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would you use a different pair of skis for yourself when teaching a toddler?

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
This question goes out to those who have taught their kids or those who are current instructors. Would it be a good idea to invest in a 'cheap' set of short twin tips for myself to use while trying to teach my little 3yr old? I have 3 sets of skis myself but i'm pretty sure none of them would be ideal for teaching. My current collection consists of Salomon Crossmax 07's (170cm), Atomic SuperCross SX-11's (170cm), and X-Scream series (161cm).

I can see how beneficial it would be when going backwards. But would you guys think it's a good idea? Or shoud i just use one of the 3 i have. Save the SX-11's! I'd like to make the experience as easy and fun for both my daughter and I.

What other hints/suggestions do you professors have for teaching 3-4yr olds. I've taught friends/sisters but this will be my first attempt teaching a child.

thanks in advance.
post #2 of 30
I'm not a ski instructor by any means, but I did teach my 3 year old son to ski. At that age his legs weren't really strong enough to do much but just "have fun." And that's what we did -- sliding around the snow together. I think you could strap a pair of 2x4s to your feet and still ski as fast as you need to to keep up. For the most part I didn't really ski with my 3 year old that much. I wore winter hiking boots, carried him a couple feet up a small slope, and turned him downhill. The initial runs were probably over in 2 seconds, but he loved it! Eventually I picked up some cheap plastic orange "pylons / cones" and placed them the slope below him, and have him turn toward them on the way down. Eventually he could go around 'em pretty well...

Now last year at age 4 it was different. We skied with the "harness" and "edgie-wedgies" for the first half of the year and he did great. Both were dispensed by the end of the year, and this year (age 5) he is excited about doing it all on his own... I think I can ski my little Fischer RX6s backwards fast enough to handle him for a few weeks, anyway. Then I'll probably be chasing him all over the hill so twin-tips won't be necessary.

Now, whether or not you want to pick up a cheap pair of skis so you won't care when your kids ski OVER them... That's another matter to consider entirely!

Cheers,
post #3 of 30
Oh, yea. I used different skis when I go skiing with the school kids where I volunteer. Too many opportunities for me to help pick them up and other such things.
post #4 of 30
I would just use the X-screams, the main advantage being the shorter length.
post #5 of 30
Let's just say that it took a few years before I would ski with my kids on skis designed for speed. Twins didn't make much of a difference, but then, I was skiing switch on straight skis back in the day, before anyone had called it skiing switch.
post #6 of 30

kidski

Hi,
This works,
Get yourself a pair of 120 cm "trainers". A serious short ski used for early season training and trouble shooting for high performance skiiers.
It's also something that will vastly improve your own skiing now, and at later dates.

When you use them w/ kids, you'll have a whole lot less to deal with in the klutz department. Most importantly, children are visual learners,,,,trainers, or very short skiis, will visually amplify your movement patterns. It is these patterns that children will emulate.
Also, make sure you put a 2 degree bevel or so on the childs skiis, dull tips and tails, as well as waxed. Some convexity works well also,,.... Alter the "tune" as the child progresses. SKi boots MUST fit for real.

Resist the temptation to up the angle as the child improves. It will only imprint survival patterns. Instead, alter the intensity and nature of the tasks on what is now, comfortable terrain.
Tip ties are good, but ween them at the earliest date.
Lastly, let the child PLAY, and be very sensitive to their basic needs . Don't hurry things. Bring a camera.....
Do it right, and you won't believe [!] the results down the road...
regards,
snodancer
post #7 of 30
It is certainly more convenient to have a pair of "shorties" with twins. Of course, it's not necessary. Some of the companies have packages like this for instructors.
post #8 of 30
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the advice guys.

So i'll need the wedge device and the harness apparatus. And a fresh tub of A535 for my back right?? Anything else?

You guys really gave me some good advice up there. never thought of grabbing skis less than the length of my poles....but it makes total sense. Up until now, i've never really paid attention to the ski instructors on the mountain. I'll make sure to watch them next time i'm out - tomorrow baby!!!

thanks again. If there's anything else - let's hear it.
post #9 of 30
Not an instructor but have a 5 year old who started lessons at 3. He used the wedgie gismo a bit in class, but neither he nor the instructors seemed to think it was definitive, just one of several tools that work for some kids, not for others. Ditto for a harness.

