Whether your parents taught you to ski soon after you began walking or you managed to learn on your own in what felt like a series of epic wipeouts down the mountain, the important part is that you learned.
The sport you now know and love is likely a big part of your life and you may want to pass that knowledge on to your little ones. Regardless of your own learning experience, chances are you want their introduction to skiing to be as easy, pain free and fun as possible. We’ve gathered a few tips to help make that first experience as enjoyable as possible for all involved.
#1 Dress the little ones in layers. The best way to keep kids warm is to dress them in layers. This strategy also comes in handy when they start to heat up, removing clothes is far easier than changing entire outfits. Also, remember sunscreen—it can get pretty sunny on the mountain.
#2 Whenever possible rent kids gear. Buying gear for a growing kid doesn’t make much sense when you realize they’ll need new sizes in a year or two and borrowing might result in a poor fit. Renting gear is a wise decision for kids, they’ll have the right size and it won’t break the bank—skis and boots usually come free with the lesson. Be sure to call ahead to ensure they have the right size gear and have kids try the boots on early to get used to the feeling.
#3 As much as you may want to teach them, consider a lesson first. Certified ski instructors are professionals, they teach kids day after day and they know how to make it fun. Lessons allow kids to be with others their own age, instructors make up games and challenges and there isn’t as much pressure to do well as there might be with parents.
#4 Get there a while before the end of your child’s lesson. When you’re there early, not only will you get to see some of what they’ve learned but you can get some tips from the instructor. They can tell you what skills might need work and they can give advice on how you can teach your child yourself.
#5 If you’d rather teach them, be patient. The word patience to parents may seem silly, but it’s important to let children—especially little ones—go at their own pace. Be sure to take breaks, work on terrain where they feel comfortable and make it fun for them.