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4 1/2 yo: When to take off the edgie wedgie?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My 4 1/2 year old spent 2 days on skis last season. We used the edgie wedgie both times. I'm planning on getting him on skis hopefully up to 10 times this season. What skills does he have to have in order to stop using the edgie wedgie? When should we take it off and allow him completely independent leg movement? Thanks!
post #2 of 13
I humbly offer my .02: the short answer is as soon as possible. He needs to have the physical skills to form and hold a wedge, which he should at that age. You should practice making "pizzas" and "railroad tracks" (don't ask me why these names work, but it seems universal) at home, in his slippers, on skis on flat or nearly flat terrain with a runout until you know he instinctively makes a braking wedge if you yell "pizza." You can keep the edgie wedgies in your pocket if it fails or he's constantly crossing his tips. If you're worried, ski backwards in front of him so if he loses control you can catch him. Edgie wedgies are fine, but should be used only as a tool, not a crutch, unless he has some physical limitation which makes it impossible to form and hold a wedge, get him off them as soon as you can. crossing tips and falling or gettin a little speed up and falling are all part of learning, so don't resort back to the tool too soon either. Have fun. what a blast!
post #3 of 13
I really dislike tip ties because they let kids form a wedge by pushing out the tails, which means they ski with their weight on their heels and their knees locked straight. It takes a lot of convincing to get a kid to stop doing that and start using the front of the ski to get control. The alternative: Spend the time it takes to get the kid to flex knees and ankles to move forward while letting the feet slide apart. Instant wedge. You can do that on a snowbank that has a flat runout, you don't need a resort. Have him "look through the window between his knees" to get started. Want to go sliding? Get a piece of bamboo (it's everywhere on any resort, just ask to borrow some) and have the kid hang onto that without clutching it to his chest. I'd rather see a kid doing straight runs in a harness with you providing the control than have him using a tip tie. Let him out of the harness when he can steer his skis into a wedge rather than push the tails out.
post #4 of 13
Jane is 4.5 now - last season, our most excellent ski school friend from Copper took it off right away and Jane skied all day with her - amazing - we tried the harness too - once for 3 runs and afterwards, I just kept the waist-belt part on her to give me something to hold onto while on the lifts (more for me than for her).

Have fun. I am betting if a kid can stand up and clomp around in a circle with their skis on their feet, they won't need anything but a good instructor and some hot chocolate.
post #5 of 13
No no no... you don't remove the edgie wedgie - you have it half on!

Half on = both screws on 1 ski (keeps the kid happy because it is still on!)
post #6 of 13

I've taught hundreds of little kids using edgie-wedgies mainly because it saves my poor back! I'm not kidding! My rule of thumb is that as soon as they can stop, and make a turn in both directions on a hill that is almost dead flat I remove the edgie wedgie. Then we ski the same "hill" untill he can he can stop and turn without the device. This usually happens very quickly. I never go to anything steeper with the edgie wedgie.

post #7 of 13
Don't overthink it.

See how he does without it (on a gentle familar hill, of course). If he still needs it, put it back on. If he doesn't, go without.
post #8 of 13
Pure Genius and lots of kid experience there disski!!!!
post #9 of 13
I believe that kids develop the adductor muscles at different rates. With our kids (we had triplets learning to ski) we had the devices on the tips for awhile, and the harnesses. One day one of them seemed to be able to turn the skis inward. It happened in an instant, and you could see his body start adjusting to pressure change from ski to ski. At that point, we took it off. The second saw the first and did the same. The third took another month. He's built differently and was less aggressive.

I guess my conclusion was when they could ski without them, they were happy to let them go.

All three were about 4.5 as well.
post #10 of 13
Originally Posted by Stache
Pure Genius and lots of kid experience there disski!!!!

I used to run kid chauffering on the beginners area for instructor friends (too many kids & you never know what the crazy adult you send 'em with will do)

In return they "kept an eye" on me while I practiced my lesson stuff...
post #11 of 13
On the bunny slope, let your 41/2 year old show you how to make the "A" shape. If the legs force the feet apart and the tips move apart, he/she needs to learn to rotate the legs to make the wedge. If the legs do rotate to make the wedge, problem solved, no need for the EW. If not, it is very easy to learn.

put a pole on the snow (bambo slalom pole or even your ski pole)
Have the child stand on the pole so that the middle of both feet are acrost the pole forming a shape like this -l-l-
take one ski and move the tip back and forth -/- and -\- and ask the child to do it
same with the other foot -/- -l- -\-
then have the child make a shape like this on the pole -A-
then slowely pull the tip of the skis off the pole as the child holds the A shape
a very simular method is used to teach turning.
encourage stopping by turning rather than a really big A shape.
PS: on the pole, a really big A shape will cause the feet to slip out sideways.
small wedge shape = nice turns and stops from the turns.
one final note: keep the child on very easy runs (easy greens after the bunny slope is too easy).
Have fun!

post #12 of 13
I don't like edgie wedgies, and use them as a fall back only.
It's vital to NOT take the kid onto slopes where they are using a whopping great snowplough. Stay flat.

If I'm using one, I try taking it off for short periods, to see if the pizza is happening yet. If it's one on one, I give the kid one end of my ski pole, and we use it like handlebars. The kid can glide around and at some point, they start to pizza, but they pizza for turning, not for stopping.

I have never liked the movement patterns that edgie wedgies produce, the way they have the kid bracing out against the outside of their boots, and the way they promote a breaking wedge rather than steering the skis around the place. I do understand that sometimes they are necessary, but should be carefully used. If it's one on one, try using the pole as well. It has many positive effects.
post #13 of 13
My son skiied in-between my legs when he was 1 month shy of 2. When he took his first lesson, not yet 3 y/o, they had the tips tied with a rope or something, but just for 2 days. After that, doing pizzas and frenchfries. Now, nearly 7, already into the parks and trees, skis faster than mama, and will rpobably beat me in 2 years.

All the advice in this thread is excellent, just make sure the kid ENJOYS whatever he does.

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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › Ski Training and Pro Forums › Ski Instruction & Coaching › 4 1/2 yo: When to take off the edgie wedgie?