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Our Story

The Slope Ropes journey began almost a decade ago now, when I was teaching my eldest to ski. Like so many parents, I had these idealistic visions of us skiing together - I'd hold her between my legs and share my many words of wisdom and we'd laugh together, and within a few runs I'd be skiing backwards in front of her as she marveled at her new found ability. What a hero I'd be, for helping her to discover the joy of skiing.

Of course, this is not how it went at all.

After two short runs, the magic of holding her between my legs wore off - my back ached, she felt trapped and she wasn't carrying her weight correctly at all. She was grumpy, I was grumpy. Our day of skiing ended pretty quickly.

I tried a couple of the harnesses that were available for sale at the time, but my very independent daughter was not interested in being strapped in. Most of the devices I bought or borrowed allowed me to control her speed, but not to teach her proper form. As I pulled on harnesses, it would cause her to lean backwards and she began to associate leaning backwards with slowing or stopping. Eventually I tried a hula hoop, after seeing it used in ski schools by instructors. It was better - but extremely annoying to carry around. And I didn't get enough distance from her skis.

For my son, I was determined to make the whole experience easier. I rigged up something basic in my garage - two handles, two ropes. I took it out on the slopes and the first few runs with my son were so much closer to the visions I'd originally had for skiing with my kids!  I could control his speed, guide his turns, and teach him proper form. He put one handle at his hips and bent his knees and with the assistance of Edgie Wedgies he maintained his slowplow. We laughed together! We skied together! Magic.

I kept fine-tuning my Slope Ropes prototype. My kids got older, and both were put into structured lessons with certified instructors, but I found I kept using Slope Ropes after their lessons to give them confidence and security as we explored new, bigger, steeper hills. I was also able to tow them around, which saved their energy and extended our day.

Every time I was out on the hill parents would approach me and ask where they could buy Slope Ropes for themselves. After the initial shock and flattery wore off, I began to realize that this gap I'd found in the learn-to-ski-device market was shared with other parents. I made a few more prototypes and gave those out and the positive feedback I received was enough of a nudge for me to make a few dozen and set-up a simple website. Those units sold out quickly, and again the feedback was glowing. I got a booth at a Ski & Snowboard show where I was approached by several instructors - most with kind words, but the one that sticks in my mind is the instructor who was very upset with me for taking away business from him, as he claimed he made a lot of money correcting the bad ski habits that kids developed by being taught with harnesses or poles attached to skis. Somehow that scolding was the best validation of all.

From there, things just kept growing. I still remember my first sale to a stranger. My first five-star Amazon review. My first time seeing a set of Slope Ropes on a hill. It all feels a bit surreal. I didn’t expect to build a business helping parents to live out the learn-to-ski dream that had eluded me. But I couldn't be happier that I have.