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  1. #26
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    Jul 2008
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    Started our Granddaughter at 2.5, took right to it. Mom and dad had both raced in college so she was used to seeing skis in the house, hearing ski talk etc. Had her in a backpack when she was - 1 year old. Living in WI we made sure she was outside in the snow when we shoveled, took her sledding and did what we could for her to become accustomed to cold weather. At the end of her first day she could slide down the bunny hill, probably 200 yards, hands on knees, very steady. With my two boys and granddaughter I skied along side with a pole against their chest with their hands over the pole and on knees. It is tougher on us bending over but it has them in the perfect position. I also like being able to release the pole to let them ski on their own without them knowing they are skiing on their own. IMO strap set up's or hula hoop pull the kids into a back seat position.

    All kids are different, she had fun right from the start, other kids you just have to wait. Her dad we waited an extra year to start him, he still does not have a lot of patience. Four years ago my wife and I retired and starting spending the winters in SLC skiing over 100 days at Alta. Allison makes three trips a year to ski with us and at seven she has skied everything at Alta other than Mt Baldy. Last winter she did High Boy, Eagle's Next and a Westward Ho bus run. The most satisfaction I have ever had skiing was going into Eagle's Nest with her the first time. She took a look through the trees, scoped it out, looked at me and said "no problem Bop Bop" and proceeded to rip it up. Stick with them, learn their limits, what buttons to push and you will be rewarded many times over. Here she is on her 7th birthday after hiking into Catherine's at Alta the day after a storm.Name:  Allisonpictoftheday.jpg
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  2. #27
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Electric Larry Land
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    5,333
    What????

    Just tie a rope on that four yr old, and point him down the hill! Times a wastin'!!

  3. #28
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Bay Area
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    386
    Formula for kid 1 was as follows: 2 yrs - put on gear, get pushed around on flat surface for 10 mins, drink hot chocolate. 3 yrs - numerous magic carpet rides with Dad, several times in season. 4 yrs - own gear, lessons, etc. by the end of that season, should be shredding blues, turning in Christie or parallel, doing rollers etc. giddy up.

    Kid #2 turned 2 in Aug. getting him pumped to follow in sisterís footsteps.
    No gnar was harmed in the writing of this post...

  4. #29
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Boise
    Posts
    87
    I learned at age 8, by 9 my parents had me signed up for the local ski team. After abt 2 yrs of daily after school practice, I was as good as my peers that had started back in their 3s.. now I'm teaching my daughter. Last year, at age 2.5, we hit some small slopes a few times but she didn't really take... Ive been feeding her YouTube ski videos for the last 6mo... and I sudpect this year she's going to get a real kick out of the resort.

  5. #30
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    Jan 2008
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    the gach
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    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    Skittles are key to success.
    Bobby knows how to get a kid to succeed on skis.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  6. #31
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    Jul 2008
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    Sandy by the front
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    Quote Originally Posted by Captn-See-Had View Post
    I learned at age 8, by 9 my parents had me signed up for the local ski team. After abt 2 yrs of daily after school practice, I was as good as my peers that had started back in their 3s.. now I'm teaching my daughter. Last year, at age 2.5, we hit some small slopes a few times but she didn't really take... Ive been feeding her YouTube ski videos for the last 6mo... and I sudpect this year she's going to get a real kick out of the resort.
    IMO what you are doing is perfect. Kids need to be excited about whatever activity they are engaged in. You tube videos, show them some of the funny clips on Jerry of the Day, talk skiing etc etc.

  7. #32
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
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    Juneau
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    837
    Quote Originally Posted by detrusor View Post
    S
    Impressive. That's not your typical 4-year old skier.

    IMHO, the main reason (if not only reason) to start a kid before 5 or 6 is because the parents want to ski, so you trade-off time in the lodge watching a little one and when they're old enough for ski school, you drop them in there. Our 3 kids each started when they were 2 or so and entered "lessons" (glorified day care, without the glorification) at 3.

    Today, they are 7, 7, and 9 and all are sufficiently competent skiers which benefits the mrs. and me. And they're old enough that if one doesn't want to ski, they get to sip hot chocolate solo in the lodge.

  8. #33
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    Jan 2008
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    The Queen City North Carolina
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    1,060
    Quote Originally Posted by dschane View Post
    And they're old enough that if one doesn't want to ski, they get to sip hot chocolate solo in the lodge.
    You are doing it wrong. The best moment was when my two did laps off the moonbeam quad and their mom and I drank beer and watched an NFL playoff game.

