Ski Tips for Kids
"It's normal for children to look down at their own skis while gliding downhill. This is a problem with adults too, but because children's heads are larger in proportion to their bodies, for kids it can create a really awkward stance on the skis. An easy way to solve this is to ski a little ways in front of them, and ask them to watch your hands. Move nice and slow and ask them to call out how many fingers you are showing. Mittens make this game tricky, so it might be just be thumps up and thumbs down."
"The opposite of good hand position is when arms are flailing around trying to keep the little skier in balance. This awkward motion is called 'spaghetti arms'."
"Another easy game is to make a big snowball and try to carry it out front with both hands. Pretend it's a fragile dinosaur egg, so don't drop it! Can you carry it all the way to the bottom of the run?"
"To keep your little skier in balance, coach them to keep their hands out in front of 'em, rather than down at their sides (or worse, behind them). Being in balance means staying nice and stable right over the middle of your feet. If your hands slip down by your pockets or behind you, then you're in the back seat! This means you are leaning too far back on your heels and your leg is pushing against the back of your boot. Just imagine your hands on a steering wheel to keep you in the perfect skier's pose!"
"Be aware that boots for kids are tall and stiff when compared to their tiny and super-flexible ankles, so it's easy for 'em to lean backward and rest against the back of the boot. They can actually ski like this, but this back seat pose makes it really hard to turn or stop correctly. Remember that the steering wheel of the skis is up front."
"When it comes time to practice with the youngest learners, it's easier for them if you are super literal. You can show it to them by skiing out in front and telling them to follow in your tracks. It's easy to demonstrate the difference between 'go' and 'slow'."
"Obviously, if you pointed your skis straight down the hill, right into the fall line (or the gravity line), you would end up zooming really fast. The easiest way to slow down would be to turn out of this invisible line and go sideways along the slope. The best way to show this is standing at the top of a long run and looking downhill."
“The pizza slice-shaped wedge is the foundation of speed control, turning, and stopping for the beginner skier. Just saying ‘make a pizza shape with your skis’ might not be enough. Draw the pizza shape in the snow so the kids can look right at a tidy visual.”
The natural tendency for parents is to put their little skier between their legs - kids like the closeness and parents like the feeling of control. This position however encourages the child to hang from their armpits and not carry their own weight. After a run or two, parents will feel the burn in their thighs and lower back. Try a learn-to-ski device like Slope Ropes Kids Ski Trainer that teaches kids the proper stance and still gives their parents the safety they are looking for.
"With their baggy clothes they might not even be able to see their own feet, so you'll need to guide them through the process. Good coaching early on will enable them to do it on their own before you know it."
"Practice first without your skis and only your boots!"
"Don't underestimate this simple task. It can take a lot longer than you think! Children will be dealing with technology they have never seen before, and they'll be excited and overwhelmed by everything around them."