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Family Fun on the Slopes: Tips for Introducing Kids to Skiing and Snowboarding

If you are new to Snowbeast Performance, we are a team of skier and snowboard lovers, and our families also love to be out on the mountain. As we approach Spring skiing and riding, this is a great time to bring your littles out on the mountain and have them enjoy being outside learning something new and challenging.

I learned to ski when I was 17 right before I was heading to UVM to start my freshman year. I knew that I needed to learn how to ski, because what was I going to do in those long winters? The only regret that I have, is that I didn't learn how to ski sooner!!

Whether your family is hitting the slopes for the first time or looking to enhance your winter adventures, here are some tips for introducing skiing and riding, and how to make the experience enjoyable and memorable for everyone.

Start with the Basics

Before strapping on skis or a snowboard, familiarize your kids with the gear. Let them walk around in their boots, get comfortable wearing their equipment, and practice basic movements on flat ground.

Choose the Right Gear

Ensure that your children have properly fitted gear suitable for their age and skill level. Well-fitted boots, skis, or a snowboard, and a properly adjusted helmet are crucial for their safety and comfort. There are some great places near us that have used winter gear (Outdoor gear exchange) and you can also look on Facebook marketplace to see some gear that others are looking to get rid of! We know that they will outgrow their gear in a year, and continue to outgrow their gear, so not spending a fortune on gear, but buying second-hand can help save some money.

Dress for Success

Along with choosing the right gear, dress your kids in layers to regulate body temperature, and don't forget waterproof clothing. Cold and wet kids are less likely to enjoy the experience. Don't skimp on gloves, hats, and other winter accessories.

Enroll in Lessons

Consider enrolling your kids in lessons. Many ski resorts offer children's programs where certified instructors teach the fundamentals in a fun and engaging way. This not only provides a solid foundation but also allows parents to enjoy their time on the slopes. Cochrans, Smugglers Notch, and Bolton Valley are a few that I know of that are family-friendly and have great Bunny slopes, and lessons.

Create a Positive Environment

Foster a positive attitude by keeping things light and enjoyable. Celebrate small victories, and don't be discouraged by initial falls. The focus should be on having fun and building confidence. Failing is all part of learning getting better, and creating a fun and enjoyable along the way!

Practice Patience

Learning to ski or snowboard takes time, especially for young beginners. Be patient and encouraging, allowing your kids to progress at their own pace. Frequent breaks for hot cocoa and snacks can make the experience more enjoyable.

Choose Kid-Friendly Slopes

Pick slopes that are specifically designed for beginners and children. These areas typically have gentle gradients and wide spaces, providing a safe environment for learning and practicing new skills. Like I said before Cochrans is a really great mountain, Steve likes to bring Mady and Sophie there and use the T-bar, and the mountain is very beginner-friendly.

Promote Safety Awareness

Teach your kids the basics of mountain safety, such as stopping techniques and awareness of others on the slopes. Reinforce the importance of following the rules and staying within designated areas.

Celebrate Achievements

As your children progress, celebrate their achievements. Whether it's conquering a small hill or completing a gentle slope, acknowledge their efforts and make each skiing or snowboarding adventure a positive family memory.

Though I don't have any kids that I am teaching to ski, I think about if I were to take these steps when I was younger, and how much I would have learned! Even if you aren't teaching someone how to ski, but you're an adult learning to ski, these are great tips to keep in mind, especially when learning a new skill. With the right approach, patience, and a focus on fun, you can instill a love for winter sports in your children that will last a lifetime. So, gear up, hit the slopes, and enjoy the thrill of family fun in the winter wonderland!

Happy riding Snowbeasts, get on the mountain, and make lifelong memories!

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