Tips for Teaching Your First-Timer to Ski

Posted by Amber on February 21, 2011

first-timer (first-timer)At Park City Mountain Resort, kids may enroll in Signature ski classes as young as 3 ½ years old, though many parents prefer to introduce their children to the slopes themselves.

I am not one of them.

However, I recently learned some great tips for teaching newbie skiers when my four-year-old son Bode and I attended a Mommy & Me class together:

  • Make sure the setting is right. You want your child’s first experience on skis to be as positive as possible. Ensure the weather is favorable and they are excited.
  • Start by explaining the very basics like the parts of the ski (tip, tail and edges).
  • Help them put on their boots and skis and learn to balance in a skiing stance.
  • Begin sliding on flats with only one ski.
  • Put on both skis and learn to slide and glide in a balanced first run.
  • Teach your kids that falling is a part of skiing and can even be fun. I intentionally (and comically) fell several times and it not only made my son laugh but he wasn’t afraid to fall.
  • Use teaching aids. Once your child learns the basics, don’t be afraid to use ski leashes and tip locks to help you maintain control while on the slopes.

Some helpful terms on the slopes:

  • Pizza = snowplow or wedge
  • French fries = holding your skis parallel
  • Roll to your skis and hug your knees = getting up after a fall
  • Peanut butter and jelly = one foot is peanut butter, the other is jelly when sidestepping up the hill.

Stop for hot-chocolate breaks and laugh a lot. Remember, this is supposed to be fun! Keep your expectations in check. Your child will not become Bode Miller overnight. Well, unless you’re like me and christened your son after the skiing great.

Look for my Bodie in the 2022 Winter Games.


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