Warning, honest opinion!
Im a 43y old certified ski instructor and I have been teaching full time and part time for about 10y now. I also have two boys 8 and 4.
My advise for parrents with small children are:
@ age 2, get your kid accoustomed to snow and sledging
@ age 3, get your kid accoustomed to ice skating, cross country skiing and to ski resorts.
@ age 4, get your kid started on downhill skis and book him/her a few privat lessons, max 1 hour long, with a "good, the best children instructor" you can find.
If you are a ski nut like I am you cannot offcourse wait untill infant is 4y of age before putting him on downhill skis but under no circumstances would I start children up @ 2! I have had 2 students that I can remember that were under 3 and in both cases there was absolutely no sence. One, Viktor, was 2y 9months and hyperactive. No other teacher would ski with him so I became his only option after one successfull first lesson. He was a good customer because I skied with him the whole winter and many years to follow every weekend 2 hours. He generated over the years directly and through networking hundreds of lessons and gave me a solid foundation as a childrens ski-instructor. Thanks Vik
If you have 2 children with less than 2y of age difference I reccomend that you start both at the same time @ 3 and 5. In this case they will learn to ski together and they will also be able to attend group lessons together. Even better would be @ 4 and 6 but I know nobody can wait that long. Younger brothers and sisters learn to ski much quicker than the older ones. They learn everything quicker therefore also skiing. Ive seen hundreds of children and nothing beats this combo.
If you are not a ski-instructor yourself I would reccomend that you get your son a ski-instructor for his first lessons. However, you will have trouble getting a teacher for a 2y old and its not shure your son will want to ski with an outsider. If you are a ski-instructor yourself you will probably wait one more year.
The reason why I speak for a higher age is that kidds are physically and mentally so much more developped at one more year of age when he is that young. And its not a question of individuality, aske any kindergarten teacher. There are a few exeptions, like my kids
but spare yourselfe the dissapointment and dont think yours gonna be the one of a thousand. And learning to ski as a 3 or 5 years old has nothing to do with how well you ski when you are 7 or 12. Really, skiing is a life time thing and can be enjoyed through out your entire life. If you wnat my honest opinion I would say wait until kid is 3.
Why you should not teach your kid yourselfe!
Because you cannot really teach a small kid anything. He will learn by dooing and not by you teaching. You can only assist and help him and its most of the time a very frustrating experiance for both of you. When I teach students I dont get as frustrated as with own kids. Thats partly because I dont have that many ambitions for my students. If they cannot get their skis in a wedge on their first lesson I dont take it like a personall failure. If you look at ambitions and expectations the parrent has the most expectations of the 3 parties involved. The teacher has some and the child hardly any. He is just open minded and expects nothing in particular. Many times just to have a good time.
If you want to teach your kid yourselfe here are some pointers:
- dont teach your kid to fall down. Every time he falls there is a risk involved and I have had one kid brake his leg because of unessessary falling and I dont want to relive that experiance. Expecially with own kid!!! If he falls he falls, thats it. He doesent have to learn how to do it. Its an unfroced error not a trick in the bag.
- dont ever ski with your kid between your leggs. Its dangerous for you kid, yourselfe and for everybody else on the hill. And it serves no purpose. Kid will not learn the most important thing, how to balance and how to controll his speed.
- dont use ski poles. You will need your hands for assisting the kid both on the slope and in the lift. And its a hazzard for your kid and for everybody else on the hill. Especially all the other kids standing in the lift line behind you that you are poking in the eyes with your under the arm skipoles.
- kid needs to use helmet and goggles or sun glasses
- kid needs to be well rested before skiing
- kid needs to have warm cloths
- kid needs to have been to the bathroom
- never bribe your kid with candy on the hill
- dont make skiing a game of silly games, skiing in itselfe should be enjoyabel enough.
- dont force your kid in any way, if he wants to quit let him quit
- this plastic gadget for connecting the ski tips is great. This in combination with a leach is well worth trying out. With students I allways ski backwards and hold the ski tips together with my fingers but if the wedge doesent happen very quickly, lets say during a hour, I often nowadays use the tip connector. This usually motivates the kid like nothing else. And the look at parrents faces cannot be described when they see their kid skiing.... this is good for business
My older son needed the tip connector for a whole year while my yonger one never used it.
- get your kid proper skis with bindings that "work" and boots that are not too big. Childrens boots are so cheap nowadays that you can afford swapping boots every year.
Good luck woodstocksez and keep us updated.