What age did you child learn to ski?

(34 Posts)
Caronline Tue 05-Feb-13 21:21:31

Hey all just wondering how old your little ones were the first time they went skiing? Whats the youngest they can start ski school?xx

bigTillyMint Sat 23-Feb-13 21:11:20

DS was just 4 and DD was 5. We didn't put them in ski school as they seem to spend most of their lessons waiting in long linesgrin
I taught them both at the same time (as DH had dislocated his knee 2 weeks before we went) and at the end of 4 long mornings, they could both take a button pull and get down a green run - DD doing parallel turns, DS more snow-ploughy!

I did not hold either of them while skiing - they had no poles and learned by getting their own balance and skiing down on their own (though I did have to take DS up on the button pull at first!) It was an Easter break and very very quiet where we go as it was not French hols!

Tonijo Fri 22-Feb-13 16:22:43

My eldest was 5 and he went straight into group ski school lessons which was ok as he had already been at school so was used to school layout. However my youngest was taken onto the slopes at 2 by myself and now at 6 is a very good confident skier. I took her out on the nursery slopes for 2 x 45 min sessions so she didn't get too cold. Its quite back breaking though trying to hold her up even with me skiing backwards. I found a really useful harness which helped me to control her and it also helped when trying to position her to lift onto chair lifts I bought mine in USA at the ski resort but I have found them on this website: www.snowsportstore.co.uk

I think if they are going into ski school try and find english speaking instructors

Hope this help

Skibeat Fri 22-Feb-13 07:56:57

My oldest was 3 and a half but, my youngest just had a go and he's 2yrs 2 months! We live out here in the French Alps so it's slightly different but, loads of the kids with ski instructor parents first get on skis at 2!! It was just for a bit of fun in the sunshine and he loved it!!!! smile

Skilover Mon 18-Feb-13 09:30:31

We have just come back from 1st week with DD who is 4 and she was in Ecole de Ski Internationale in Val Thorens in the mornings. The instructor was Italian and there were French, Dutch, Italian and English tiddlers in the class of 7. All very sweet and she loved it.

UniS Fri 15-Feb-13 19:34:26

Oh, should say that both years DS was in an all English group with an ESF instructor. Being who he is and liking to go fast he spent week 2 being the "1st kid in line" and keeping up with the teacher.

UniS Fri 15-Feb-13 19:32:51

Boy was 5 nearly 6. He loved it and progressed pretty fast in week one. after week 2 - age 6 nearly 7 he was happily tackling gentle red runs and begging to go off piste in the trees. Declared himself a "powder pup" and was quite fun to ski with for a whole day.

He does have bags of stamina tho, not all 6 yr olds will be willing to ski for best part of 7 hours ( full day) at the end of their 2nd week.

Ours were about 3. Piou Piou for the younger one worked well. And they have done "proper" lessons from 5 (after a lot of mum and dad teaching). Both love it. And ski school has been fine - yes most kids are French, but the instructors do speak a bit of English, and the boys understand French a bit too. Have only done ESF once - usually go for smaller ski school as they are more flexible. Can't wait until Easter when they are skiing with friends in Austria for the first time.

I was 13 - and am a bit obsessed!

trixymalixy Wed 13-Feb-13 18:31:38

I agree about ESF. DS didn't improve much as I suspect te instructor pretty much only spoke in French as DS and another wee boy were the only English speakers in the group. I had a similar experience. Long explanation in French and two words in English. Thankfully I have enough French to have caught most of it and was not shy to ask if I didn't. DS was r brave enough to ask to go to the loo sad

DPotter Wed 13-Feb-13 09:28:30

DD was 3 and loved it straight away. agree with Wishihadabs about Austrian ski school - different league from ESF. I would definetely recommend Austria every time. we found ski school in Scheffau very good

Wishihadabs Wed 13-Feb-13 09:18:27

Ahh we were in Austria this year I thought the level of instruction and the instructors English was far superior to the esf

clam Wed 13-Feb-13 09:16:01

Making friends wasn't really a big deal - all the other kids were French and even though the instructors were meant to be English-speaking, in practice it was very basic and they aimed the vast majority of the lesson at the French kids.

Yes, their skiing improved, but it's hard to quantify how much that would have happened regardless. Anyway, it's not an issue anymore. We're free! grin

Ragwort Wed 13-Feb-13 09:13:44

Mine learned at 3 - a very expenseive ski 'kindergarden' for children in USA, more like a nursery school with a 'moving staircase' thing to learn on. Cost £££££s but worth it as DH is a very keen skier and we go most years, he is now 12 and better than his dad grin. I still can't ski sad.

