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high_on_rock

starting a kid skiing

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I have kids 8 and 9 years old, wanting to start them on the snow. Any thoughts whether to start with downhill, xross country, or a board? I would like to have them doing all three eventually, but what order should I start them? thoughts?

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Start them with Hot Chocolate.

Then Alpine skiing. It is the hardest to learn and if they do not start there, they will probably never do it well.

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Also go latter in the year, when the crowds thin out;

and there is more sunshine - ie in March to April.

Children because of their small statue get cold more easily.

I start them in a snowplow between my legs with essentially

no explaination - to get them to learn the feel of the boards

sliding on snow. That is learn by doing. Some kids like

different approaches, though. But be sure to keep it fun.

With timeouts to play in the snow or whatever.

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I started both my kids on old school tele gear. I wanted them to learn tele so they would be future backcountry ski partners. They both ride snowboards now and have no intrest in hiking for turns, unless there are no lifts running and i get them dreaming about making turns. I think it is best to learn tele turns when you are young, although none of my kids could link tele turns now or back then, they can get in any kind of ski gear and get around ok. The most important part of learning to ski or ride is to get out as much as posible because we all know, PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT! And have fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Try to trick them by only going on really nice weather days, Don't go on the week ends, it's to much stress, for the parent

At your kids age they should be ripping in about 3 hours.

Get one of the super saver beginner day deals, so nexy time they get to go on the big chair.

I'm starting again this year with my 20mo old daughter, our middle kid skis with his buddies after school, and my older son moved to lk tahoe about 5 yrs ago.

If the weather sucks just bag it, before the big trip. Save the $$ for powder day

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I wouldn't start a kid on tele gear unless I was a cruel vindictive jerk.

 

I got my start on skis when I was 1.5 years old. My dad took me out in a snowy backyard put some skis on me and gave me a push. Eventually the parents took me to the Snoqualmie mounties lodge and had me sidestepping on skis and eventually riding the kiddy rope tow on my own.

 

My first bc ski experience came when I was 7 or 8 and my folks had me hike on AT skis up the snowy highway with some shortcuts to Chinook Pass. We did a couple runs there where the old tow used to be.

 

I never even heard of tele till I was a teen, and I never even tried it till my college outdoor program coordinator tried to convince me that it was more than a dirty hippie thing. I tried it long enough to learn what a stupid form of skiing it was.

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Feck, you're repeating an argument we've had once or twice a year since the site began. I've seen plenty of kids have a good time on tele gear and it doesn't necessarily follow that if they learn to telemark they'll become fans of String Cheese Incident.

 

If I had kids I'd encouage them to learn to ski because they'll almost certainly take up boarding in fairly short order if they stick with lift assisted snowfun but a skiing background might serve them well at some future point if they become interested in the backcountry. It might be a waste of time but so are piano lessons.

 

Tele or Alpine? Your choice but if I was going to try to teach my nepew to ski it'd probably be alpine just because it'd be easier and good used gear would be more available.

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I put my kids in tele gear for a number of reasons, the main one being its the only skiing that know how to do. I dont think it matters what gear you give them they will figure out how to use it. Feck, I also thought that it was a funy way to ski with my heels free when everyone around me was skiing with locked heels, BUT after i figured it out, there is no better feeling than linking tele turns. It is a feeling i best describe as dancing. Ah yes dancing on my tele gear is a feeling i would not trade anything for. If everyone could experience that feeling the world would be better place. I am addicted to tele skiing and i know my kids would be also if they had kept it up.

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I can't imagine why they didn't keep up with something thats alot of work and pita for little return....

 

Make it fun for them. I started XC skiing in the backyard at age 2 (or thereabouts). About 10 I started downhill skiing (because that's what friends were doing). If you make it fun for them and it's something their friends are into it, chances are they might stick with it.

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What I'm hearing is you tried to introduce your kids to tele skiing. Now they snowboard and have no interest in tele.

