ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to teach your kid / child to ski (snow plow)

Updated on February 15, 2012
Learning to ski
Learning to ski

Teaching your kids to ski (If you know how yourself)

This is a post for parents who have kids who have never been on skis before (or friends for that matter) and want to teach them how to ski. This is not intended to be a post on sophisticated technique or how to get your kid into the Olympics.

This past year I taught my 6,4 and 3 year old to ski and thought I would share my experiences and how I did it and others might be able to benefit. I taught them myself because I just didn't want the expense of ski school for 3 children, it was vacation and the purpose for me is to see my kids and I thought I could do a better job since it would be me and my kids versus a larger group lesson.

A few critical ground rules: (1) Its about your kids or friends and not about you - so keep it fun and avoid getting frustrated. If they don't have a good time, forget about next time. Fun is Key! (2) Avoid days when there is a lot of weather or its very cold. It takes away from the comfort and fun. Harder to pull it off. (3) Choose a mountain that has a "magic carpet" and sufficient bunny hill that is easy to get to ... I really don't like Northstar at Tahoe for example because you need to ride the gondola just to get to the bunny slope. (4) This is for people who already know how to ski and likely consider themselves expert. If you are not an expert skier I would just recommend private lessons, ski school etc. as most resorts try hard to cater to children.

Step 1: The equipment. No poles. Short skis. Helmets are a must. Also, you should be on skis. I used telemark skis but downhill will work just as well. No poles either. In order to teach them without poles, you need to go without poles. Again - this is for people who already know how to ski well. Check the kids temperature (too cold, too hot) often. Also - bathroom breaks. The two other key pieces of teaching equipment are Edgie Wedgies and a hulahoop (harness will also work). The wedgies will keep their tips from crossing the the hoop can be used to pull and control speeds. Put them aside for now. You won't need them on the first run.

Step 2: The first run. Goal is Balance. You must start on a gentle slope - likely the bottom of the bunny hill or even another location at the mountain. I would not recommend starting on the lift or even the magic carpet. You want to teach balance on the skis and not have them worry about controlling for speed. Repeat this until you believe they have it and are excited.

Step 3: The magic carpet. Goal is speed control. I didn't have a magic carpet growing up but what an awesome development. Its basically a flat moving escalator up a hill at ground level. Get your kids on the carpet ahead of you and tell them to put their hands on their knees - this will keep their balance forward and low in case the carpet suddenly stops. I got on the carpet and then walked up my skis past them to the front so I could pull them off the carpet. Likely the carpet operator will help out as well as everyone riding it needs a little help. Attach the edgie wedgie to the skis and then show the WEDGE. The wedge, snowplow, pizza whatever you want to call it is the key to controlling speed on green runs. Show them how to get into it and hold it. Now with the hoop around them, you behind them, allow them to start down the hill (one at a time). Not much speed but enough that they can begin to move into and out of the wedge and learn how to control speed. This will take several runs (or days) but is the absolute key for safety. Once you think they have it, ski down 50 yards and let them snowplow down to you or even better ski backwards with them in front of you coming down so to make sure you can be there in case they get scared and forget the wedge. Final step is to ski down 100 yards+ and let them snow plow to you. If they can stop at where you are they likely have mastered speed control.

Step 4: Chairlift time. Graduation to green runs. Goal is speed control and riding lift. Getting on a chairlift is scary for a young child. Its mechanical, swinging around at you and a lot bigger than you are so be sensitive to this and help out. It must be one adult to one beginner on a chair to start. Help the child onto the lift (hulahoop in hand and edgie wedgies on skis) and tell them to face outwards to grab onto the outer pole. Hold on to them as the chairlift starts to lift up and push them back into the seat. Hopefully there is a safety bar and pull it down immediately. Talk to your children about how they must sit back, its dangerous etc. I think having a healthy fear of the lift is a good thing. Remove the bar when you are very close to getting off the lift - likely closer than you would otherwise and at this point have them ski straight down while you are holding on to them to keep them up just in case. Again - only for good skiers as you are basically balancing for two people here. Now that you are on the mountain, take it slow. Repeat the 50 yard and 100 yard exercises on the bunny slope. Once you think they have it and can ski in control ski with the hulahoop near them so you can put it around them in case of an emergency. The challenge with the harness is that it's a crutch for kids so they don't focus on the snowplow as much. Its harder to make it work well in my opinion. Its a careful balance between teaching and safety.

Step 5 : The turn. Goal is ringing the lift, controlling speed and learning to turn. Once the snowplow is mastered its time to start working on turning for safety as well as its a required skill for any steeper terrain. Turning in a complete form is complicated and takes a lot of time to get right. I started with simply teaching them to move and shift their weight between their skis and they soon discovered that putting more weight on their downhill ski makes them turn the direction of their skis and putting more weight on their uphill ski will initiate a turn in the other direction. Playing follow the leader etc. and other games can make this fun. I recommend not getting too far ahead of the kids or even staying behind as if they fall they likely still need some help in getting up.

I have left out getting up when you fall, side stepping etc. There are a lot of other beginner skills that need to be taught but in my little experience these come more naturally and are more fun when skiing is involved. Once the wedge is mastered and the kids can control their speed there is then time to teach these things as they events produce themselves. Above all - make sure to have fun, keep it safe and watch out for other skiers (as your kids won't be).

Let me know how it goes and please leave comments if you have other techniques that people could use. Happy trails.

Edgie Wedgie
Edgie Wedgie
Hula Hoops
Hula Hoops
Magic Carpet
Magic Carpet

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Derek Kemp 

      3 years ago

      Ending a great season of skiing with my 2 year old, it took her about 7 ski days to get the wedge figured out by the end of the season she was able to ski on her own I would leave the edgie wedgie when she was going down steeper green runs. Level Nine sports also has some great you tube videos for teaching toddlers

    • profile image

      Sean Moore 

      3 years ago

      This is excellent straight forward advice. I'm in the early stages enjoying time outside with my daughter. I think the progression you outlined is completely reasonable and doable for a patient parent.

    • profile image

      Amy 

      4 years ago

      Thanks for the post. I am hoping to teach my 3 year old and looking for strategies to get started. Your post was really helpful.

    • profile image

      Kathleen 

      5 years ago

      You're a cool dad - patience is a virtue! My nephews (5, 7) took a few 1 hr. ski lessons after school (Fridays) at a small, local hill (a Christmas gift). I promised I'd take them on a chairlift once they knew how to stop. The following weekend we headed to a small ski mountain with a magic carpet to preview and practice their skills. It wasn't long before we hit the chairlift. They proved themselves and we had so much fun :-). Stay safe and have fun, for sure!!!

    • profile image

      Mark 

      5 years ago

      Nice, thanks!

    • neilKurt profile image

      neilKurt 

      6 years ago from Hull

      the sooner they learn the better. I wish I have learnt to ski younger as you pick things up much quicker and you have no fear. Nice Hub, thanks for sharing

    • Ryan Floyd profile imageAUTHOR

      Ryan Floyd 

      6 years ago

      Thanks. I am going to post some video of my kids now that they have progressed and update.

    • Bestskihelmets profile image

      Bestskihelmets 

      6 years ago

      Great Tips.

    • Joe Bricky profile image

      Joe Bricky 

      7 years ago from Northern Nevada

      Nice article. I teach tennis and fencing and I am an avid skier who flies down black diamond runs, but teaching kids to ski is such a challenge. This was excellent. Up it goes.

    • Brendon Floyd profile image

      Brendon Floyd 

      8 years ago from Oklahoma City, OK

      Nice instruction!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)