If you’re from a family that loves hitting the slopes all season long, you’re probably itching to get junior in on the fun as soon as possible. Teaching your children how to ski or snowboard may not be the easiest task in the world, but it’s bound to be rewarding as they discover the excitement of the sport. Before jumping into it, here are a few things to consider:
The Right Age
How young is too young? While answers from the experts vary, most would agree that ages 3-6 are optimal for learning to ski, but wait until age seven for snowboarding because it requires that tricky sideways balancing. Most importantly, make sure your child is good at following instructions to avoid injury.
Ski, Snowboard or Both?
Like we said, the balancing aspect of snowboarding makes it a more difficult sport to learn. This certainly doesn’t mean it should be nixed from your agenda, but rather wait until your child is seven or older for their safety. Try starting them on skis first so they can get used to the overall feel of the slopes and equipment.
Homeschool or Outsource?
The most important thing to remember when teaching kids to ski or snowboard is patience, patience, patience. If you know that patience isn’t your first virtue (or if your skill level is only beginner to moderate), it may be best for everyone if you enroll your child in an instruction course, such as Vail’s ski and snowboard lessons.
Make sure your child is outfitted head to toe in all the protective gear you can get your hands on. Helmets, boots, bindings and wrist guards are all a must. As far as the actual skis or snowboard goes, we recommend renting all of it until you know they are going to continue with the sport.
Location is Key
When choosing a location to begin teaching your kids, scout out an area that is free of trees, rocks or other obstacles that could pose a hazard. In fact, you may want to start them on skis in an indoor, carpeted area to get them comfortable before moving outside.
Best of luck and have a great time!