  9. #34
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    ht
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    From a flat lander, love this thread, Granddaughter is 6 now and thinking its time to start bringing her on the ski trips.

  10. #35
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    Jan 2012
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    Juneau
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    Quote Originally Posted by ncskier View Post
    You are doing it wrong. The best moment was when my two did laps off the moonbeam quad and their mom and I drank beer and watched an NFL playoff game.
    ha, good point. Though, our city-owned ski area doesn't have a TV. It did, however, obtain the rights to sell beer and wine starting this season!

  11. #36
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    My advice--don't try to teach them yourself. Put them in ski school. Ski with them if you want at the level they are handling in school--ie let them pick the runs. Do not under any circumstances take them down stuff you think they're ready for that they're not. Do not tie a rope on them--if they can't handle it safely without a rope they're not ready. Hold off on snowboarding until approaching teens--younger kids do't have the strength required. (Probably others can advise you better on this). When you ski with your small kids don't ski right behind them to protect them. You are much harder to pass safely--people will pass you and then turn into the kid. A kid skiing right down the center of a run by themselves is much safer--even the biggest douches on the hill will give little kids a wide berth.

    One more thing--on the really nasty storm days when Squaw claims to have 4 lifts running but they're all Magic Carpets--let the kids stay home.

  12. #37
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    Aug 2008
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    Central VT
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    4,195
    Great thread with some great ideas. My little guy just turned 2 and I hope to have him on skis in a couple months. This season my goal is to get him out on a few days here and there, get him used to getting geared up and outside and a few runs on magic carpet. He's a big kid with good balance so I'm optimistic.

  13. #38
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    Jan 2008
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    truckee
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    It should be obvious but the requirement for putting your kids in ski school is mastery of toilet training. When my kid was teaching the 4-5's at Sugar Bowl (the youngest they taught) he had a private with twin girls who both peed their pants. He told them that when he snowboarded his pants got wet all the time and he just kept going. They said fine, we'll keep going. What else was he going to do?

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Boulder
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    849
    Started at 2, now 4 and ripping around the mountain. Lots of dryland time the summer before, with boots and skis on, helmet and goggles too. Once on snow, the only thing new was sliding downhill. Hula hoop also was key.

  15. #40
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    Jul 2016
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    Peaking in Chads Window
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    LVS said the same, they aren't quite strong enough at a young age. If I remember correctly, which means I totally heard the opposite. Eh.... but yea I'd like him to ski. either way, if he wants to be in the snow I don't give a shit how he does it.
    I draw the line at snowlerblades though....
    Quote Originally Posted by flowing alpy View Post
    this is about the only thing on your list that is a firm no.

  16. #41
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    Nov 2007
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    Kids skiing ages?

    My guys started ay 3 and 5. They both think they are JP from All I Can. They love LCD Soundsystem. Only the 7 year old is turning. Both of them will get a bunch of days this season.
    A woman reported to police at 6:30 p.m. that she was being "smart-mouthed."

  17. #42
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    Oct 2005
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    Wasatch
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Fiedler View Post
    LVS said the same, they aren't quite strong enough at a young age. If I remember correctly, which means I totally heard the opposite. Eh.... but yea I'd like him to ski. either way, if he wants to be in the snow I don't give a shit how he does it.
    I draw the line at snowlerblades though....
    The old school of thought for snowboarding was that you want to hold off until around age 7 because looking over your shoulder isn't as intuitive and the learning curve can involve a lot of heavy beatering onto your face when you catch your toe-side edge, which is common for jong snowboarders.

    New equipment has challenged that conventional wisdom somewhat. Burton has pushed spoon-shaped beginner boards with rolled-up edges, resorts have set up some terrain-based teaching areas for noob snowboarders. People seem pretty positive about starting kids younger these days.

    Frankly, I buy that the equipment is helpful. And I believe in starting 'em young. But this push has coincided with a steep drop-off in the number of new snowboarders, and a decline in snowboarding in general. The willingness to get creative to get kids in the snowboarding pipeline younger is probably not a coincidence.

    Anyhow, I'm raising my kid to be a teleblading purist. Nothing but Super Loops mounted up to ski blades in this household.

