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Old 23-04-09, 12:12 AM   #1
Downhillnow
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Youngest Age to start skiing?

How young can you start skiing? I saw this guy at Jay peak snowboarding with a baby on his back in a backpack. How safe is that? Technically the baby wasn't skiing but still...isn't that a little early?
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Old 01-05-09, 01:56 AM   #2
RichH
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That doesn't sound sensible. One bad fall and they would be killed.

Around 3 - 4 appears to be the age most schools will put skis on children.
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Old 07-05-09, 02:07 PM   #3
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Obviously snowboarding or skiing with a baby in a backpack is ill-advised. The balance would become so tricky. How would one ride a chairlift?

I have cross-country skiied quite a bit with a baby in a backpack, but even that requires being very careful, no hills, just flats. At that time I was very strong, training for XC Marathons.

My experience with my two kids for downhill skiing is that they enjoyed the activity--sort of--when they were 4 and 5, but they really did not have the strength, attention span and coordination to ski effectively until the year they turned 6. Everything prior to that was really sort of a waste.

If you have a place at a mountain and you go every week, then kids who are 4 might progress, but if you are going a few times a year, save your money and wait until they are a bit older.

I know that new parents who are skiers will think I'm wrong, that their kid will do fine. Its not my money. But after your youngest is 7 or 8 you will recognize that I am correct. Both my kids are fully grown and very strong skiers.
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Old 29-07-09, 09:55 PM   #4
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My kids both started skiing before they were three years old. My son is six now and he can ski some of the easier black diamond runs with no problems.
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Old 08-09-09, 11:20 PM   #5
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I started skiing when I was 3; my dad bought a pair of tiny plastic skis and while he and my older sister were on the mountain my mom and grandmother would drag me up a 50ft groomed access trail and let me go...if you call that skiing. I was on the bunny hill starting at 4 and progressed all the way through the multi colored balloon stages. Having been a "little kid picker upper" for a mountain I'd say that 4 is the average age where kids actually start learning to ski rather than just sliding down a hill.
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Old 26-09-09, 07:36 AM   #6
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I think it depends on both the child and the parents' attitudes. We took our 3 children skiing when our youngest was just shy of 4. We thought she would tobboggan while the boys skiied, but when she saw they had skis there was NO WAY she was missing out, so skiing she went, and she did pick it up very quickly. I had other friends whose kids simply weren't interested til they were 5 or 6. But the parents' also have to have the right attitude with younger skiiers - they will get tired/cold/hungry sooner, so you need lots of patience and often leave the slopes early on frustratingly perfect days. And spend lots of time cruising round on the green slopes. And protecting them from wild snowboarders as they move onto the blue slopes. We also found using a childcare facility on the mountain for part days worked really well for us too - she would ski with us in the morning, then stay in the creche in the afternoon.

Lauren has just turned 7 now, skis parallel and is much faster than me!! By contrast, the boys started when they were 6 & 8, were better than me in 3 days, and have been great ski companions ever since. But I don't regret starting our daughter earlier - I just think of all the fantastic family holidays we would have missed out on otherwise!
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Old 02-10-09, 07:10 PM   #7
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As early as they can walk is a good time to start skiing
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Old 03-10-09, 10:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Downhillnow View Post
How young can you start skiing? I saw this guy at Jay peak snowboarding with a baby on his back in a backpack. How safe is that? Technically the baby wasn't skiing but still...isn't that a little early?
wow that's really bad. hopefully the baby did not get injured!
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Old 18-10-09, 03:09 AM   #9
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Really depends on how they develop physically. I have friends whose kids started skiing before age 3. My youngest boy started at age 3; my oldest at close to 5. Those who said that the older a child starts is correct in that the older they start, the more physically developed and coordinated they are, so the faster they can pickup the sport. another factor is how often they go. My kids were skiing 40-60 days a year when they started, 'cause we were close to the ski hill. Still another factor is the equipment, like ski boots and skis (forget poles until they are old enough to understand what they are used for. My kids never used poles until they were on skis for over 100 days.) very short skis like 60 or 70 cms for 3-4 and some 5 year olders. Keep ski lengths at chin level. Re. kids in back packs--ONLY IF ON X country skis--In Europe--common practice because X country skis are a form of transportation, and as some writer said--only on level ground.
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Old 27-10-09, 03:20 PM   #10
k2skier
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I started my son out at 2 yrs & 7 mo. The first seasn was just straight lining the rope tow, maybe one run down the beginner slope at the end of the season.
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Old 07-01-10, 01:25 PM   #11
zlathim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kiwijen View Post
I think it depends on both the child and the parents' attitudes.
This is exactly right.

I remember the early days of teaching my son to ski. It was a very exhausting experience. A small child needs help with pretty much everything. I remember the first couple of years how I would strap his skis and helmet to my backpack and then carry him and all my gear in my arms from the vehicle in the parking lot to the slopes because it was too hard for him to walk in his boots. They fall down, you have to help them get up, they get cold, you have to warm them up. The saving grace for me was that my boy absolutely loves going skiing, so it made it easier in that respect. Now he is six years old and we ski pretty much anywhere on the mountain together. He skis better than most of the friends that I sometimes ski with. In the long run, I ended up with a capable ski partner that is willing to go anytime I am. The first couple years were tough though, I won't lie about that.
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Old 19-01-10, 07:03 PM   #12
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6 or 7 is a good age to start.
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Old 27-01-10, 05:45 PM   #13
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When introducing a child to the sport at any age, focus on providing an environment where your child will learn to enjoy the sport in a fun and safe setting. Plan the first introduction to be short and fun. With a fun, safe, and short introduction to skiing, your child may discover a life-long love for the sport.

You can introduce a three and four year old child to skiing. Some children this age love it while others may not be ready. A great way to introduce your young child to skiing is to sign up for a one-hour private lesson with your child. Instructors are skilled and trained to introduce young children to skiing. They can teach your child the best steps to start learning how to ski in a fun and safe environment. If you join your child in the private lesson, you can enjoy watching and assisting in your child’s progress.

Children ages 4.5 and older are often ready to try ski school. Ski schools are designed to introduce children to skiing in a fun and safe group setting. Children usually enjoy learning with peers of similar abilities. While your child may seem intimidated walking into the ski school on the first day, you will most likely see a smiling face at the end of the day.

Before enrolling your child in either a half-day or all day ski school, decide whether your child is ready to exercise and be in a class environment for the length of the program. If you are not sure, it’s best to start out with a private lesson or enjoy skiing alone with your child before enrolling him/her in ski school.

Don’t worry if your child is not ready at such a young age. You can start your child skiing when they are stronger and ready to learn at any later age.

http://www.snowsportscalendar.com/
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Old 29-01-10, 03:50 PM   #14
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I started at 4 years old
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Old 21-09-10, 01:34 PM   #15
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I found that my kids were too impatient to take lessons at any age under 6.
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