Nicholas Clark is the Director of Merchandising at Level Nine Sports. He is a father of three and, having already taught his two older children how to ski, is currently teaching his youngest. This video series will cover some of the basic techniques and methods he has for teaching young kids to ski.
This video series is mostly aimed at helping to teach young kids to ski, specifically those in the two to eight age range, although some of the techniques discussed will apply to teaching older kids or adults to ski as well.
PICKING EQUIPMENT FOR YOUR CHILDREN
Skis should be, at most, chin height for young kids. Shorter skis will help them learn to control their skis and will be easier to manage with their less developed muscles. Skis as short as chest high are totally appropriate for young kids, so we generally recommend you buy the right size now and continue to use them as the child grows rather than sizing up for the child to grow into.
It’s important that boots fit your kid, but since they are growing, they will likely need a different each year. We encourage you to check out the Roces adjustable boots that can extend to fit your child’s foot across three sizes. In our experience, Roces boots last two to three years.
For young kids just learning to ski, you can also buy a size up and have the kids wear an extra pair of socks; it should not impede their ability to learn skiing. This is not recommended for older skiers, however as it can affect the thermal performance of the boots and in some cases cause blisters.
Brain injuries are a risk when skiing, so any new skiers should wear a helmet (and you should too!)
A helmet should have a nice snug fit. They tend to last longer than boots, and many kids' helmets are adjustable.
Sunglasses or goggles are essential for sun and wind protection. Snow is very reflective, and skiing without eye protection can cause damage
Mittens are warmer and easier to use for children than gloves. For very young kids, we always recommend mittens to make putting them on much easier.
No poles until they are more experienced. A good rule of thumb is to wait to get poles until your child is confidently making parallel turns on blue runs.
EQUIPMENT TO HELP YOU TEACH
Using ski boards (aka: snowblades) to teach your child makes it easier to maneuver around your child while giving them instruction. It is also easier to go back uphill on ski boards, should you need to walk back to lift a fallen child or something.
Ski wedges are a device to help your child keep their ski tips together and promote a proper skiing stance.
A ski harness is also an option; it's not the best for the initial instruction, but it's great for keeping your kids safe while on the hill.