Wishihadabs Wed 13-Feb-13 09:13:17

Races don't know what happened there

Wishihadabs Wed 13-Feb-13 09:12:42

Just read yours were 7&9 when they started (similar ages to mine now) I did see some older dcs on the nursery slope looking fairly bored. Ds (8) was in a group of 8-10 year olds tearing around and doing jumps and Rajesh had a blast.

Wishihadabs Wed 13-Feb-13 09:09:49

Sorry that was your experience clam. Ours love ski school, it was an opportunity for them to make friends and realyimproved their skiing.

clam Wed 13-Feb-13 08:52:00

By the way, I'm a little hmm about skischool. Seen too many long, long lines of kids trailing after an instructor who barely seems to be watching what they're all doing. Not to mention wailing 4 year olds who are cold and fed up.
We got much better value for money with private lessons which, as we could rustle up 5 or so kids to spread the cost, worked out cheaper.

clam Wed 13-Feb-13 08:49:30

Ours were 7 and 9, but that was primarily because we couldn't afford to go before then! Ds in particular picked it up in a flash - one week's course at a dry slope and he was signed off their scheme, but he's very nimble and nippy. Now they're 14 and 16 and we've been every year since. They did ski-school in groups for one year, then private lessons with some friends' kids of similar ability for 2 years, and now we don't have lessons any longer but ski together as a family and with friends.

N0tinmylife Tue 12-Feb-13 09:51:40

DS went last year at just 4. He enjoyed the skiing, but hated ski school, and couldn't keep going for long before he got tired. This year at just 5, he loved ski school, which he did for a couple of mornings. The rest of the time he skied with us. He was happily going down red runs, and kept going from 9 until 4 with just a couple of breaks. The difference was amazing! I am not sure I'll be able to keep up with him next year!

SachaF Tue 12-Feb-13 09:45:30

We tried when ds was 3 with some fridge (indoor snow slope) lessons and some private lessons on the slopes (term time, no group lessons) and although it was a bit of fun he didn't really learn to ski.

We tried again this September as dd's 4th birthday treat at the fridge, and ds was 5 1/2. Ds zoomed through the first level in 1 lesson and was put into the 2nd group for the 2nd lesson. Dd took a little longer but picked it up well. We're now planning our 2nd week on snow with dd(4) and ds(6), and looking forward to the fact that we can ski greens and blues with them although as ds is much faster it does require us going 1-1 with them!

At the fridge they'll take 3 year olds. In France for ESF they took 3 year olds for 1 hour and 4+ for 2 hour sessions. However they won't take them in the more advanced groups (bringing skis parallel between turns on blues) until they are 5.

In Scotland they need to be 5 for group lessons generally but Glenshee will take our 4 year old for private lessons. So there are some downsides in starting young, but already we are looking forward to skiing with them.

juneau Fri 08-Feb-13 13:11:46

DS1 was 4 when he first got on skis, and it was a good age. He's small-to-average size and I didn't feel he'd cope with all the gear and the cold until then. We went in March last year when it was unseasonably warm and he had a great time. He's quite sporty and fit, which I'm sure helped. I'm going to try and get his little brother, who has a May birthday, on skis at 3+. He's a larger child and I'm sure will want to copy his big brother.

trixymalixy Fri 08-Feb-13 09:55:45

DS was 4 coming up 5. We stsrted him in lessons at an indoor snowdome befiore going on holiday. There were 3 year olds in his class and it was utterly pointless for them. DS ended up with loads of extra free lessons as some of his lessons were almost completely taken up with finding a 3 year old's parents as they were crying.

DD is 3 and we have bought some toddler skis to let her have a try. I think it would be a waste of money paying for lessons for her unless we lived where you could ski regularly.

Wishihadabs Fri 08-Feb-13 01:04:50

Ds nearly 4 dd 31/2. 8 and 6 now. Ds (8) is braver than me in the powder !

LemonEmmaP Wed 06-Feb-13 15:49:35

DS1 was 5 (very nearly 6) and was older than 90% of the others in his class. He made slow progress that holiday, but was off and flying when we next went, when he was 7 (nearly 8).

DS2 first skied at 4, and seemed to be doing okay, but went backwards when we next went, when he was just 5. He's now 6 and we're off again next week, so I really hope he finds his ski legs and starts to discover what fun it can be! DS2 is small for his age, which I think has made things harder for him.

PatriciaHolm Wed 06-Feb-13 15:40:33

3, but we did private lessons, not ski school, so they took it at their own pace. They've been at least twice a year since (now 8.5 and almost 7)

Generally in this country 3 is the youngest most places will take them. In Austria 2 is considered fine. It really, really depends on the child and their particular physical development though. DS has been on plastic skis at 2 but when I taught I would teach some children who were 3.5 who weren't ready.

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