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What Age

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
At what age would you as Professionals, recommend parents start their children skiing?
post #2 of 10
Not 2. I think 3 or 4 can be a good age if the kid is ready and wants to ski. I think if you wanted to breed uber-skiers, you might start them a little bit later 6 or 7 or 8. When they might better be able to learn without developing defensive habits.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by epic View Post
Not 2. I think 3 or 4 can be a good age if the kid is ready and wants to ski. I think if you wanted to breed uber-skiers, you might start them a little bit later 6 or 7 or 8. When they might better be able to learn without developing defensive habits.
I understand what you are saying epic. But for the sake of those lurking, can you explain to them the tendency to develope "defensive" habits and the harm that might cause in their developement?
post #4 of 10
The problem Lars is that so many people, instructors included, view success as being able to ski harder and harder terrain. When kids ski by surviving steeper and steeper trails, they learn to use their skis as brakes. They learn to turn the skis across the fall line as fast as they can, and more often than not, they end up skiing in "the backseat". It can take years to teach them a new way to ski.

So what can you do to make sure your young one does learn to ski well? Get them with the best pro you can find. Make sure their equipment really fits. This is huge, make it so that the easiest thing to do is ski well. If their equipment does not fit, they will adapt and find a way to make it work, but it won't be pretty. Finally, manage your expectations. If you push them now, you may regret it. I once had parents come up to me steaming mad. "I caught you!" the father yelled. "Caught me doing what?" I asked. "Skiing Easy Mile!" he replied, "My kid skis double diamonds and you take him on a green!"
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
So by starting them a bit later as you say, 6 or 7, what advantage is this over 3 or 4?
post #6 of 10
Don't get me wrong, if the 3 or 4 year old wants to ski, they should. And if you are careful and can manage your expectations, you can start them at that age without doing any damage, what I am saying is that anybody who is concerned that their 8-year old will never catch up need not be concerned.
post #7 of 10
Actually I think 6 is about right but many start sooner. Once they are say 7-8 they have developed some fear that does not seem to go away again until the teens.
post #8 of 10
My first answer is that there is no hard and fast rule. It depends on a lot of things. I used to think 4 was a reasonable early starting age and 3 was the earliest for special cases. But I met a guy at Stratton who had an 8 month old out on skis. We watched him work with his girl and she was having a blast. We later saw his 2YO and 4YO skiing (both had started at either 8 or 14 months). His success was undeniable. I don't expect anyone to believe this. I wouldn't if I had not seen it and had friends who also witnessed this.
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lars View Post
At what age would you as Professionals, recommend parents start their children skiing?
When they want to at a pace they enjoy.

My kids each started at a different age based on their interest, their physicality, and the time we could find. By the time they were 5, each of them could ski on easy greens, and were starting to enjoy it. By last season, with our youngest at 6, we were skiing as a family around the mountain on easy terrain.

Allow them to lead. When they get bored, stop. When they get cold, tired, or hungry, stop. If you just do one run and they are done, stop. If they don't want to go, don't. If you force them, they may hate it the rest of their lives, and it's too joyful and experience to ruin it for them early...!
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
Steve, some advice to you. Enjoy your days skiing with your kids as much as I did. They were always my ski buddies and dominated my ski opportunities and vacations. As they grow up way too fast.

My happiest times on snow were with my boys, not my friends. Cherish that time.
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