  18. #43
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    Jan 2004
    Location
    the Low Sierra
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    SKI THE BABIES!

  19. #44
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    where the rough and fluff live
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    4,167
    I spent 2 seasons teaching tykes. Several 3 y.o. & 4 y.o., & a lot of elem & middle schoolers.

    Rule No. 1: Every child is different. Even w/in siblings there are differences.

    Rule No. 2: Due to Rule No. 1, every child goes through a wobbly phase, head-heavy, poor balance, etc. when 3-4 y.o. and seemingly a mover when on solid ground, 2-footed.

    Rule No. 3: If you take a wobbler and try to teach him/her to ski in defiance of Rule No. 2, it will lead to child frustration and parent frustration both.

    Otherwise: of course try to make it fun, but every child has a different idea of fun.

    I don't have kids, but if I did, I don't think I'd take them skiing until age 6 or 7. Instead I'd have them play all kinds of sports to get their balance, coordination, footwork used to complex movements. Let them get used to themselves & movement in different athletic settings, I mean. And if I had to choose sports, to help skiing? Soccer, hockey, gymnastics. Take them ice skating, see how quickly they pick it up.

    I think people assume you have to start your kid on skis the moment they walk, or else the kid will never be the superstar skier you imagine him/her to become eventually.

    There's no hurry.

  20. #45
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    Nov 2005
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    Making the Bowl Great Again
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    12,161
    Quote Originally Posted by creaky fossil View Post
    I spent 2 seasons teaching tykes. Several 3 y.o. & 4 y.o.,

    ....

    I don't have kids, but if I did, I don't think I'd take them skiing until age 6 or 7.
    Agree there is no hurry but there are some 6-7 year-olds out there crushing it...even at decidedly non-beginner friendly mountains (do you know any places like that?). I really think a big motivation for some people here, including me, is getting to the point where kids can ski reasonably fun terrain ASAP for the benefit of the parents more than anything. Whether this is a good idea, I don't know.

    Anyways, did you feel it was generally a waste to have the 3-4 year-olds in lessons? We have one turning 4 in December and are planning to at least get him standing around on skis. He is a total gumby compared to his brother who is half his age and is already sending it without any semblance of fear in every context he can think of.

  21. #46
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    Jul 2016
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    Peaking in Chads Window
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    Well my oldest son, who started at 8, thankfully wasn't wobbly or defiant. He was a little spooked on the lifts but I'm sure over time that will go away. Getting him to keep his tips straight was the hardest part when loading the chair.
    Sure sounds like Lessons are clutch and so is Candy.

    Signed my boy up for 6 weekends of 1/2 day lessons and they don't start till January, so Nov/Dec I'll have to ski the white ribbon alone.

  22. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    1,243
    Using "ski" liberally, first time my kid was on skis was 1 year, 15 days? we were stuck in Nebraska in a storm that raged over Jackson (our destination). They were "lucky bums" strapped skis, and it was a parking lot. Technically, he couldn't walk yet. so it was really just dad holding him under the arms. But we had tons of snow in the parking lot and nothing better to do.
    I took him on a half dozen runs on Chickadee this way and he like it. No crying.
    Repeated one day at age 2 and 15ish days and we did a dozen laps before I got tired.
    This year I bought real boots and skis and an alta pass (25 bucks, why not?) I view it as a success i got him to wear the boots the other day in the house.
    I'm declaring it a victory if i get him down on his own this year.

    I am curious ISBD what magic tricks you performed to get yours to ski independently at age 2.5. Seems like a one in a million case.
    I demoed the TECH TALK JONG! pro model this spring and their performance was unparalleled which is good because I ski in a wedge most of the time - bendtheski, 2011

  23. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Park City
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    3,302
    Seriously try the hula hoop method. Get a 10ft length of 3/4 Pex and one connector. Make huge hula hoop. Start w kiddo skiing inside the hoop, you hold onto the back. Also edgie wedgies.

    As they progress start letting them go, if they get outta control just drop the hoop over them.

    3-4 days and my kids were skiing down w no need to catch them.

    Worked on Technique with me skiing switch in front of them with the the hula hoop between us.


