Skiing can be fantastic exercise, a relaxing winter break, or a heart-pounding extreme sport. The basics
are simple, though it can take a lifetime to master. And the earlier you start your children on the slopes,
the easier they’ll find moving from the beginner’s slope to the black diamonds. There are a few, simple
lessons that can start your children on the skier’s path, insuring they have a fun first day on the ski slopes,
while laying the groundwork for years of skiing enjoyment.
Before your children even strap on their skis, make sure you emphasize the importance of safety. It may
seem boring, or unnecessary, to start so slowly on the ski slope, but it’s hugely important for your children
to pace themselves. Don’t push your kids into attempting things they are afraid of, or uncomfortable
doing. Successful skiing is all about preparation and staying in control, and your child should understand
that from the beginning. Not pushing your children outside of their comfort zone will actually speed up
the learning process, and minimize the chances of injury. Here’s some simple lessons you can start them
off with, before they attempt their first downhill.
Boot drills – Prior to locking on skis, have your child perfect a series of boot drills. Simply walking in
boots (working heel-to-toe) should be the first step. Next you can have your child attempt boot ties, which
involve pushing their heel and toe from side to side while keeping the center of the boot in the same place.
Then move them on to pushing half-moon designs into the snow, to further add to their comfort level in
the snow with the proper equipment. Showing them how to turn their feet while keeping their center of
gravity where it needs to be will keep them vertical more easily, and prevent a traumatic spill that will
dampen their excitement for the sport.
Scooter drill – With knees bent and hands held out in front, have your child glide forward with one ski on.
Do the drill until your child is comfortable with a single ski on either foot before attempting it on a slight
downhill slope with both skis on.
The wedge – Show your child how to create small wedge shapes (to slow down) or larger wedge shapes
(to stop) with their skis in order to control their movement. Make sure they’re comfortable creating this
shape with skis close together, but not crossed, so they avoid getting tangled. Attempt these moves on
slight inclines until they are comfortable.
Turning – Show them how to push one foot out at a time, while in the wedge shape, to turn and control
their skis. This will be hugely important on the crowded local ski slope, but will certainly help their
progress on more complicated downhills as well.
Mastering these simple skill sets will help your child lay the groundwork for a lifetime of skiing
enjoyment. Whether they’re attempting the local bunny slopes, or a black diamond at St Anton, they’ll
have confidence after receiving the proper training.