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Tips for teaching toddler to ski

Nov. 26, 2018, 12:52 p.m.
Posts: 879
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Recently bought my 2 year old some skis and boots and wondering what the next steps are. I think he is too young for formal ski lessons (probably start that next year when he is 3). Was thinking of bringing him to Seymour/Cypress and just taking him up the bunny hill with that strap/harness thing but not sure if he's ready for that just yet. 

I'm sure some of you guys have been through this before - what have your experiences been like? Any tips? Thanks!

Nov. 26, 2018, 1:07 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug. 11, 2015

Same boat. Mines 2.5 so wondering if they'll take her into classes on Seymour. She does ok in formal classes of other things.

Was thinking that people probably just find a small sloped area outside the pay area and let em slide down that a bunch of times. Enough for that age and then at 3+ they're ready for formal lessons. 

Problem for me is I'm a border and not a skier. Thinking to make the switch though. Better for back/side country in the end too.

Nov. 26, 2018, 1:23 p.m.
Posts: 879
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Posted by: TheWasp

Was thinking that people probably just find a small sloped area outside the pay area and let em slide down that a bunch of times. 

This is what I was thinking... does such an area exist at Cypress or Seymour?

Nov. 27, 2018, 8:41 a.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug. 11, 2015

There would definitely be some flatish areas. Just a question of finding something with enough slope. The skiway to get to the lower parking lot on the road in might work.

Nov. 27, 2018, 11:18 a.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

It depends on the kid..

The first thing I did was boots on their feet at home, let them walk and get comfy with them. After that, boots and skis. Walk around with them on flat ground (no slopes!) CAUTION When you see they have enough, stop!!! Play in snow with boots, build forts, dig holes, etc.. (get them used to the equipment without them knowing)

When you see they are keen, start with flat ground and push/pull them, get them used to the feeling of gliding. I would never use harness or other devices, if they need that stuff they are not ready. And it gives them bad habits from the start (as in lean back)

2-3yrs is still a bit young for "actual skiing", at that age, all you can expect from them is to get used to the gear.

If/once they like it and are comfortable with the skis and boots, then and only then should you bring them on a slope.

my 2 cents, I'm sure others will have their own opinions.

Nov. 27, 2018, 11:22 a.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

BTW it can be a long process but it worth the effort. Nothing like skiing to keep a family together.

Nov. 27, 2018, 11:35 a.m.
Posts: 879
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

Thanks Nick - good tips. The harness I am talking about is that rope thing where they would ski like 5-10 feet in front of you and you hold the ropes to kind of control them. I thought those were pretty standard for kids skiing at that age? 

Good call on giving them time to get used to the gear and warm up. It would definitely be way too ambitious to start trying to do real skiing right away. 

Now I just need to find a good location with a bit of snow and a gentle slope...

Nov. 27, 2018, 12:12 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Anything flattish and seriously loose the harness. Better for them to ski between your legs as you can adjust their mistakes and let them figure out there balance, it's a bit like learning how to ride a bike. Better for them to learn proper balance first as it the basics for everything else. If balance is shit, nothing will work and it will be frustrating.

Nov. 28, 2018, 6:51 a.m.
Posts: 879
Joined: Feb. 5, 2011

I thought the harness was more to control their speed so they aren't flying straight down the hill and not being able to stop? Point taken though about making sure they are learning to balance. 

Hopefully we start getting some snow soon.

Nov. 28, 2018, 9:10 a.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

Remember it's just my opinion. Some people think those things are good, I don't. One thing I can recommend is a level 1 instructor course if you have time. If you want to teach your kid how to ski, it's the best thing and it will improve your skiing as well regardless of level. There so many tricks to get kids turning, stopping/slowing down etc. Anyway, I'm a bit of a ski weirdo...

Nov. 28, 2018, 1:08 p.m.
Posts: 1906
Joined: May 2, 2004

I think if they're on a hill big enough to need the harness they're in the wrong place.

Nov. 28, 2018, 8:18 p.m.
Posts: 17
Joined: Aug. 11, 2015

Great stuff! Thanks for these tips!

Nov. 29, 2018, 12:59 p.m.
Posts: 1275
Joined: July 11, 2014

Subscribing for future reference, our little guy is only 3 mo old, so winter 2020-21 will start. Have also heard advice against the harness... just want to get him used to gear and moving around on snow and will then put him in lessons since I know nothing about teaching.

Dec. 3, 2018, 3:51 p.m.
Posts: 13
Joined: Dec. 1, 2004

I just went through the process of teaching both kids to ski. Mine are now 6 and 8. my kids were late starters, i think i tried at 3, then 4. my kids were smaller than average and didn't have the strength to ski well. Both are also timid kids so we had that to deal with.

my only advise, start with low expectations. 1 or 2 bunny hill runs, a hot chocolate and a cookie ... that's a good day of toddler skiing.

i too switched over to skis from snowboarding, party for touring, partly cause it's easier to ski down with a kid between your legs. Oh, and lots of skiing backwards holding ski tips together at the start too!

but, now kids are in lessons, wife and i get to ski together, and the kids are getting good so skiing as a family is fun. they aren't better than us .. yet!

Dec. 4, 2018, 4:24 p.m.
Posts: 1429
Joined: Aug. 6, 2009

Posted by: mrraulduke

but, now kids are in lessons, wife and i get to ski together, and the kids are getting good so skiing as a family is fun. they aren't better than us .. yet!

That's the magic turning point...when they can get down the hill and on/off the lift by themselves.  Add in some friends and soon you'll only see them when they want money for lunch!

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