Real issue is just to get them trusting their ability to stand, then to move forward without falling, then to stop, and later, to turn. I'd really recommend a few classes, but if that doesn't work for you, nothing steep enough that they'll pick up much speed even running straight. Early on, the instructors just walk alongside; go find the magic carpet slope and don't even think about wearing skis for a few days.

Far as what I ski on with him now, anything with a raised tail since I spend 60% of my time wedging switch in front of him. My old Rossi B1's work well, carvers not so well, don't have any narrow short twin tips but I'm sure they'd do well too. Allied issue is, are you comfortable skiing backwards in front of your daughter and reacting appropriately to her mistakes? Might want to practice. Sucks to fall in front of them and cause them to fall. I know.
post #10 of 30
I have taught kids full time for 10+ years and have used an edgie-wedgie about 3 times, all times for about 10-15min to help out a kid that just wasn't getting it and holding back the group and nobody else was avalible to help out. Harnesses are a crutch, and the only thing the teach is for the kid to depend on mommy and daddy to control thier speed.
The only other thing they allow is for the kids to get dragged into terrain they are unprepared for. Don't worry about special skis for the little one, use the money to get quality gear that fit's warm mitts and a helmet for them. Other good things to have is a pocket or two full of m&m's or skittles, to coax them to the bottom when they have an on hill melt down and you need to coax them to the bottom.
Other fun things is a watterbottle with some food color/water to draw some squiggly lines in the snow, some stuff to ski around, I have even seen some people using some cast-off carnival quality stuffed animals as turning spots. One of my favorites is pipe insulation, but only works of you can get acess to a drill (race coaches).
post #11 of 30
One option for skis that worked for me and my kids (not for teaching but to help them practice when they started out and skiing along side when they got older) was snow-blades. Cheaper, easy to maneuver, lighter, less likely to scratch, less to carry, slower... Worked great for several years over multiple kids.
post #12 of 30
Snowblades ..... no freakin way .... unless you get one that has a conventional release binding and they were hard to find. High spiral fracture accident rate with blades.

Skiing backwards .... easy enough to do .. ski in a backwards wedge and hold your poles out for the person to hold onto. And this can work for about an hour before the crowd shows up and the beginner slope and easy trails become a madhouse.

Too many people start kids too early and push it on them. There is no perfect and easy answer. BTW, instructors who specialize in kids (god bless em ... better them than me), have a whole bag of tricks and ways of dealing with youngsters .... the method of communication and visuals are totally different that teaching an adult class.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yuki View Post
Snowblades ..... no freakin way .... unless you get one that has a conventional release binding and they were hard to find. High spiral fracture accident rate with blades.
Agree on the injury part ordinarily and have seen it happen to people I know. But, in this discussion, it is used as an aid or a tool to ski with one's own very young kid. Free skiing or teaching is another story. Think about it. For the purpose that we are talking about, will you be on any terrain that is not well groomed or gently sloped or even long? Skiing backwards may not be hard but there are many other factors to consider with longer skis. BTW, when I taught pee wees, I didn't even bother putting on my skis at the Magic Carpet. I found running up and down the slope being the most effective. I suppose that is another option.
post #14 of 30
True ... just a junk pair of short skis ... but the best answer is to hire someone like yourself .... you have the junk skis & the bag of kiddie tricks!

post #15 of 30
If I were teaching real little kids a lot, I would definitely get a pair of shorties. Any of the pairs of rental learning skis in the 120-130cm range would be great. They are also very good to train on for you own skiing.

