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What is a good age to start skiing?

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
I am the only skier in my family but I want that to change with the next generation. I have a niece that is 15 months old and I keep telling my brother and sister-in-law that I am going to have her skiing by the time she is 5. Since neither of them ski, they are very apprehensive about the idea. What do you guys feel is a good age to start?
post #2 of 24
Probably 4 or 5. I have heard of people starting when they were 3 though. 4 seems to be a good age to me because that is when you have decent balance.
post #3 of 24
Yeah, balance and reaction time, and enough leg strength and coordination, more developed motor control.

People start 'em younger, and I've taught 'em younger. But teaching a 3 year old is more about making sure they are largely warm/dry and don't hurt themselves or others (many like to walk off the magic carpet). It gets them used to being on the slopes and the feel of moving on skis, but... It's babysitting on snow.
post #4 of 24
A good age is when they're ready and willing. Nothing turns a kid off a sport more than being forced to do it. My kids weren't interested in skiing until their teens so they only went skiing a couple times each season until they were in middle school Now that they're grown they are still skiing while most of my friends' kids that were skiing full time by 1st grade have dropped the sport.
post #5 of 24
Another way of putting it is how hard do you want to work? In my experience based on my own two kids, teaching a three-year old is a lot of work. Turning and stopping are not intuitive for them at that age. At four, they get it real quick and are very soon skiing on their own on the bunny slope.
post #6 of 24
My daughter started just a couple months before she turned three. The most important thing is that they really want to do it. If they don't want to be there then don't bother. I found that you can't go and expect them to ski all day. Sometimes even two runs can finish them for the day. I was lucky enough to live 20 min from the slopes and we had season passes so it wasnt' that big a deal to leave when she got tired. I was also working swing shift at that time so we were able to ski every morning if we wanted. We usually made it 4-5 days week. I think we ended up with 80+ days each year for a couple of years before she started to go to school. Although some of those were very short days. She is now 10 and ripps anything on the mountain. Good luck and make it a fun time. Be prepared to sacrifice "your" skiiing time. But in the end it is all worth it.
post #7 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rio View Post
A good age is when they're ready and willing..
+ 1

Even with that...a bit of variance if you are their teacher or they are at ski school IMO. My daughter’s began at SkiSchool during 1st grade when they we’re past separation anxiety and found enthusiasm hitting the bunny bumps with other likeminded kids. Almost forgotten how much of a gas it was shooting video without them noticing Dad…man, watching and hearing what was said was lol. I'll watch the vid's again this eve
post #8 of 24

The joy is amazing

I have a fifteen year old and I have brought him into skiing and coached him to his current level as a big mountain skier. He started skiing at 3. The instructor at Alpine wouldn't take him at 3 (I think they're afraid the child will have an accident in their jumper suit), but after she saw him ripping up Meadow, she took me aside and said she would work something out for the next class. It was cool. So, as soon as your child can work with the boots and the helmet (definitely get the best gear you can find, it makes a difference), go for it, heck yeah! I'm excited for you, it was the experience of my ski life teaching my son.
post #9 of 24
If she is 15 months, don't start her this season, but definitely start her next.
post #10 of 24
Each of my three kids first put on skis at age 3, and started to get decent at age 4. The trick is being willing to not do it when they don't want to.

But to paraphrase PJ O'Rourke: When is your child old enough to start skiing? When there's a half foot of fresh and you can't find a babysitter.
post #11 of 24
i started my kids at age 2 on cross country skis.
post #12 of 24
When there's a half foot of fresh and you can't find a babysitter.

love that line.! I too will be teaching...or trying to teach my 3yr old daughter how to ski. And how to enjoy it as much as her 'old man. She's already getting the bug in her watching me go through my gear and seeing me with my skis. That part alone planted the seed in her mind that she wanted to do it too. The other night she wouldn't let me leave my local shop without buying her 'Blue' helmet. I didn't have a choice. It's her first piece of gear.

