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Parents - don’t do this!

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Today I was almost taken out by a father in a kamikaze snowplow with a toddler hanging onto his poles between his legs. I see this kind of thing all the time and it is incredibly dangerous, especially for the toddler.
post #2 of 16


The toddler ski leashes have always frightened me the most as visions of a parent plowing over their recently fallen child come up every time I see one. Does anyone think that these things are more dangerous than the public takes them to be?
post #3 of 16
I think that the ski leash is MUCH safer than a father or mother in a "power wedge" with the tot in between their legs. I have seen a father fall on his youngster and actually BREAK the little boys leg when he had him in between his legs. When I was a patroller we saw more frequent injuries this way than with the leash.
post #4 of 16
I taught my two youngest boys to ski before they were 3 by using a nylon rope around their waist. It was a fair bit longer than the commercial ski leashes, and I felt I was in control at all times with little real danger to my kids.

Looking back now, I would recommend that parents wait until kids are a little older. At 3ish, kids don't have the stamina or the gross motor skill development to accomplish much - especially if they only get out for a few days of the season.

Despite my patient efforts, all 3 boys didn't really become what I would call, "skiers" until they were 7-8 y.o. (the oldest boy STARTED at age 7 when we moved to CO from Houston). It seemed this was about the age where their bodies/minds developed to the point where they could really start to "get it". By that age, no leash or rope would have been required.

post #5 of 16
I see this thing all the time, and it's quite terrifying! You see the aftermath too, kid in a crying heap on the ground, Dad trying to convince it that it's OK.

The leashes seem to me to be a great idea, the kid gets to love gliding on the snow, builds ski balance, and can ski with their parents, something all kids dream about (ask any instructor!).
post #6 of 16
ou can also make or buy a ski tow bar that's about five foot long. It helps the kids and parents stay in a more natural skiing position, gets them thru flat spots, and keeps everybody from running into each other. Probably wouldn't be too effective on the steep, but why would you be there with a 3 or 4 year old anyhow?
post #7 of 16
Our local ski area teaches 3&4 y.o kids all the time.... they have some carpet on a very flat area... the kids walk up the carpet & then slide the maybe 3-4 metres (lengthwise - maybe 6inches heightwise) to the bottom.....

IT is out front of their little ski school "home base" so they can walk in for hot chocolate etc.... It seems to work well as they are soon skiing with the more experienced 3-4 year olds (a "train" skidoo tows them up a bit more)
post #8 of 16
I have must have thaught 100's of kids age 3-5 to ski. That is my speciality I guess. The wedge and if I may say so myselfe, baby sitting. The issue raised here by BI is a good one. It is totally out of the question for a parrent to have a todler between his leggs and hold his skipoles crossed in front in the strangling position.

First of all it is dangerous. Braking leggs is very common but worse could happen.
Second, the kid doesent learn anything. It is completely a waste of time and energy.

The most important thing is that the tot learns to stand on his own feet and balance. The rope is good. I wedge backwards holding on to kids ski tipps. If needed I have some ski tip joints in my pocket. Sometimes I hold on to the kid from behind but then I grab the kidds leggs below the knee joint.

One thing I would like to point out when you teach kidds is that you should never have ski poles with you. Teacher or parrent or whoever you are. If you are working with kidds below age 7 if not very good please for your own and the kidds safety and convenianse dont drag along your ski poles. I got stuck once with my own then 4y old son in the alps on a mountain. He just suddenly run out of energy. I picked him up in my lap and skiid down a european read pist. Also going into lifts with 3 kidds is ipossible if you have ski poles with you.

The rope is dangerous in lifts. Many times parrents dont untie the rope when they go into a lift. Its a lot off hazzle I know but after you have experianced a lift pulling a kidd uphill with the rope accidentally stuck in a fence you really want to go backwards in time....
post #9 of 16
I agree with a couple of the things I have read here. First off, a lot of the commercial leashes are too short, the child if too close to the parent in many cases. Second, You should not have poles when you teach a small child and neither should they (they don't know what to do with them...even larger kids and adults do better the first few times w/o poles, one less thing to worry about.

