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When to start skiing

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
My grandaughter is getting married and I hope a little skier will be on the way shortly thereafter. I took up skiing late in life and never got to ski with my own children. My question is what is the earliest age to start skiing. I informed my grandaughter and her future husband that teaching the baby to ski was going to be my job. They were both on swim teams and will handle the swim lessons.
I am presently 65 years old and want them to have kids as soon as possible. Assuming the wedding is in June 09 and a baby happens say March 2010, when should I plan a ski trip?
post #2 of 15
If you're not kidding, I would wait until their child was at least three years old. When you take a three year old (or 2 if you must), the outing should be all about having fun, and any skiing they get in is a byproduct of having that fun.

When I started my son at 3 1/2, we took him up to the mountain and let his interests drive what we did. If he felt like throwing snowballs, we threw them. If he wanted to ski a little, we skied. If he got cold, we went inside.

Don't "teach" a real young student, just "do"... If you want to them to go down a hill in a wedge have them follow you. If you want to turn right, say "go this way" and turn that way as they follow. If you aren't skiing show them what you want them to do without skis on. Use lots of visual cues... no talking other than giving lots of encouragement!!!

Really be careful about the slope as a very young skier has very little strength to stop. The flatter the slope the better.

post #3 of 15
I can't tell you how to teach such a youngster but I first got on skis at 3 years old.
post #4 of 15
As soon as they are old enough to go to the bathroom by themselves.
post #5 of 15
If your back yard has snow in it (in season), that's probably the best place to start. The emphasis, as Mike notes, should be on having fun in the snow, not particularly on accomplishing a specific athletic task. A sled or saucer with a pull strap and a pair of those K-Mart style plastic skis with waterski type bindings that a child can use with regular street snowboots should be your first tools.

Use the saucer to pull the child, use the skis to share walking around with big feet. Don't even think about a slope unless there are two of you so that one can pull the child up and let the child go and the other can catch.

Otherwise, wait until the child is mature enough for professional ski school. Unless you're trained as a child ski instructor, your best input would be spending time on the beginner slopes with the child before and after lesson times.

While teaching a great-grandchild may be rewarding to you, if you are untrained, you could spoil the ski experience for the child.

Finally, pressuring your granddaughter to have a baby as soon as possible so you can get in on the ski learning is inappropriate. The newlyweds need time to learn about life together before they add a third life to the mix.
post #6 of 15
There area several threads about getting little ones on skis, starting with getting them comfortable with ski boots, skis, snow and FUN!

First step is to get them used to getting all the "stuff" on, and making sure that they connect getting the stuff on, with having fun.
Its all downhill from there.
post #7 of 15
it really depends on the kid.

I started my older one on little strap-on skis at 2 and he was in regular lessons at 3.

he would never want to go in or take a break. No hot chocolate nuthin'. Just wanted to ski!!!

He would cry when we left the hill but was asleep before we got out of the parking lot! He is soon to be 23 and is still the same way! cries when we leave!

I started my younger one at 3 (waited for winter after he was potty trained) he was not as gung ho, but still loved it! Went straight into lessons! he is now 19 1/2.

Both became very accomplished Junior Olympics level racers. At the height of their racing, they trained and raced and freeskied about 80 days per year.
post #8 of 15
Originally Posted by Trekchick View Post
There area several threads about getting little ones on skis ...
Here's a couple:

Originally Posted by Woodstocksez View Post
More reading material - here are a couple of past threads on this subject ...

And the thread in which that post appeared: http://forums.epicski.com/showthread...321#post960321.
post #9 of 15

I started my oldest at 4.5. My younger son will try this season at 3.5. He is a little more "mature" than #1 so should be good. He was MAD last year on Sat mornings when I took his big bwudda and left him at home with ma.
post #10 of 15
Thanks for joggin' my memory!

I'd dress 'em up a couple times during the week in all their gear and let 'em walk around with their boots and skis on in the playroom.
post #11 of 15
Please, please, whatever you do, don't make this into a " "chore" for the kid.

It should be fun fun fun.

Otherwise, he/she will form bad memories and will not ski for years. i

If at all.
post #12 of 15
What you really need to understand is that each kid is different. Some youngsters may be motivated but lack the strength, some may be strong as little bulls at five (my daughter), but lack motivation. She wanted to ski daddy, ski daddy, ski daddy .... and she never got past "Sno-Angel 101" and knock down Freddie's Snowman (he's in my class and he's mean to girls) .... she finally wanted to and did ski well at seven.

A great intro ..... depending on how the child interacts with others ... is a mid week lesson for the little ones.

Those (God bless them), kiddie instructors have a bag of tricks that you haven't even dreamed of .... games and things they will say and do that will get the little one on skis with a good foundation.
post #13 of 15
One additional word of wisdom when you put them in lessons. Hand 'em over to the instructor and immediately and rapidly leave the premises!

I you can't help yourself and have to watch, do it from a hidden vantage point.

Kids are amazingly well behaved for others when you are not around!

I have seen many a "separation anxiety show" put on which immediately comes to an end when Mom & DAd are out of sight!
post #14 of 15
Atomic is spot on with that one.
post #15 of 15
First trip at ages 4 and 5 we just bundled them up and I toted them around the bunny hill while they yelled weeeeeee! They didn't do well walking in boots and were more preoccupied with the snow since they had never seen that much.

Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
Thanks for joggin' my memory!

I'd dress 'em up a couple times during the week in all their gear and let 'em walk around with their boots and skis on in the playroom.
We did this today in the font yard. They are already 1000% better with the boots and managing bindings, walking around, falling and getting up than they were on the snow last year at age 4 and 5. Their stoke is also thru the roof
I hadn't forgotten that that was the first half hour when teaching never evers, but knew last year they weren't quite ready. This year they are. Excellent call A-Man!

Originally Posted by Atomicman View Post
One additional word of wisdom when you put them in lessons. Hand 'em over to the instructor and immediately and rapidly leave the premises!

Kids are amazingly well behaved for others when you are not around!
I've worked as an instructor and taught itty bitty never evers. I know my kids will be way better in the hands of a qualified stanger for the first bunch of lessons. It will also give me the opportunity to grab a few runs on my own. I've retired from teaching LOL! But I'll help when my help is requested. I used to hate the instructors that didn't know when to just let folks ski.
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