Whether you’re a novice or an experienced virtuoso, skiing is an extremely fun activity. If your child has never touched a ski before in their life, there’s no need to worry. We know it can be daunting, but there’s a variety of ways you can learn how to ski effectively, some more obvious than others.
We’ve asked our friends from Alpine Infusion, experts in unforgettable winter adventures in the Alps, to share their golden rules for teaching your children to ski.
Here are their top 10 tips for learning how to ski:
1) Improving balance
Keeping balance is a key aspect of skiing. If your child can improve their balance before stepping onto a pair of skis, they’ll be in a very good position for skiing. There’s a number of ways to improve balance, such as standing on one leg for a period of time, and even partaking in some ballet classes. All of these will help them get better at maintaining their balance, making it even easier for them when they’re on a pair of skis.
2) Try the dry slopes
There are plenty of places which host indoor slopes
made from artificial snow. These are excellent places to hone your skills before attempting an actual slope – which, let’s face it, for first time skiers (especially children) can be daunting. This way, they can get accustomed to the feel of skiing and going down a slope, improving their technique and getting used to falling down every now and then!
3) Get an instructor
Technically you could try teaching them yourself if you have some experience, or get any other experienced friends or family members to help you out. Our advice; don’t do it. Friends and family aren’t nearly as effective as a fully qualified trainer. A trainer will be able to tune into what your child needs to work on and what their current strengths are. A good trainer will also listen to what he or she is worried about, and quell any fears they may have. What’s a key ingredient for a good trainer? Patience! This may be a lot trickier if you’re aiming to do it yourself – you may have certain expectations of your child and underestimate what they can and cannot do at a given time.
4) Use YouTube
Outside of any physical training, you can also use any resources you find online. We’d recommend going to YouTube to find some skiing videos. Have your children watch some beginner tutorials to not only study the technique, but also get them into the skiing mood! A good mix of instructional and light-hearted videos will be both informative and helpful in framing the sport in a positive light.
5) Don't push them too hard
It’s important not to over-extend yourself. Your body can end up feeling prematurely exhausted, making it difficult to continue skiing, or you may even go so far as to injure yourself. For children especially, it’s better in the long term to go at a steady pace and ease into the activity. Their body will reward them AND they’ll be able to ski for longer.
6) Learning how to stop
Learning how to stop when going down the slope is a crucial skill to have. It can give your child a certain peace of mind to know they can effectively stop mid-ski with minimal issues. We would say this is an essential skill to master before attempting any difficult runs. Not only will they protect themselves, but they’ll also avoid harming anyone else in the process.
7) Learning how to fall
Even if they do learn how to stop, there may be times (especially on their first few run-throughs) where they make a couple of falls. Its fine, it happens to everyone. There’s an art to falling down – doing it properly will mean minimal injuries. The key is not landing on a single limb, but instead keeping a large surface area to absorb the impact of your fall. So if (or when, depending how you look at it) they do fall, tell them to spread out to reduce the likelihood of any unhappy faces!
8) Understand the equipment
It’s important they understand the equipment they’ll be using. As much as they get themselves prepared for the sport, they’re going to have to rely on their equipment. Understanding how to use both the poles and skis properly will put them in a better position, and help them perfect their “rhythm” when skiing. It also helps to get them in the correct ski clothing!
9) The most important tip
After everything explained above, this is the most important tip. Practice! Regardless of what they do to prepare, it’s important to maintain their routine and be consistent. Even when on the slope, it’s important they maintain an optimistic attitude, and they don’t give up at the sight of any mistakes. The more they practice, the better and more refined their technique will become, and the more likely they are to enjoy themselves.
10) Get yourself on the slopes
Now that you and your children are fully prepared for the slopes, the final piece will be where you stay during your downtime. While skiing is immensely fun and rewarding, it can still be daunting and strenuous. To help you fully relax as a family during your downtime, head to Meribel or Courchevel and book yourself a luxury chalet – each of these come with a private transfer to and from the airport, catered or self-catering services and even a qualified team of nannies if you feel like giving yourself a little break. Book yourself a luxury chalet
and give both you and your children an incredible experience both on and off the slope. Packing for a family ski trip? Have a look at our handy ski packing list
to make sure your gang is ready for the slopes.