Results 1 to 19 of 19
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Darth Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    465

    Kid skiing? OT for bikes but not Norcal...

    I have a 3.5yo who is juuuuust old enough to try skiing for the first time. Or snowboarding, but probably skiing, right?

    Any advice? Should I have him try skates first? What resort has the best daycare, er, lessons?

  2. #2
    Dropshot Champ!
    Reputation: redmr2_man's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    4,957
    We pull our 1 year old around on a blank skateboard deck (no trucks/wheels), with felt lining the bottom so it slides better.

    Only advice I've read is focus more on balance stuff.

    Wife wants her on the slopes this year, but her helmet doesn't fit yet.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    249
    Get him out and see how it goes, each kid is different. If the kid hasn't seen snow before, have him play in the snow to get used to it. Make it fun. Make sure he's warm out there. Skiing seems to be easier for most kids to get into, it takes a while for their calf muscles to develop. Squawpine passes are free until they turn five (I think), other resorts probably similar. You can have him ride the magic carpet with a harness at first to get used to it. Harness is key, as they get better you can only use it when they are in over their heads of sketched out, and the handle helps for getting them on lifts and picking them up when they hit the deck. And once he's over it, hot chocolate time, don't push him to do it if he's not feeling it.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    645
    Make it fun. Make sure he's warm out there. And once he's over it, hot chocolate time, don't push him to do it if he's not feeling it.[/QUOTE]

    This is the most important advice. We had my 6 year old on skis when he was 1, right when he could walk. Things were great until last winter I took him out on a day when it was hammering rain and snow. He hasn't ridden a chair since.

    He still enjoys x c skiing which is a good way to get them into skiing if you already do that...

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    178
    Quote Originally Posted by John Svahn View Post

    He still enjoys x c skiing which is a good way to get them into skiing if you already do that...
    +1 on the XC skiing. I have three boys and I started them all on XC skis first.
    We would go out onto the meadow near our cabin and ski around and made it fun. As soon as it wasn't fun anymore, off came the skis and on to other activities. This gives them a sense of skis on their feet. As a sub 5yo I don't think their legs are quite strong enough for alpine skiing, (although many are skiing at that age, this was just my MO). When the boys were about 5-6 yo is when i took them up to the mountain to go skiing. To this day they are all skiing and enjoy it.
    Anybody can ski the groomed

  6. #6
    fRIDEday makes me happy!
    Reputation: FullBladdy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    877
    I had both my kids in ski/snowboard school at four years old. My son snowboards and my younger daughter started skiing last year. A few things I have practiced/learned:

    1. Always make it fun. Getting to the mountains should be the happy place.
    2. Get them in lessons. I now ride with my son but was sure to get them into lessons so an experienced teacher can show them the ropes and I would not get frustrated with them or ruin their desire to continue in the sport.
    3. Lots of snacks. We always stop in Strawberry on the way home from Sierra for some hot cocoa. They talk about that almost as much as getting on the hill.
    4. Ski/snowboard videos at home. Just like us they get the stoke on by watching some people send it.
    5. Avoid weekends if you can. When the mountain is less crowded the little ones don't feel as intimidated.
    6. When out with them on the mountain stay behind them to protect from the out of control nut jobs that don't have the skill for the speed they are going at.
    7. Layers
    8. Ask them at the end of the day if they want to come back. I know my kids so I knew what the answer would be but it gives them a sense that they have a say in it and allows them to express their enthusiasm.
    9. Helmets
    10. Stickers, kids love stickers on helmets or whatever you can get them on.

    When it comes to skiing or snowboarding to start once again gauge your kids to see what they are capable of and what they will enjoy most. With my son it wasn't a question he wanted to do what Daddy does and still when offered the chance to ski he says he wants to ride instead. My daughter is a different child and I knew that skiing would work better for her. She would have had one day on a snowboard and never would want to come back. With skiing she was able to get on her feet easier and it left her wanting more.

    I appreciate that you are excited about getting the little on one the hill, so many dads I know that ride/ski talk about wanting to do it then three seasons pass by or they took the kid to the hill once, had a bad experience then gave up on trying to get them into the sport.

    Many mountains have lesson packs that work real well. We hit up Sierra and their full day lesson packs with a Star Wars themed approach worked well.