 

My dad introduced me to AT skiing 40 years ago, and I'm still doing that even though I've tried both tele and snowboarding.

 

I would like to try biathlon. XC skiing with a gun; that must be fun. :tup:

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My wife says, "Get your turns in before you take the kids out, or you'll get all pissed off, helping them into thier gear"

We all ski, because cause its cooler than boarding, and you can walk in skis

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Hey Feck, Tele skiing rocks.

There is no more efficient way to ski mountaineer.

You are now too old to learn tho.

Too bad you missed out on such a great ride!

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Hey Feck, Tele skiing rocks.

There is no more efficient way to ski mountaineer.

You are now too old to learn tho.

Too bad you missed out on such a great ride!

 

you better share that stuff before you smoke it all next time

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My parents started me on XC at 3, downhill at 4 and I started snowboarding at 15. I think that was a good progression although snowboarding wasn't viable until I was 15 as it was.

 

It's nice to learn the balance and reading the snow on XC and the free heel makes you pay attention.

 

I think it's easier for parents to teach downhill/tele than snowboarding because you can hold on to the kid in a snowplow. That's what my mother did but I was skiing on my own after a couple of days. There's the tether method too.

 

Snowboarding is pretty easy to learn if you aren't afraid of a little speed and commitment. There's a minimum speed after which turning becomes simple.

 

I've returned to the world of skiing after 16 years of snowboarding and am loving it. I bought some AT gear to get away from the lift traffic and with the hopes of getting into more mountaineering type pursuits. I'm grateful for my previous skiing experience.

 

I think there's a pretty even split amongst kids skiing and snowboarding at the resorts. Tele seems to be more appealing for people who don't like to jump although there are some tele'ers that can rip it up in the air.

 

A friend has been teaching his kids and one wanted to go straight to snowboarding after starting out on skis. It's possible that the kids will decide for you. Whatever you decide make sure it's fun.

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Hey Feck, Tele skiing rocks.

There is no more efficient way to ski mountaineer.

You are now too old to learn tho.

Too bad you missed out on such a great ride!

 

Smellmark skiing is the stupidest form of skiing known to man.

 

All the first descents of what is now Crystal Mountain were done on AT gear. I prefer to stick with the classic Northwest form of skiing not some weird East Coast style.

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It's nice to learn the balance and reading the snow on XC and the free heel makes you pay attention.

..... Tele seems to be more appealing for people who don't like to jump although there are some tele'ers that can rip it up in the air.

I would not tele in area. It makes no sense.

Tele is for getting out and about, away from the crowds and smells and noise. It is very efficient to wax up (East side) and get a good glide going and then without hesitating, rip a few linked turns for the downside.

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Are you planning to teach them or put them in a ski/snowboard school? If you are going to teach them I would either start with the one at which you are the most proficient, or the one they want to try first. XC is great for weekends when the resorts are crowded. If you are going to teach them I found that barely sloping ground and an gentle push worked well for my 3 year old daughter. By the end of the second hour she was going faster than I could run and telling me she didn't need to snowplow because "I'm fine." The second day we graduated to a rope around her waist. Two days of that and we were able to skip the rope on green runs and only use it on blue runs. I don't know how you could use that with two kids at the same time. I think that they may have to just go on their own. I think the biggest thing that helped my daughter was not bothering with turning until day three. She needed to work on balance and speed control. Turning was more than she could handle, but she was only three so you situation may be different.

Good luck.

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None of us had ever been skiing, boarding, or any thing like that. So 5 years ago I packed up the family, wife, son and daughter, and it was off to Big White where we rented a condominium for a week. The children were rather young when we started, 4 and 7, but by the first day of the our second year of doing this we had the children skiing in and out of the condo.

 

Last year while at Stevens I told my daughter, 8 years old at the time, to keep up with me that I am going first this time; I took off. I am going at the outer upper edge of my ability when I heard a high pitch squeal of joy, and out of the corner of my eye this little pink streak went flashing past me…..Yup, that’s my girl.