I have a pair of short Atomic called prime/x or something like that. They are actually a performance ski but only about 130cm. Got them for $80 when the ski shop dumped it's demos. They just couldn't move the things. I used these when I was skiing with my kid when he was little. They are also loads of fun to blast around on.
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by chanwmr View Post
Agree on the injury part ordinarily and have seen it happen to people I know. But, in this discussion, it is used as an aid or a tool to ski with one's own very young kid. Free skiing or teaching is another story. Think about it. For the purpose that we are talking about, will you be on any terrain that is not well groomed or gently sloped or even long? Skiing backwards may not be hard but there are many other factors to consider with longer skis. BTW, when I taught pee wees, I didn't even bother putting on my skis at the Magic Carpet. I found running up and down the slope being the most effective. I suppose that is another option.
Actually, our very own Noodler had an injury experience with his son for this reason. I'd highly recommend against them unless they have releasable bindings on them.
post #17 of 30
I taught my sono with the then "standard" length skis (198 cm GS skis), and me too, was skiing on those "switch"...But that was mainly because I couldn't afford to buy another, shorter pair.
My resolution was to buy a "short" (155-165 cm) SL ski. And certainly I would have done it. But once they grew up enough (I put them on skis at age 3some) then I decided to send them to school to a real teacher.
The idea of a cheap twin tip is certainly alluring, but I guess you'll be well with the 161 x-scream as well.
post #18 of 30
I used my regular SL skis (a 200 cm ski back then) when I started teaching my son. They worked, but they gave me quite a workout. A few years later, I switched to snowblades (the original 100 cm Salomon model) with my daughter, and they were much better for the 2-4 year old period. Much easier to maneuver around, on the hill and on the lift. I didn't have any concerns about injuries, but this phase was pretty much on the beginner hill, so I don't think it was beyond the "safety zone" of snowblades. The bottom line for me was that much shorter is much better for very young kids. (I used this approach for teaching other small kids as well, not just my own.)
post #19 of 30
I taught my son on my regular old skis. I think you would be wasting your money to buy some specifically for that purpose. We never used a harness. There was maybe 1 time where I would have like to have him on a leash. He did use the edgie wedgie at age 3. My only other advice is leave your poles at the botttom of the lift. Having your hands free will be more important and make your life easier than having super short twin tips.
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by TAH View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by cdnr328i View Post
Thanks for the advice guys.

So i'll need the wedge device and the harness apparatus. And a fresh tub of A535 for my back right?? Anything else?

You guys really gave me some good advice up there. never thought of grabbing skis less than the length of my poles....but it makes total sense. Up until now, i've never really paid attention to the ski instructors on the mountain. I'll make sure to watch them next time i'm out - tomorrow baby!!!

thanks again. If there's anything else - let's hear it.
I have taught kids full time for 10+ years and have used an edgie-wedgie about 3 times, all times for about 10-15min to help out a kid that just wasn't getting it and holding back the group and nobody else was avalible to help out. Harnesses are a crutch, and the only thing the teach is for the kid to depend on mommy and daddy to control thier speed.
The only other thing they allow is for the kids to get dragged into terrain they are unprepared for. Don't worry about special skis for the little one, use the money to get quality gear that fit's warm mitts and a helmet for them. Other good things to have is a pocket or two full of m&m's or skittles, to coax them to the bottom when they have an on hill melt down and you need to coax them to the bottom.
Other fun things is a watterbottle with some food color/water to draw some squiggly lines in the snow, some stuff to ski around, I have even seen some people using some cast-off carnival quality stuffed animals as turning spots. One of my favorites is pipe insulation, but only works of you can get acess to a drill (race coaches).

great advice here. :thumbsup:

ditto on the harness, only gets the kid dependent on you for speed control.
post #21 of 30
I ues 123cm NRT plates from Elan, when teaching munkins. also depending on the age and level of understanding I'll use an edgy-wedgy on their tips. I'm not a big fan of the harness ( pulls the child even farther back.) I do like to use a hula-hoop if they need the support and for towing. They have the freedom to take hold of it if they need to (side or in front). The shorter skis allow you to get much closer to them and are much less cumbersome over the long haul. Skate up that slope 8 or nine times back to a fallen munkin, and you'll see what I mean. Super shorts are also way easier to manage in the lift line when you don't have poles to help manuver with. Snowblades =spiral fractures. Head makes a 90 cm "big Easy" with a full functioning adjustable binding that are fun and are less likely to cause injury.
post #22 of 30
I teach kids....


Definitely short skis....

Dont worry about twins...you should be able to control any ski on the groomed terrain or low powder you will be on with your child.

I like 133s...I have been on 120s and 145s.... 133s work best for me, 5-10/170.

Best way to pick up a child? Stand one ski (of yours) on top of their two, lock the edge of your down hill ski. LIft with either one or two hands depending on the size and strength of the child.


DO NOT WORRY ABOUT SCRATCHES>>>>FORGET THEM NOW> YOU will get lots....that is what stickers are for.
post #23 of 30
I used to teach mostly 3 and 4 year olds when I was an instructor. That was a long time ago, so maybe now things have changed, but I taught on my 203 atomic racing skis. I had no problems skiing backward on them, or turning from front to back, or back to front, or any other problems due to their length. Personally, I can't see skiing on anything that you're not familiar with, even ( or maybe especially ) when teaching young kids.

