Why Your Kids Should Know How to Ski
Millions of people enjoy skiing and snowboarding each year. Dr. Jim Taylor, a writer for Huffington Post, talks about skiing (and snowboarding) being the best sport to enjoy with your children: "There is something so pure about skiing with your family. And nothing brings me more joy."
Skiing and snowboarding creates amazing memories, great exercise, and time spent in nature. It also hosts risk, so standing on the fence to send your youngsters out is understandable. However, we believe the benefits outweigh the risk. How could you not take advantage of the dozens of world-class resorts in your backyard? Here’s our guide to the best ways to get your kids out and in love with the sport.
Ski School Vs. Parent Teaching
You might have dreamed of the day when your kids were ready to head down the hill with you. You’d take them on their first lift, ride with them between your skis, and impress upon them your talents and love for the sport. However, there is valuable expertise your kids could miss out on if you don’t send them to a lesson with a professional. A lesson might be valuable to you – the instructor might have valuable tools for you when you’ve taken over the reins. If you decide not to put your kids in lessons, do not ride down the hill with them in between your skis. A tumble in this formation can be very dangerous and might lead to unhappy memories of the sport for a lifetime.
Pick the Right Resort
Truckee and Lake Tahoe are fortunate to have dozens of world-class resorts. Out of those resorts, there are some that have world-class ski schools, some that aren't crowded, some that have gentle slopes and easy groomers. Do your research to make sure the resort you choose will be beneficial to all.
Have the Right Gear
You want your little one to enjoy the sport. You don’t want them to give up the sport completely because they were too cold or uncomfortable during their first lesson. Mandatory items: waterproof clothes, helmet, mittens, goggles, thick socks, and sunscreen! Go early to rent boots and equipment to avoid a hassle morning of and to make sure that the boots properly fit and don’t cause discomfort. Kids grow fast, but, unfortunately, their gear does not. Truckee has some awesome thrift and consignment shops where you can find everything you need for a day on the snow.
Know the Right Age
How young is too young to be on the snow? Heidi Ettlinger, Professional Ski Instructors of America National Alpine Team member, frequently teaches ski instructors. She believes that 3 or 4 is the age most children enter the sport, but she doesn’t negate younger riders, but she gives Ski Magazine this piece of advice: “Private lessons are another opportunity to start very young children with one-on-one attention as an introduction to sliding and their first sensations on snow.”
Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month
“Humans were never meant to hibernate,” is the slogan of Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month (LSSM). The program is brought to you by professionals in the ski/snowboard industry. Venues in 34 states have special learn-to-ride programs for youth (and adults). Their website is chalk full of useful information, like “Today’s Ski and Snowboard Equipment Makes it Easier to Learn” and “Elementary Age Children Can Ski or Snowboard FREE at Dozens of Resorts.” The website is definitely a great jumping off point to getting your little one on the hill.