the fall line. That's the kid that gets he most attention. (Actually, the kid who is trying to escape gets the most attention.) After that, you need to watch for a kid that spontaneously shows a new skill, like hockey stops or a nice side slip. Then you get that kid to show the others what she's doing. Most kids won't do anything an adult tells them to do (the only words they hear are 4 letter words, which they repeat to their parents), but they'll all try something another kid is doing. Peer pressure is way better than private lessons for kids younger than 12 or so.
Most kids need lots of mileage on easy terrain. I once had a private lesson with an 8 year old whose father expected an hour and a half for one hour's pay and a $5 tip. He also expected the kid to ski parallel all over the mountain. I told him the kid needed mileage on the green trails, and that I looking for turn shape and edging skills more than parallel. (All of which was the right advice.) I never had to ski with the kid again. I guess a full cert and USSA race coach wasn't good enough for him.

John
post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdowling
Peer pressure is way better than private lessons for kids younger than 12 or so.
Most kids need lots of mileage on easy terrain. I once had a private lesson with an 8 year old whose father expected an hour and a half for one hour's pay and a $5 tip. He also expected the kid to ski parallel all over the mountain. I told him the kid needed mileage on the green trails, and that I looking for turn shape and edging skills more than parallel. (All of which was the right advice.) I never had to ski with the kid again. I guess a full cert and USSA race coach wasn't good enough for him.

John
amen
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdowling
I told him the kid needed mileage on the green trails, and that I looking for turn shape and edging skills more than parallel.
I think you hit the nail right on the head there. A 8-year old is certainly physically and mentally ready to start to carve. But, regardless of age, what leads up to more advanced skills such as carving is mileage with more basic skills. A beginner does not have to start with a wedge but the concept of carving is difficult to grasp and to execute for someone at that level. Turning with the feet (whether in a wedge or not) would reenforce good skills to get him/her ready to carve. When a beginner shows the ability to comfortably link turns and to start matching skis on a green trail, then it's time to introduce edging, which can eventually lead to carving.

Just to clarify it for the original poster, carving is not a skill that is in lieu of wedging. It really should be something like wedging vs. parallel and carving vs. skidding.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Instruction & Coaching
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › Do they teach children to carve?