 

So, as an experienced parent who has done this before I would recommend for the first few days allow the professional teachers do the teaching. Drop the kid off at school and go have some fun with your partner.

 

Then they should be able to keep up with your on the bunny slops and with practice quickly more up to intermediate or every advanced.

 

I was told by the instructors at Big White 7 or 8 is about the youngest you want to start boarding because the stomach muscles need to be better developed for the toe groom.

 

We go every winter for one week. We try to make it the week BEFORE Presidents’ Day week end. PD is the busiest for ski resorts.

 

Oh, and get ready to have a GREAT time in the snow.

 

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Eric, even though I've been a fairly dedicated tele skier for 20+ years now, I wouldn't start my 8- and 9-year-olds that way. And I'd definitely start em on skis rather than a board, as skiing will give them more skills and they can much more easily transfer the ski skills to a board rather than the other way around. In our Inland NW region, you've got 2 solid options: Alpine or Cross-country. As to which one of the two, that's your choice buddy, but of course it depends greatly on what your kids may like.

 

One option, as MattP said, is to start 'em on alpine. Kiddie gear is easier to get, and there are more kid learning programs. Each of the resorts have good ones, and you know I'm partial to 49DN for good reason. They've got one of the best learning hills, excellent instructors, and deals. You *can* teach them yourself (one option), but the best way is to get 'em in formal lessons with a professional. A typical program will have kids in classes in the morning, then they're free in the afternoon when they can ski with you or ski on their own.

 

As young kids growing up in Seattle, my folks enrolled my bro, sis and myself in the Lake City Elks' ski program. They also made the commitment to buy us our own gear. Folks would drop us off at the bus in the early a.m., we'd have morning lessons at Stevens Pass, and I'd be skiing with neighborhood buds and new friends through the afternoon until the lifts closed. I was glad not to be taught by my folks, but also appreciated being taken back up to the hill by them on occasional Sundays. It was this alpine mountain foundation that got me on my own eventually into the mountains and backcountry, and skiing on groomed cross-country trails.

 

The second solid option, especially in our area, is cross-country. We've got exceptional groomed trails at Mt. Spokane, and junior learning and racing programs to match through Selkirk Nordic/SNSEF.

 

Not sure what the bottom-age-limit for juniors is in the Spo Mounties' free class which starts with the indoor session this Wed (the single outdoor class is Saturday), but you can ask.

 

Selkirk Nordic's junior cross-country classes start after Jan 1, so you have some time there. Not sure when downhill resort junior alpine seasonal programs (they'll have the best instructional deals) begin, but we're just starting to get good coverage and it should be improved for this coming weekend.

 

With your Norwegian heritage and athletic genes, I'm sure your kids will pick up skiing well. They may eventually telemark or board, who knows, but with a start on alpine and/or cross-country skiing they'll have a base of understanding and skills they'll continue to use as adults in the mountains and in winter whatever it is they'll do. Personally, I can say the best thing my folks ever gave to me as a child was the gift of skiing.

 

Good luck bro.

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So, as an experienced parent who has done this before I would recommend for the first few days allow the professional teachers do the teaching. Drop the kid off at school and go have some fun with your partner.

 

I would disagree if you have the skills and patience to do the teaching. The first day I had my daughter out there was also a class of about seven kids, probably five or six years old. It was their first time on skis. Their teacher was doing a good job of teaching them, but in the time it took for the whole group to move about 40 feet my daughter took a full run of about 1/4 mile and I carried her back up to the top. Beginners need the smallest group they can be in. If you could swing private lessons for the two of them that would probably be the best, but short of that, and assuming you can teach them, I recommend that over a class for the first couple of times. Once they can all stop, start and turn, then group lessons can be helpful in taking the next steps.

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I gotta tell you all, this is a great bunch of advice, and I am digesting every word. Much appreciated. I will come up with a plan in about a week and let you know how it all goes. Thanks all!

Eric

 

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