I can't wait to get her out. Great posts above guys. Making me look forward to the whole experience even more.
post #13 of 24
Started my kids young, but didn't push them. All of them were on skis by 3. By last year, they were all into it. Gabe took a couple of lessons at 4, but by last year was only willing to have me teach him. It's harder to teach my kids than anyone else, I think...

But, if they can stand, they can ski...
post #14 of 24
4 yr old seems to be the magic age.
In France and Switzerland, ski school for kids starts at 4
post #15 of 24
Yeah, I should clarify that at 3, it was really more snow play than skiing per se. But at least my twins, who each got about 12-14 days the year they were 4, were skiing pretty much any blue run at Squaw by the end of the season. That was why we started looking at team options for the following year.

The difficult things about skiing with kids that young are pretty obvious. And the danger of permanently turning them off is huge. But you can't overstate how wonderful it is that at that age, they're basically built to learn.
post #16 of 24
When it starts snowing in Denmark, I will be putting babyskis on my 1½-year-old niece and just be pushing her around in the snow to let her have fun
post #17 of 24
For me, the biggest challenge was making sure they didn't get run over from above! :
post #18 of 24
I didn't start my four seriously until around age 5 (+/- 1 yr). I had some of them with me in backpacks or in toy skis well before that for a few moments at a time on snow. You can teach wee little ones just as well on natural in your backyard as at a ski area. All real lift served skiing for me is about 2 hours away and for that logistical effort I wanted them stay out for the better part of the day, so I found that age 5 or later was necessary for that. One of mine was on an easy East coast black diamond before age 6. She skis the least of the four now, however, not because she doesn't like it, but because at age 19 she finds it extremely uncool to do anything with me and she doesn't have the money to do it on her own.:
post #19 of 24
I started at 7, but even younger kids can pick it up really quick. Just as long as they enjoy it!
post #20 of 24
My advice would be to get them on skates and/or cross country skis (for winter fun, and to develop balance and coordination) around four or five, and then to graduate to alpine around 6.


But what do I know, I don't have kids.
post #21 of 24
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. My niece is a very adventurous little girl and I keep telling my brother than I hope she ends up being more coordinated than her father. I am thinking that age 5-6 will be pretty good for her because she will have a longer attention span and they live in Ohio, hours away from any good skiing.

I do plan I getting her into ski school because I don't want to teach her and have her learn all of her uncle's bad habits.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucki78 View Post
Thanks for the replies. My niece is a very adventurous little girl and I keep telling my brother than I hope she ends up being more coordinated than her father. I am thinking that age 5-6 will be pretty good for her because she will have a longer attention span and they live in Ohio, hours away from any good skiing.

I do plan I getting her into ski school because I don't want to teach her and have her learn all of her uncle's bad habits.
My 2 cents... Since they don't live near a ski area, there is no point in spending the money just for snow play before she can ski with some certainty. When she reaches 4 or 5, send her to a good ski school with a good kid's program for a week. She'll be skiing in no time. Then just repeat that at least once every season (as a part of being a great uncle). That is one way to turn her into your skiing buddy.
post #23 of 24
1.5-2 years is a good age to put strap-on skis on her and tow her around the yard on 100% level ground. Also, let them just stomp around with strap on skis, indoors or out. You can also tow the kid around on the carpet. That's it. Do it all as a fun game like playing with a toy. Only do it when the kid wants to, even if that might only be for 5 minutes.

Now your niece won't be 1.5 until the end of this season so you are sort of on the edge of trying it this year.

The Kid Skis strap on skis around about $35 I think.

My kid at 1.5 years. The smile is not optional. Make sure the kid is having fun --
post #24 of 24
I really don't hink there is a way to say for sure what the right age is. I have taught kids as young as 2 that could do ski and do well and I have (tried) to teach 5 year olds that had a very hard time. It's up to the child. I will try my little at 2 (next year) and if she likes it and can do it, great, if not I'll wait a year.
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