We all love skiing, and the experience of descending a beautiful snow-covered mountain is one that we’d all love to share with our families. So, when can your children start learning to ski and enjoying the mountains? In general, some of the younger skiers on the slope will be around three to four years old. Most ski schools will begin to accept children into group lessons at three years, and private lessons at two, although this may differ from school to school. However, I have taught a two-year-old who was linking turns in one day, and a four-year-old that could barely stand on their skis after one week. So, other than age, what are the more important guidelines for when to start your child skiing?
Even for adults, skiing is not easy on the body. While the little ones have the advantage of more flexible joints, which are far less likely to break than those of us unfortunate grown-ups, they also have much less muscle and less ability to get those muscles to do what they want. A key sign of how ready your child is for skiing will be how strong and co-ordinated they are for their age. A bigger three-year-old can get more out of ski school than a slighter four- or five-year-old child.
Do you have older children skiing? This can be a big motivation for a child – seeing their older siblings coming back after ski school excited and happy after a hard day’s skiing will push them to want to try it themselves. We see this a lot in the families that use our ski school regularly, where many of the younger siblings grow up to be the stronger skiers.
Other important factors to consider are clothing (a cold skier is an unhappy skier!), weather (a bad weather day is best avoided) and finding a resort with a gentle and safe beginners’ slope. Hopefully with these things coming together, your children can start off on a long and happy time out on the mountains, with some great family memories!
For more info on kids’ lessons, please contact our resident experts at Altitude Ski School in Verbier. [email protected]