  7. #7
    > /dev/null 2&>1
    Reputation: Procter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3,809
    I've been working on my guy since he was 1.5y. He's 4 in Mar. He skis, I definitely think its more natural to learn skiing than snowboarding at a young age. And, I want him to be able to keep up with me. You know, hot laps. No buckles. Off the lift and straightline it to the pow. And you know, traverse. To pow. That kind of stuff. But . . . I digress.

    Anyways, Here's the process I used. This may go quicker at 3y than at 1.5y
    1) Get them comfortable in the boots. Put them on in the house, take them off, put them on, see how he feels
    2) Get him comfortable in the skis. Put him in the skis inside on carpet, take them off, etc. M&M's for bribery.
    3) Get him comfortable walking on snow in the skis, on flat. M&Ms for bribery.
    4) Get him a kids harness with a handle in the back so you can pick him up. Get a tip-strap that ties the tips of the skis together.
    5) With you on your skis, go to a gentle slope and skate up (holding him by the handle or carrying him). Then, ski down holding him between your legs
    6) Repeat 5, on your local magic carpet lift
    7) When he's comfortable with that, he's ready to start standing on this own. The first thing you want to do is the reverse hold:

    - You face backwards down the hill
    - Place him facing you, with his skis straddling one of your skis
    - Place his tip-strap up against your binding
    - You are going to snowplow backwards, holding his hands. He can't ski past you, because his tip-strap is stopped on your binding. This allows him to get the feel of standing up on his own.


    8) When he's ready, move on to gentle slopes with harness. Try to get him skiing down on his own, you are holding him back by the reigns from his ski harness
    9) Finally, find a REALLY gentle slope, which runs out to flat or runs out slightly uphill, and allow him to ski competely on his own, without you holding him.

    Repeat 8/9 until he's qualifying for Jr. Nationals, then sit back and wait for the Olympic Gold and endorsement deals!

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    770
    The most important thing: make it fun, for both of you. They will be encouraged later in life to get outside if they have fond memories. A kid is not really strong enough to ski well until they are about 10 years old. The key is to keep them interested until then.
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: k2rider1964's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,371
    Both my kids started skiing at age 4 at Mammoth. My son switched to snowboarding at age 6 and my daughter switched at age 10. I have a friend who started his daughter at pretty much 2.5 on a snowboard and she's 14 now....ranked #1 in the USA and #2 in the world for the Half Pipe and ranked in the top 10 in Slopestyle.

    We always went to Mammoth because 20 years ago, it was $100 a day for all day lessons, rentals and lunch. Most of the instructors were from Australia and were great with the kids. I don't know if there's any "best" area as most kids programs are similar and unless things have changed, the kids instructors CHOOSE to work with kids so they are good at what they do. I will say that if you go consistently, I'd try to pick one resort as the kids will adapt better and the instructors come back year after year. I miss those days.
    2017 Intense Primer
    2016 Santa Cruz 5010

  10. #10
    AKD
    AKD is online now
    Temporarily flatlanded
    Reputation: AKD's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    1,052
    We started our kids on the plastic skis at 2(ish) just walking up and down the driveway for fun.

    At 3, we had them out at Alpine on the Subway chair with mom & dad. It's not perfect (the start's a little steep for teeny tiny ones) but it's the right length run and there's a snack bar at the bottom with mac & cheese (and beer). We had them on real (2-buckle) boots, bindings set to 0.75 DIN, and short skis. We had to use racer chasers in the beginning (back saving, but not great for building good technique. GUMMY BEARS, GUMMY BEARS, GUMMY BEARS. But not big blue gummy sharks, as those made my kids puke green stuff.

    At 4 we had them in the Squaw Shooting Stars program (way better than Squaw Kids but only really makes sense if you can go >75% of the program days, given the cost). They had the kids linking (snowplow) turns in half an hour. Can't speak highly enough of this program. It's amazing. The coaches are fantabulous. The program leads are excellent. They ride two kids per coach, and don't go on chairlifts until the kids are ready for the responsibility (and still have an instructor arm to hold them on).

    Our kids graduate to "Mighty Mites" this winter, assuming I am okay with them riding the chairlift with random strangers. I'm not sure about that, but my kids grew a ton in the last year, so maybe it's not quite as scary (for me) now.

