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What age should children start skiing? - Page 2

post #31 of 92
[quote=CTKook]
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad

Don't know that I was changing the subject of the thread overall. The o.p. asked "what age can children start?" I was/am asking, "is there an age by which they need to start?" to reach full potential, which I think is a related concept when addressing developmental capacities. And I think my meaning was pretty clear to most, though I'm always open to criticisms of my writing style.

Those World Cup snowboarders (Fawcett comes to mind, though he was a teen when he started riding; Maier was also a teen I believe) I believe all skied earlier. Victoria Jealouse was on the Canadian developmental team for skiing if I recall correctly and then switched and is now certainly at the equivalent of a World Cup level for freeriding. While I have a feeling you and I could parse my words all day long, I think that we can agree that skiing and snowboarding both complement each other and that doing one can help your skills at the other.

If there are World Cup snowboarders who started as late teens or later WITHOUT having skiied first, in all sincerity I'm interested in hearing, both because it's so impressive and also makes me very interested in how they developed such a high level of skill so quickly. More specifically, if I credibly heard that they got so good so quick by freeriding in monkey suits, say, I'd be buying the monkey suit tomorrow because the results obviously speak for themselves.
welll, first you asked about natural ability being dicatted, possibly, by how early a kid starts, then you changed the question (and i'm with you on the change, believe me) to ask where the 'average' age would fall. they're two different questions.
now, i brought up worldcuppers who took up snowboarding in their teens and twenties.
suddenly, once again, you're changing your own criteriae to say that if the skied previously, it doesn't count.
that's my point. You continually change the criteriae to suit the argument.
incidentally, mike kildevaeld started snowboarding in his twenties, as i recall. i trained with him in '91, whilst he spent a few weeks with our team, in a break from the burton team's second iteration. the 1991 burton team coach is a close friend and neighbour of mine, and he's also the director of marketing at Mountain Creek.
mike's mom worked for marketing for ...i think it was sunday river....wonderful danish lady who enjoyed discussing her son's career.
mike started snowboarding with ski poles, a practice which i still employ with crossover ski racers to alpine boarding.
i began boarding at 24 years of age, and competed in my first weltcup event 2 years later.
there was a great US ski team racer who crossed over to snowboard downhill and SG (my more successful events), i believe his name was doug lewis, he raced weltcup for Rossi.
several athletes I coached in europe crossed over late in life from skiing, peter cemper comes immediately to mind, as does marty frei.
post #32 of 92
I don't think there's an argument, bro. I'm not saying that skiing previously negates anything, I'm saying that as they are related activities skiing may have already stimulated the parts of their brain then involved in their being great riders.

And frankly I'm very interested in hearing about drills used in crossing over, etc., though that is probably a different thread more appropriate to the snowboard forum.
post #33 of 92
My daughter, now 18 and a FIS racer, started skiing when she was three. Her prime objective was to ski to get on the cool ride, the chair. She skied 20 days the first year. She began with gymnastics at 5. Then didn't start ski racing until 12 (really too late, but her head was not ready for the tougher kids on the team before that).

Before she started skiing, in fact when she was in my tummy pouch, I'd take her over to the hill a few times a year to watch the skiers and tell her how much fun they were having, so by the time she was allowed to ski, she'd already been brainwashed. I waited until she was three because she's always been small, and there was some minimum the rental place insisted that she weigh before they would rent to her.
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook
I don't think there's an argument, bro. I'm not saying that skiing previously negates anything, I'm saying that as they are related activities skiing may have already stimulated the parts of their brain then involved in their being great riders.

And frankly I'm very interested in hearing about drills used in crossing over, etc., though that is probably a different thread more appropriate to the snowboard forum.
i agree completely, hence the fast-learning crossover skiers.
oddly, many surfers (i'm one) are at a disadvantage in learning snowboarding. hard to get them to stand up and unfold, esp. at the completion of turns.
we actually agree, though- that's obvious in the posts.

i try not to discuss my snowboard teaching methodologies online too much, olnly because there are so many overnight experts when it comes to snowboard instructing.
i just got my girlfirend going from typical freestyle turns (although she rides faaaaaaaaaaaaar more smoothly and centered than most freestyle riders hereabouts) to crisp, sharp, carved slalom turns with an absolutely silent upper body, all knees and ankles, by having her ride with a ski pole held horizontally in front of her, arms a little wider than shoulder width apart, using the pole as handlebars.
it's eerie what that exercise does for upper body silence and upper/lower separation.
she is blown away in ho9w much her riding's improved.
i'm blown away seeing her do SG heelsides with her ass, legs and heels pretty much on the snow, and her upper body perpendicular..... huge change, and she's exhilarated. all on her old burton with soft boots/bindings.
she's absolutely exhilarated by her new carving form. funny to see her grinning like that at the end of each run.
post #35 of 92
Never having skied until 3 years ago (at 48) maybe I don't ski with the effortless flexibility as my 15 y/o (who started at 12) but I can ski very well. Perhaps it was the years of figure skating as a teen that taught me balance and edges. Don't know. But the point of all this is, whether you start skiing at 2 or 22 or 55 if your objective is to enjoy skiing then any time is the right time. If you're starting your kids at 2 so they can have a shot at being a world cupper because by 10 they would be 8 years behind their peers then you need to start them at 2. When/if I have grandkids maybe I'll be taking them to the slopes as toddlers -- we'll have to see.
post #36 of 92
as i said:
i started at 2, i have friends who've started skiing in their twenties who can ski circles around me, and whom have done well racing and achieving certifications, etc.
much to be said for innate ability and congenital frame
post #37 of 92
One way is when the kids show some interest. My youngest wanted to wear the boots of the eldest. That was enough for her to get started - still in diapers.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
i agree completely, hence the fast-learning crossover skiers.
oddly, many surfers (i'm one) are at a disadvantage in learning snowboarding. hard to get them to stand up and unfold, esp. at the completion of turns.
we actually agree, though- that's obvious in the posts.

i try not to discuss my snowboard teaching methodologies online too much, olnly because there are so many overnight experts when it comes to snowboard instructing.
i just got my girlfirend going from typical freestyle turns...[snip]
Regarding skiers crossing over, I also think that getting kids to sample a wide menu of activities early on is great for giving them "educated feet" that they can then apply later in the particular discipline they choose to settle on. BMX can contribute to either of skiing or riding, for instance.

Regarding "overnight experts," well, you've got me there, but if you look at my handle at least you'll see I don't take it too seriously.
post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTKook
Regarding skiers crossing over, I also think that getting kids to sample a wide menu of activities early on is great for giving them "educated feet" that they can then apply later in the particular discipline they choose to settle on. BMX can contribute to either of skiing or riding, for instance.

Regarding "overnight experts," well, you've got me there, but if you look at my handle at least you'll see I don't take it too seriously.

bmx, mountain biking, motocross, and especially street-sportriding contribute amazingly to ski/snowboard skillsets.
the beauty of bicycling (which is something i rarely do) is that it encourages group-specific muscular hypertrophy, as well.
the 'overnight experts' thing was not levelled at you, CT.
snowboarding, being a relatively young sport, encourages more
snake-oil experts than does skiing, which has been analyzed ad nauseum for over a century.
the 'anything goes' credo of 'aasi' dictates that 'anyone' can be an authority.....and they DO be authorities, oh yes indeedy dey do be!
doo bee-dooby doo,
-old blue eyes
post #40 of 92
Just started our daughter this year. she was 3 yrs and 2 months. Do not expect much. She was between out legs the first 2 days and had no idea, but liked playing in the snow. Day three had her hold ski pole on my side and made turns( day three she had her won skis, luv bugs - seemed to make a big diff), half way through day 3 was on a leash and making turns to the left. Day 5 skiing with mom and leash and making turns both ways, day ended early when she got a sliver at lunch.

As stated above just get them to have fun and take lots of breaks. She would not have been ready before this. Just wanted her to get used to the idea, next year will get some lessons and she should be doing fine.
post #41 of 92
There is a great book titled "Teaching Children to Ski" Search for it on Amazon. We started ours at 29 months, but we started with cross-country: it's much easier for the little ones. Up until then, we were cross-country skiing with her: pulling her in a sleigh while she was sleeping in the fresh cold air: just make sure the kid is warm there in the sleigh. These sleighs look like the ski-patrol's toboggans; you put yourself in front and start XC-skiing. Great exercise! Until 2 y.o., they are usually not ready (not strong enough) to ski longer than 30 minutes. After a season of XC, we tried alpine, and now she's hooked on both

Please don't repeat my mistakes with my other kid and don't get yours to levels above their ability. It will become disaster.

Oh, and don't get shaped skis for the little ones. VERY SOFT and almost STRAIGHT will work much better: their feet will not wobble as much: they tend to ski on flat skis, and shaped skis tend to squirrel a lot. To check if the skis are soft enough, put the skis between two 4-by-4s and have the kid stand on them. If the skis are bent by the kid's weight - this is the right ski.
post #42 of 92
cross-country is easier for the little ones?
that's anew one on me. i've taught chilluns both, and find that odd. cool, but odd.
post #43 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexG
There is a great book titled "Teaching Children to Ski" Search for it on Amazon. We started ours at 29 months, but we started with cross-country: it's much easier for the little ones. Up until then, we were cross-country skiing with her: pulling her in a sleigh while she was sleeping in the fresh cold air: just make sure the kid is warm there in the sleigh. These sleighs look like the ski-patrol's toboggans; you put yourself in front and start XC-skiing. Great exercise! Until 2 y.o., they are usually not ready (not strong enough) to ski longer than 30 minutes. After a season of XC, we tried alpine, and now she's hooked on both

Please don't repeat my mistakes with my other kid and don't get yours to levels above their ability. It will become disaster.

Oh, and don't get shaped skis for the little ones. VERY SOFT and almost STRAIGHT will work much better: their feet will not wobble as much: they tend to ski on flat skis, and shaped skis tend to squirrel a lot. To check if the skis are soft enough, put the skis between two 4-by-4s and have the kid stand on them. If the skis are bent by the kid's weight - this is the right ski.
We rented straight skis for my daughter the first couple of times. I purchased some k2 lub bugs that are shaped and she was much more balanced and her skiing right away was much better. I am not sure if it is the wide tips that seem to make a diff or what. The luv bugs seemed to be softer than some other skis, odd but a lot of them you can hardly bend. Just my experiense.
post #44 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by gobig
We rented straight skis for my daughter the first couple of times. I purchased some k2 lub bugs that are shaped and she was much more balanced and her skiing right away was much better. I am not sure if it is the wide tips that seem to make a diff or what. The luv bugs seemed to be softer than some other skis, odd but a lot of them you can hardly bend. Just my experiense.
i actually like shaped skis for munchkins, but i DO see the logic for old-school profiles.
Frankly, with kids, you can chop 16" shovels off of adult skis and mount their bindings to those and do fine, at first.
That's what I started out on, at two years old.
kids aren't nearly as anal and analytical as adults, it's ALL new, so they care little about shapes and flex patterns.
if they're sliding and grinning, they could just as well be on those ultra-cheap wal-mart plastic skiis. Those are fine for the first month or so.
I alwasy liked letting them chase a beach-ball around on their first day. really takes their focus off the long, slippery feet they've suddenly grown, and, rather, wrok unconsciously on catching up to the ball and kicking it with their skitips. great fun, even on a snowy lawn, and the skills you're ingraining into them are peerless.
post #45 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad
cross-country is easier for the little ones?
that's anew one on me. i've taught chilluns both, and find that odd. cool, but odd.
I noticed that toddlers tend to find it easier to start with their heel detached: it feels more natural. Of course they spend more time in the snow than on the snow, but that too is part of the deal. Plus, it is much easier to stand up on XC skis. And as an added benefit, they start getting used to ski-pole coordination.
post #46 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlexG
I noticed that toddlers tend to find it easier to start with their heel detached: ..... And as an added benefit, they start getting used to ski-pole coordination.
that's less a benefit and more of partitioning of already-taxed motor skills coordination training.
i'm not a fan of this, myself.
post #47 of 92
Here is my first google video upload I started playing with. My daughter when she was two. Last day of the season after 10 days of skiing that winter (2003/2004).

http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...15447409623455
post #48 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by fishEH
I have a 20 month old daughter. How much longer do I have to wait?
: She's not skiing yet?! :
post #49 of 92
There's really no cookie cutter answer to this question, it all works with the child, with my cousins who live in Whistler, one of them skied the Coulior on his 4th birthday.
Skied it well, now at 7 is throwing 360's in the middle of bump runs etc.
Skied a couple of Cat-Sking powder trips this year as well.
post #50 of 92
I started at age 6 and I started both my kids at 3.
My older son took longer to get it going and my younger son took right off.
They are two totally different people.
I used to say don't waste your time until they can ride a 2 wheel bike.That way they have the strength and balance to ski.
But then they miss a couple of years that they could have been out there.
post #51 of 92
My kids first tried skiing 2 years ago when they were 3 and 5 yrs old. Neither really skiied and I spent the second day (first was in lessons) pushing them up the hill and then running down the hill after them...... <wiping sweat off the brow smilie>.