Another thing to caution parents about: You know the cute, shiney snow suits you can pick up in many department stores for younger children, Don't. I say this for a few reasons, they are not as warm as those made for skiing and the pants are often slippery (these could pose a danger for kids riding on a chair) My niece once slipped out of a chair with slippery pants on and she was 9, she had ridden a chair many times, not in these pants. It was a warm day and she conned her mother into letting her wear her lighter suit...and she fell off the chair.
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by Breckenridge Instructor
Today I was almost taken out by a father in a kamikaze snowplow with a toddler hanging onto his poles between his legs. I see this kind of thing all the time and it is incredibly dangerous, especially for the toddler.
I heard the military will be utilizing the 'spinning toddler' technique for ski combat - kinda like that opening scene in True Lies.
post #11 of 16
Originally Posted by steve crumbaugh
ou can also make or buy a ski tow bar that's about five foot long. It helps the kids and parents stay in a more natural skiing position, gets them thru flat spots, and keeps everybody from running into each other. Probably wouldn't be too effective on the steep, but why would you be there with a 3 or 4 year old anyhow?
I agree. I've used what I think you're describing -- the commercial one sold by the Kid-Ski people at RRS and other places -- though I think it was more like 4 feet long. It worked great.

Ultimately, it depends on the parent being reasonably comfortable sliding around the bunny hill themselves. A parent who can barely manage a gliding wedge is going to be hopeless, and potentially dangerous, no matter what equipment they're using. Not that you need enormous technical expertise ... but you do need to be able to move around and maintain your balance without needing to pay attention to those things. Also, skiing backwards, skating and assorted ballet moves come in handy.

Never used a leash, never missed it. But I suppose that depends on the kid.
post #12 of 16

Leashes have problems too

I had a terrifying experience with those ski-leash things once. I was making my first run of the early morning at a mid-Atlantic area. I was cranking out some high-speed big-radius turns and I came over a roll in the trail. About 50 feet downhill from me was Dad (to my right) and his child (to my left). One of those leash things was stretched out across a good portion of the trail, at about ankle height. My eyes got really wide and my heart started beating really fast when I saw that.

Through some sort of miracle, I managed to get around behind the Dad and not hit either of them, or the leash. I was on a blue trail, so it's not like I was bombing the bunny hill. But ever since that experience, I've cringed whenever I've seen those leash things.
post #13 of 16
A lot of parents aren't very good at anticipating what can go wrong, like having the leash stretched out across a run.

I had a 4 year old kid this arvo, didn't speak english, never saw snow before, so we used one of my ski poles like bike handle bars, and he learned to do his pizza (sans edgie wedgie) AND to stand up. It would be hard for a parent to ski like this though, as it's very tiring.
he told his dad he likes skiing!
post #14 of 16
I've seen parents teaching the little ones to ski, and besides any safety issues, it looks like a bit too much work for me. Im happy to enroll the rugrats in the resort's learning program.

Besides that, a family friend fell from a lift when she was 4 years old. Apparently she did'nt get loaded properly, and fell a few minutes later. She turned out fine... after a few brain surgeries, where a shunt was placed inside her head to relieve swelling.
post #15 of 16
I am not a trained instructor, nor a terrific skier, but I have gotten lots of people of all ages started on skis, including my own kids. I never used a leash on my kids, even when they were 3 or 4. Instead I skied backwards in front of them, staying about 10 feet ahead. If they lost control, they would gently crash into me, with both of us remaining upright. But the vast majority of the time they were on their own, with no adult crutch or support. I found that if I made gentle turns, they would follow me without even realizing they were turning. They were also forced to learn to stop on their own, without a parent putting on the brakes.

I agree completely about the No Poles rule. When I first took my best friend skiing, he was mad that I wouldn't let him use poles... until late in the 2nd day, when I finally gave them to him. He decided he was REALLY glad he hadn't had poles to worry about any sooner! When I first give my student poles I have them hold both poles in both hands, out in front, parallel to the ground. Keeping the poles perpendicular to the fall line helps keep the upper body in that position as well, and helps curb the tendency to finish a turn with the upper body pointed uphill.
post #16 of 16
Well now...please forgive me but i`ll get to point. I started my daughter out between my legs with my poles (ouch) in the standard wedge. Skiing on a uncrowded bunny slope using extreme uncommon sense coaching her. Letting her feel her skis against my own to the movements i was making. The poles hanging out above my knees and horizontal her lower ribcage were the handle-bars of her bike. Fully aware of the dangers and ready to abort if things went wrong. Second run she was turning me. Third run she was by herself with me as her wingman. She was about 9 yrs. of age.
Today 15 years after hundreds of instructional and ski video rewinds, living room pole planting excerises and ski mag instructionals, she is a joy to watch, i`m biased of course but so proud.
So parents, unless you are willing to dive into the buds of your kids mind and invest to paint a pure picture of skiings foundations, go to a good ski school and spend the bucks.

my 2 cents
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