    Word of advice: don't cheap out on ski clothes. A cold, wet kid is a miserable kid. Ill-fitting and ill-performing boots suck the life out. Get real, thin, ski socks. And a helmet, which they will use CONSTANTLY.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Darth Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    465
    Thank you everyone whoís responded so far.

  12. #12
    Clever Title
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    435
    Great thread. I'm going to be introducing my 6 and 9 y.o. daughters to skiing this year. We have a long weekend planned at Sierra (plus I finally bought a pass). Lessons have gotten $$$, but I figure one day of them will probably be well worth it. The "keeping it fun" part would be the biggest struggle for me as I get frustrated with them and I think an instructor will do a better job. I grew up skiing and remember some of the biggest problems were being properly dressed and boots that felt like your feet were being crushed so I know those are huge to making the experience enjoyable.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    254
    We put our son in the Sierra-at-Tahoe program when he was three. Expensive, but the do a really good job of making sure the kids learns AND have fun. Three days of that and he was ready for us.

    Got a racer-chaser (think steerable leash for kids). He really didnít need it since he always maintained good speed control, but if you have one of those mini-bombers they are helpful to control speed and steering.

    Find a good run. Detachable high speed lifts are much easier to get on and off.
    Go early so that there are fewer people. Crowds make learning difficult and dangerous. Too many obstacles and too many fast skiers in marginal control.
    Take breaks.

    Consider doing something that will make it more fun for you. Itís easier to be on skis than a snowboard when helping out young ones. If youíre already a skier, try telemark. You can still ski, but will find some challenge in the bunny runs. Thatís how I got hooked on tele.

    Finally, as suggested before. Good cloths. TWO pair of gloves (at least), they will get them wet. Helmet is mandatory. Donít forget sunscreen if sunny. Put the bar down when youíre on the lift. Have fun.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Darth Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    465
    I just got a downvote for starting this thread. Haters gonna, I guess :-D

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: 5k bike 50cent legs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    770
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I just got a downvote for starting this thread. Haters gonna, I guess :-D
    Up vote from me. Let's see if I get a down vote for giving you an up vote!
    The only easy day was yesterday.

  16. #16
    > /dev/null 2&>1
    Reputation: Procter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    3,809
    Quote Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
    I just got a downvote for starting this thread. Haters gonna, I guess :-D
    From who?

  17. #17
    mtbr member
    Reputation: RWhiz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    273
    I started my son at 4 years old, this will be his third year skiing. We go to Diamond Peak over in Incline since they offer free passes to kids 6 and under. They also have a great kids ski program (not free)

    I think it helps the kids and adults both when the kids get into one of those types of programs. Some lessons, play in the snow, inside play and snacks, a ski with the parent later in the day. Keeps the kids into going to the hill rather than a whole day hitting the slopes.
    And if you no longer go for a gap that exists, you are no longer a racing driver. A. Senna

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Darth Lefty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Posts
    465
    "You have given out too much Reputation in the last 24 hours, try again later."

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    4,239
    Quote Originally Posted by RWhiz View Post
    I started my son at 4 years old, this will be his third year skiing. We go to Diamond Peak over in Incline since they offer free passes to kids 6 and under. They also have a great kids ski program (not free)

    I think it helps the kids and adults both when the kids get into one of those types of programs. Some lessons, play in the snow, inside play and snacks, a ski with the parent later in the day. Keeps the kids into going to the hill rather than a whole day hitting the slopes.
    I agree about the programs. At a young age they are good on the slopes for about an hour at a time. The ski programs give them other play time with other kids, so they have a break from the slopes.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Riding slowly since 1977.

Similar Threads

  1. Norcal Lycra - Norcal Baggies
    By motorbacon in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-09-2017, 04:57 PM
  2. NorCal Kid Climbs a Milli
    By dchester in forum California - Norcal
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-01-2017, 10:15 PM
  3. New kid (not so kid... lol) on the block...
    By Pikachu_MTB in forum General Discussion
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 10-03-2013, 08:35 AM
  4. Who's biking this winter and not skiing?
    By cocavaak in forum Colorado - Front Range
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 01-15-2013, 08:30 AM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 04-13-2011, 09:49 AM

Members who have read this thread: 86

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •