Skiing is a great sport especially for the ones who are adventure lovers. The common question among adults are how old do you need to be start skiing? There is no particular age to learn skiing and if you feel like exploring your fun side then it can be learned at any age.
However, it helps if you start from an early age especially if you wish to be a professional skier. Skiing involves a lot of physical activity and therefore one needs to be physically fit and flexible as well. Individuals who are agile and have strong lungs are fit to be skiers because it gets tough sometimes to breathe on the higher altitudes.
Is your child ready for the full ski experience.
Therefore, to build that kind of stamina and endurance it is better to start at an early age. In this article, we will be discussing the right age to start skiing and the various factors we would need to take care especially when we are dealing with children.
What Is The Right Age To Start?
There are some pre-defined rules, but age certainly does not come in it. Although you cannot train toddlers and it is obvious, you cannot make very young kids to ski since it is a potentially dangerous sport if you are not able to hold your balance at curves and corners of mountain slopes. Young kids are not able to control their body and speed at once and therefore it is dangerous to train them in skiing even though the slopes might be small and relatively easier.
The youngest age to start skiing is recommended above 5 years old of age because they are physically and mentally fit. However, if your kid is fit and mature enough at the age of 4 even he or she can participate in lessons. We do not recommend kids under 4 years old to ski but you can certainly take them along for training lessons just to get a feel of skiing from a distance.
How Old To Start Ski Lessons?
You cannot expect kids to learn how to ski from day one as it takes them a long time to adjust their body weight and get moving. One thing is for sure that there is no looking back once they master this art and generally prove to be better than some adults especially since kids have more agile and flexible bodies than adults.
However, it will take time to reach that level and till then it is better to employ an instructor to teach them the basics of skiing. We recommend you to take your kids to the skiing points first and give them a feel about the surroundings (especially the snow) and show them how a skier maintains his posture and body to assist the ski boards in gliding fast even if the snow is old and rough. Pick some snow, make a ball from it and let your kid touch it to feel its coldness.
Some kids especially those who are less than 5 get frightened due to the extreme coldness of the snow and may ask silly questions about it like can we make it hot or can we ski on roads. If you are too bold about it you can get your kid nervous and that can create a permanent fear in his or her mind and then it will be hard to train them properly. Explain them properly that they do not have to touch the snow with their feet as there will be ski boots and boards to keep them away but they will have to endure the coldness of the snow and heat of the sun at all times to be a professional skier.
Can You Teach Kids To Ski By Ourselves?
We can certainly teach our kids the basics if we know how to ski but it is better to get them trained by professionals. It is also advisable to get them admitted to a ski school which has all the facilities and experts to train them in a precise way. The professional experts know how to teach kids, take complete precautions to avoid accidents and also know how to take the fear part away from the kids.
However, you too can get your kids trained if you are on an extended holiday with a snow resort or are planning a snow camp with your family. You do not have to go hard on them and always be on their side to avoid unnecessary falls and collisions with others during the training sessions.
The main advantage of getting your child trained at a professional ski school is that they provide all the equipment and ski gear to your kids and their charges are included in their one-time fee. Therefore, there is no need to buy special training equipment in advance and the training schools are also equipped with all the safety gear, first aid kids and other facilities required at the time of accidents and emergencies. Moreover, the locations and layouts used by them are kid-friendly that provide more convenience to your kids while skiing. All these features assist in making your kid a professional skier in a real quick time.
Different stages of learning to ski:
As I said earlier, do not expect your kids to start speeding down the slopes from the very first day. They will learn in stages as they lack the kind of patience and stamina we adults have. Therefore, it is important to give them their own time and space to learn. These are the different stages which you can teach your kids to ski:
Stage 1: There is no need to put the ski gear on the very first day. Put a warm fleece jacket on your cuties and get hold of their hands and take them for a long walk on snow. Also, make them walk in the ski boots because ought to learn to walk in these boots first. Moreover, these boots are a bit tight than the regular ski boots and therefore your kids will take some time to get accustomed to them.
Stage 2: Now teach them to glide on a slope first. Do not use steep and long slopes as it might get way to risky for your little ones. Custom made terrains for kids with a short slope and safe flat portion at the end of each slope would prove to be beneficial if you want them to learn skiing quickly. Be patient with them; do not shout or scold them even if they are making mistakes. Remember they are kids and they take their own time to figure out things. Also, use a loving tone while teaching to motivate the kids and therefore see to it that the trainers are kind and gentle. The ski schools generally have polite and caring trainers as they know that harsh tone can easily de-motivate the kids and this is not a good thing if you want them to adapt to the conditions quickly.
Stage 3: Encourage the kids Guiding them is very important if you want your kids to be a pro skier from a young age. Therefore, encourage them and motivate them to glide on the slopes and let them learn step by step. If you train them in the correct way they will learn within a few days and you will be surprised at the pace with which they will start grasping things once they get hold of things.
Stage 4: Feed them well Skiing requires energy and therefore feed them well at regular intervals if you want them to train for at least a few hours. However, since they are kids do not expect them to train for a whole day. Even half a day of training can get tasking for them at times and therefore make it a point to train them for 2 to 3 hours each day. Also, do not forget to bring drinks to refresh them after every session.
Stage 5: Lure them Most of the kids are naughty and they will not listen to you even if you try with all your persuasion skills. Try luring such kids by promising them an ice cream treat afterwards or buy them some medals and give it to them after completion of every stage so that they feel elated and try with all their might and energy. Ski schools use the same tricks by presenting them with attractive gifts and medals and also arrange small competitions at the end of each session to refresh their spirits and energy levels. All these things help vastly as kids get easily motivated if you promise to give them gifts or even toffees if they manage to do well in skiing. However, try to keep your promises as we all know that kids hate to be cheated especially when it comes to toys and ice creams.
Stage 6: A slow but steady progress After a couple of days, you will start seeing the progress straight away. The kids will start to glide smoothly and they learn to stop the ski boards gradually as they understand how to ski. Even adults fall many times while learning to ski and it is only natural for kids to fall more. Therefore, do not get disheartened or scold your kids if they fall even a dozen times. Do not forget to keep their cute heads safe with helmets and try not to laugh when they fall flat as it can dishearten or even agitate them at times.
Stage 7: Keep away from danger Even if your kids learn how to glide smoothly do not encourage them to try steep slopes and large terrains. Kids tend to get misbalanced easily and therefore it is necessary to keep them safe at all times. If your kids want to try bigger slopes than usual try to ski with them or ask the trainer to accompany them just to ensure their safety. Also, do not expect kids to ski on hot afternoons and chilly mornings especially if they are under 6 years old. Try and use pleasant timings so that the sun doesn't get too harsh and the winds do not get too cold for your little ones. Also, do not forget to apply ample sunscreens and lotions on their face and skin to protect them from both cold winds and bright sunlight.
What are the types of equipment needed for teaching skiing lessons to children?
Usually, the snow resorts and ski schools provide the necessary equipment like ski boards, helmets, ski poles, etc. for children. They may charge you extra for that but it is always better to use their equipment as kids grow quickly and soon they would need bigger shoes and helmets so there is no point in buying new. If you are planning to teach your kids on your own, rent these types of equipment from a ski shop.
However, you will need to buy the essentials such as fleece jackets, gloves, skiing goggles, warm caps, etc. in order to ensure their safety and comfort at all times. You can also use clothes made from thermal garments in order to provide more comfort to them.
These were a few steps necessary to teach your kids the art of skiing. Encouraging kids how to learn skiing from the age of 4 to 5 is ideal because they tend to learn things quickly and without any fear in this age. However, if they are older than 7 or 8 you still can get them admitted in ski schools as they have special batches for kids above 7.
Originally from the UK, Frank has a passion for skiing and anything snow related. He is currently on a never ending mission to visit the best ski resorts across the USA and the the World. Frank is happiest when he is on ski slopes with his wife and three children.
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