We went back about a month ago. My 7 yr old loves it now! He is turning and able to actually ski....my 5 yr old wasn't so interested. The younger one found the skis and boots to be a bit heavy and didn't quite grasp the idea of shifting weight from one foot to the other while holding the snowplough (or PIZZA....) to turn. He spend a lot of time zooming down the hill squatting on his skis :-).

I also tried it....and both my older son and myself are addicted!

Tim
post #52 of 92
When to start? As soon as they can enjoy it and their parents can afford it.
post #53 of 92
We started one at age 2 and one at age 3.

snowboots and fishscaled strap on skis. No poles, no gizmos or gadgets or harnesses. I carried them up the hill at first, and then had them ski down to me about 30 yds. away. then we graduated to the rope tow. i would put them in front of me and we would ride up together. I would ski down & have them ski to me.

when the the older one was 3 (December) turning 4 at end of january he started in fullblown lessons. the younger one started lessons when he was 3 9december) turning 4 in march.

both became very successful racers. they are now 17 & soon to be 21.
post #54 of 92
My experience is that 5 and under "most" children do not have a concept of speed and danger. I have seen a number of parents and friends horified by their child zooming down the hill un-tethered at a high rate of speed. Good idea to tether your child.

That said many years ago when I was a college student/liftie we had this son of local ski instructors. He was not old enough to go to school yet but good enough to ski expert slopes by himself. That's right I would load him on the chair by scooping him up after he jumped in the air high enough with skis on. He was strong enough to lower and raise the safety bar by himself. This little guy was an awesome skier at age 4 something. I remeber asking him about school next winter and he said he is just going to hate it. I have no idea what happened to him. I don't think I ever remember seeing that kid cry once and he was always happy.
post #55 of 92
If you are a member of PSIA or know one---ask to borrow the most recent 2006 Spring "Professional Skier" magizine. In it there an article prepared by a Vail instructor who did a masters thesis by studying 4-6 yr olds against FMP (fundamental movement patterns), sport specific skills and BMI. To make a long story short--BMI makes no or little difference. The most important factor was the child's ability to internally and externally rotate their feet. Practiced and tested---ON DRY LAND. He advises children must first own FMPs--Jumping, hopping and skipping.


In addition to most of the info posted here. I might suggest you and anyone else considering this, review the article or contact the writer directly at Richie.Edeen@athletics.utexas.edu (he offered his email in the article)

Once the child is ready for advanced skills--beyond FMPs. He recommonds 1) doing the chubby checker "twist"---heels on ground toes twisting. 2) practice wizzard of oz--Dorothy move. Toes on the ground--heels twisting. Then on plastic skid sheets--or paper on a slippy wood floor---both at the same time. If you child owns this in the Kitchen, he/she will be better of on the hill. NOTE: Not one of the 21 students tested passed all points of the twisting dryland skill. Those that did best--were moving to parallel in 3 days.

NOTE: This is my interpretation of the article. I am better at math than english, or so said my SATs 25 yrs ago. Damm bias tests.:
__________________
post #56 of 92
our 3 kids all started skiing as soon as they were potty trained--that was normally the minimum age for ski school. while not great skiers (although my son is pretty decent) they all developed a comfort on snow and skis at an early age. one other thing we did was to take them out west for their initial ski experiences even though we lived in new jersey at the time. we felt it was important that they had a really good first experience on the slopes and felt we had a better shot at it in the rockies. now my son is my best ski buddy (he's 11 but will be soon be better than me) and one of my daughters still skis a lot...2 out of 3 isn't bad!
post #57 of 92
Start them on skis as soon as they can stand.
Most tots find skiing a staright line to be easier than walking

Hem
post #58 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemingway View Post
Start them on skis as soon as they can stand.
Most tots find skiing a staright line to be easier than walking

Hem
Such truth brings a tear to my eye.
post #59 of 92
We started my oldest at 4. Now at 9 he's always in the park doing tricks, and I will admit he's pretty darn good!

Now my daughter is 6 and we will try again this year. We went up last year for a lesson. We never even made it to lesson. As soon as she was all ready to go, I take her outside to put the ski's on, and you'd a thought I was beating her with the ski's she screamed so loudly. So that was the end of her ski season. She never wanted to go back, we'll see about this year. I find it pretty funny that I try and get 75+ days a year and she really has no desire to ski what-so-ever. And I'm not going to force it either. If she wants to great, if not well I guess we'll find something she'll like. (We are going to try snowboarding as well)
post #60 of 92
This is a good reason for starting children as soon as they can stand.
Skiing in a straight line is as new and exciting as walking, at that age, and they are still very impressible to new movement concepts.
It then is a natural as walking

Hem
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