    Sent from my iPhone using TGR Forums
    I rip the groomed on tele gear

  24. #49
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    May 2010
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    where the rough and fluff live
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Agree there is no hurry but there are some 6-7 year-olds out there crushing it...even at decidedly non-beginner friendly mountains (do you know any places like that?). I really think a big motivation for some people here, including me, is getting to the point where kids can ski reasonably fun terrain ASAP for the benefit of the parents more than anything. Whether this is a good idea, I don't know.
    Sure, a kid who starts at 4 and wasn't wobbling at 4, and who gets a ton of days because homeschooled or whatever, may be a "ripper" at age 7, relatively speaking. But again, is it a race? I've coached lax, seen parents push skills/plays/achievements that are beyond kids, etc. If a kid's gonna rip, he/she's gonna rip when enough days are under the skis. No matter what age is starting age.

    My real belief is, let the kids come to skiing -- not vice-versa, and not force-feed vice-versa for sure!

    At the same time: I had a 4 yr old who picked things up so fast I told his young mom, "this kid (I used his name) is exceptional and if he likes skiing and you can handle it, he should go into our freestyle or race program."

    I'd put odds of the average kid doing that around 0.1 % maybe. My sample size may be small, though.

    As to terrain fitness -- well Brobowl has a serious terrain gap for any learning skier, and any who is generally cautious or timid. Even 2d Thought has those pitches that I've seen put kids into paralysis. Upper Sunrise Bowl too.

    The truth is that a kid who spends time dialing in how to actually ski won't have as big a problem handling the terrain gap.

    The gap is made worse at the bowl because parents seemingly want to brag on what run the kid skied, rather than how much or how fast the kid's skiing is improving. It's definitely got worse in the past decade. Sadly, these kids would become better skiers faster if they dialed in their skiing on the easier runs first. "Over-terraining" takes learning skiers backward, not forward.

    The fact that a kid is gumby at age 4 when Johnny 3 doors down was making turns his first day, age 3, has no bearing on whether Age 4 Gumby will turn out a better or worse skier than Johnny 3 Doors Down.

    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Anyways, did you feel it was generally a waste to have the 3-4 year-olds in lessons? We have one turning 4 in December and are planning to at least get him standing around on skis. He is a total gumby compared to his brother who is half his age and is already sending it without any semblance of fear in every context he can think of.
    It's apparent within 10-15 mins in a lesson whether the young ones are still gumby. The tiny acceleration of the skis on a flat slope has their head lagging back. Wheelies, etc. Direction changes won't happen, really. Sometimes they can't even stand up for more than a second or two.

    Same kids next season, no problem. Sometimes even later same season, I suppose.

    If you make the 1st experience miserable, scary, cold, whatever kind of un-fun -- I'd expect it could sour them for life.

    As a teacher of kids skiing, my problem was relating to the uncomfortable, bored, distracted ones. I loved skiing from the first moment on snow. Bad weather never bothered me. And I love learning so I have never been distracted in a lesson of any kind where athletics were involved. I guess I'm saying, sometimes it's apparent when the kids are there because someone else (not them) wants them doing it.

    Hula hoop is good, but kids can use them in ways that are regressive for learning -- pushing against it (and tensing the body to stabilize for skiing), or leaning into it are two ways I've seen. They are most productive when the child really barely holds on and the hoop resembles bike training wheels not really touching the ground. To get this light touch, don't make the terrain steep. Flat to a seasoned skier can be steep to a first-timer. If you want to get in touch with your inner first-timer, close your eyes and glide down-slope to measure if it's too steep.

    Remember too that the most common hand position for the kid up front in the hula hoop is that T Rex position, which they'll later have to un-learn as a habit.
    Last edited by creaky fossil; 11-03-2017 at 05:10 PM.

  25. #50
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    598
    One started at 2 and one at 1.5.

    But by started I mean they hiked around the living room with their skis on. Then we hiked around the yard with our skis on during the first snow of the year.

    Ever since they kind of got it - I shut up about how to do it. We are all about fun, could care less about technique etc. we just rip down the hill, scream our fool heads off, play games and goof off. The oldest is 8 and skiing with the club now and learning all the technique she needs. the youngest is 5 and will be with the club this year as well. I still won't talk to them about technique - let their coaches do that. We just ski cause it is fun.

    What I wish I learned earlier? - STOP BEFORE THEY WANT TO, NOT AFTER.

    If they have a melt down on the hill - you went too long. If they are telling you that they want to go back out - perfect. Candy helps postpone the melt down. But if you push them to far - they will snap and it takes a while to convince them skiing is fun after that.

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