Teaching your kids the basics can be fun, rewarding, and challenging. However, unless you are a ski or snowboard instructor, at some point professional lessons are a great idea.
In the meantime, here are some pro tips for teaching kids.
Learning the Foundations
- Start with “pizza!” and “French fries” for little skiers. These basics, including the snowplow to control speed and stop (pizza) and moving downhill with skis parallel (fries), are foundational.
- Then move on to making turns back and forth across the mountain and practicing stopping.
- An “Edgie Wedgie” (ski tip connector) helps keep little skis connected and in a pizza/snowplow formation, which is especially important so children can learn to stop.
- Some kind of harness for hoisting kids on and off chairlifts and picking them up after falls is also invaluable. Some harnesses come with a leash to keep the little shredder connected to mom or dad and in control.
- Chairlift loading and unloading can be scary for kids and parents. Have your child watch with you while other kids and adults are getting on the chair to see how they do it. When it’s your turn, ask the liftie to slow it down for you if necessary, then have your child look at you as you wait together in the loading zone and then grab the chair pole and keep ski tips up as the chair scoops you up.
- When it’s time to get off the lift with little kids, you may need to wrap an arm around them to help guide them off the lift safely. Older kids need to be reminded to keep their ski tips up and to stand straight when they dismount.
- When they are learning, kids can get tired or frustrated quickly, so having a small treat like a piece of chocolate, gummy worms, or fruit snack at the top or bottom of each run can keep them motivated to not give up too early.
- Making sure they are dressed properly for the conditions to keep them warm enough and not too hot is also key.
Out There Kids learning how to ski at Inland NW Mountains: (left) Landon learning Pizza and French Fries at age 2.5 with Dad, at Mt. Spokane Ski & Snowboard Park. // Photo: Amy McCaffree; (middle & right) Remi doing the splits; Remi and his friend on the bunny hill. // Photo: Shallan Knowles.