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clee03m

Parents have to learn to ski?

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I want to get my toddler out in the snow this winter. He will be little shy of 3. From what I read, kids that early can only ski. Are there other snowboarding parents who got their little one skiing? Did you have to learn to ski? I guess I am a bit nervous about the cost of having to get new gear and such. If I need to learn to ski, what kind of gear should I get? What are good beginner boots and skis? I am totally ignorant when it comes to anything to do with skiing.

 

Thanks.

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Why do you need to learn to ski? When they start they don't last long on the snow, you can snowboard during their class, and afterwards do a couple runs with them on the beginning groomers. "look at me dad/mom!"

 

In a few years you can switch to snowboards for them, possibly with private instructors (or teaching yourself) if they are too young for group lessons.

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Yeah, I don't see the problem. If you're going to sign them up for ski lessons and pay for someone to teach them to ski, then who cares if you ski or not? Once they're going down easy groomers by themselves it's moot, isn't it?

 

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My wife and I put our son on a snowboard when he was 3. Without much effort he learned to stand on the board and ride it... Stopping and turning are still a work in progress, but we bought the kids harness at Mt. Baker, and even though it's not the best piece of gear, it works. If your creative you could probably make your own harness that would work better with webbing or a cordalette. Lifties slow the chair when he gets on and we let him ride without getting too out of control. It takes patience, and Kaskadskyjkozak is right, they don't last that long anyway. Kiddie boards and boots are all over craigslist and every rental shop has little kiddie boards. For us the main obstacle is what to do with him once he's had enough. Rather than push him to much we typically take turns riding while he plays in snow or naps.

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I had my son do ski lessons this year with good success while I snowboarded around. he wants to snowboard but I told him that he needed to be 7 before he gets SB lessons. Stevens age policy.

 

skiing is intuitively easier than SB so I think it is a good step progression if he/she wants to SB eventually.

 

The bigger question is if the child is able to utilize lessons and learn anything. I don't think my boy would have done very good when he was three. But every kid is different so maybe yours will be fine. Mine had some lessons with 3.5 yo's in the class.

Gear is easy and cheap. get the shortest ones you can find. Call the ski school for rec's on sizing. Keep an eye out on cragslist and you can find some for $50. Boots don't need the fit as you do as a adult. Just not too big. (like 3 sizes too big) Just go to sports replay in november and find some boots then.

 

I would suggest you enroll your kid in a ski school with unlimited lessons. the first 8 or so will involve not skiing. But after 15 or so, they can really make amazing progress. it will be expensive but is def worth it.

 

 

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I agree that 3 is a bit young. Started mine at 5, 5, and 4. Tried the youngest at 3 and it did not work well. YMMV, of course.

 

Good luck!

 

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When my youngest was 2.75 we put him in a ski lesson at Whistler. He bonked and fell asleep face down ON the magic carpet. A year later he was having fun and starting to wedge and turns and stops. The older two really didn't start weekly lessons until 4/5 and that seemed to work well.

 

I snowboard and all three kids are starting out skiing. We ride together and it's fine.

 

I agree with Gene and Curt that the recipe for success is to #1 make it fun for them and let them stop when it's not, and #2 get some professional instruction if you can afford it.

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Didn't see this earlier. I have been teaching skiing for 21 years, along with my husband. All three of my kids are now ski instructors. My kids all learned at different ages, and I've taught thousands of kids. The right time is totally dependent on the child. My littlest one started skiing at 2 - just a straight run from Mommy to Daddy for an hour here and there when we weren't teaching. At age three, the muscular development was there to really ski and turn on her own. She was tiny, so we had to find the lightest weight gear possible and the softest ski boot so that the gear worked for her. By the end of that year, she was tearing up the greens and blues. At first, 45 minutes to an hour is the entire attention span until they start having a lot of success. Once they can actually ski green trails on the mountain, they start having a lot of fun and can enjoy being out for a couple of hours at a time.

 

Don't teach your own. No matter how patient you are, the criticsm and coaching from a parent just isn't as well received as it will be from a different person. You want to be the one they show off to, the fun person, not the "coach".

 

Progress isn't a straight line. At age 5, our skier suddenly decided that she only wanted to ride the chair lift, and Daddy should carry her down the slope. We let her goof off for awhile, and half way through the season she wanted to ski again. Our middle girl took a season mostly off, just reading in the lodge. The next year, she was enthusiastic again and shortly after that joined the school ski team. Expect entusiasm to come and go.

 

Initially, being able to ski with Daddy was the ultimate for our little one. As the kids got older, we could turn them loose with other kids with radios to stay in touch with us. That independence was very helpful in keeping them enthusiastic.

 

I really discourage the use of a harness, edgy-wedgy, and other devices. They definitely slow down their development and get them into very bad habits. A better idea is to encourage activities that promote the muscular development needed for snowsports. Roller blading and skating are very good corss training. It develops the ability to rotate the leg, muscles that aren't generally developed with walking and sitting.

 

Smaller kids don't do well with snowboarding initially as the gear is too heavy for them. I seldom see kids have much real success until they are closer to 8, while many kids can learn to ski between 3 - 5. All learn faster with repeated short exposure to the sport. Most 4 year olds will learn to ski bunny slopes and easy greens after 4 - 5 weekly sessions in a row. At first, you get 45 minutes of work, 15 minutes of snow play, then 45 minuites of skiing, followed by hot chocolate. The best instructors use praise and rewards for the tiniest accomplishments.

 

Hope you had a good winter. Invest some time and money today, and you will have a family activity for life.

 

You don't need to ski - that may even make it easier for you not to teach them and just be fun. They will model what they see, and they will want to go play in the park, especially if that is where you go. My daughter has banned us from the park, but we can peak in and watch her. She both skis and boards, though she is a far better skier than boarder. My husband does both and telemraks. I just ski.

Edited by Seamstress

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