We never used harnesses in the ski school, although I have friends that have used them and have gotten good results. But we used to ski backwards in front of the kids ( and hold their tips together ) to control their speed, I don't really see much difference between that and a harness. The "edge-wedgies" are good for kids that have problems *keeping* a wedge ( but not problems making a wedge , IMHO if that's the case, they're not ready to have skis on and the thing to do is just put boots on them and walk around so they learn how they feel. ). If you use the edgie wedgie the goal should be to get them to a point where you can remove it ASAP, IMHO. But it can help some kids, just don't let it become a crutch.

The main thing is to try to make it fun, give tons of positive feedback, and don't force them to do anything they don't want to ( it will backfire 95% of the time ).
post #24 of 30
Definitely. I leashed both my kids at age 3, and initially tried doing it with my regular length skis. What a PIA. Having to hold a wedge behind them with long skis, too much like work... ;-)

So I got myself a pair of snowblades. What a joy. I was able to tool around behind them and make tiny little slalom turns. I recommend it to anyone I see with a leash on the mountain.

Oh, BTW - one thing I was told about using the leash by an instructor friend of mine: The whole idea is to simply let them have fun going fast. Don't worry about turns etc. Just let em rip as fast as they wanna go. That seemed to work with both of them, they loved it.
post #25 of 30
When my kids were 3 i had them in boots and on ski's walking arround in house. At 4 we brought them to a small area and we walked in our sorrels up hill and they skied down"or they tried to anyway". At 5 we all skied but after a few days realized you really cant teach your own kids/spouse and enrolled them in a ski wee program. SO i guess the moral of this story is.
If you think you can teach them correctly then go for it ,But if you think that a little kid skiing down a black / blue trail in a giant wedge is teaching do us all a favor and have them correctly taught in a child specific program.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by skidbump View Post
When my kids were 3 i had them in boots and on ski's walking arround in house. At 4 we brought them to a small area and we walked in our sorrels up hill and they skied down"or they tried to anyway". At 5 we all skied but after a few days realized you really cant teach your own kids/spouse and enrolled them in a ski wee program. SO i guess the moral of this story is.
If you think you can teach them correctly then go for it ,But if you think that a little kid skiing down a black / blue trail in a giant wedge is teaching do us all a favor and have them correctly taught in a child specific program.

+1

We put them into the kids program at K and thats basically where they learned. With us, it would have been a whine fest.

I would take them out in the afternoon from time to time on the leash as a special treat. But I knew my own limitations and one of them is that I'm not a ski instructor.
post #27 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by perma-grin View Post
I ues 123cm NRT plates from Elan, when teaching munkins.
These are frequently sold on ebay for next to nothing. A quick search found several 123cm and several 133 cm, in the $25 to $80 range (plus shipping). All with releasable bindings - Tyrolia or Salomon.

I used shorter 94 cm Head "Head Liner" ski blades with releasable bindings to slow down and stay with my kids when they were first learning - older but still pretty darned slow. Significant advantage in slow skiing ability and fun on these relative to my next shortest ski (156 cm).
post #28 of 30
Taught both my kids to ski with plug boots and race stock skis, so no need for another pair of boards!

Skip the edgie wedgie and harness, get yourself a hula hoop. You can pull them up the hill or through the lift lines as well as control them going downhill. Easy to let them run without assistance, but to rope them back in should they get going too fast. This teaches them to also hold their hands out in front rather than be pulled into the back seat with the harness. Just be sure to duct tape the seam of the hoop so it won't come apart when you push or pull on it!!!

I thought I had a picture here in the office of my son skiing with the hoop from last season but I don't. If I remember I will post it tonight.
post #29 of 30

Hoops & Harnesses

I like the hula hoop in the magic carpet zone, but I prefer a harness on open runs, and for getting through crowded lift lines. Area protocols for bringing hoops up lifts seems to vary -- some are accommodating, others not so much.

You want to be sure the leash anchor point is close to the hips, not up near the shoulders, so that you don't get undesirable upper body movements when you reign in the leash.

The key to not having the harness become a crutch is to make sure the leash is long enough, and pick terrain where the little one can progress towards free running at the end of the leash for more and more of the run. For our kids, when they were free running most of the way and controlling direction & speed for themselves, the harness was retired.
post #30 of 30
Thread Starter 
Again everyone. Thank you for the many great ideas on first steps at getting my little one out. She's excited almost as much as I am! Key goal for me is to not push it and let her have FUN. Last thing i want is for her to have such a terrible time that she wont' want to do it again. And we can't have that can we?...

Again. Thanks for the tips guys. Will let you know how the 1st outing goes.
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