It's almost ski season here in the Pacific Northwest. Last weekend we were in Hood River getting my daughter's helmet for her ski racing and making sure she was outfitted for her first race season at Mt. Hood. She loves to ski, and having been on skis since the young age of 2 hasn't hurt her love of the sport. Here are 5 things to know before taking your kids skiing.
Make sure you have the right gear. If this is the first time your kids have ever been skiing, rent it at the ski resort. You don’t know what size they need for boots, skis, and helmets and you won’t want to invest in gear that you don’t know if it fits or if they even like to ski yet. Make sure they have jackets, snow pants, gloves, and warm, thin socks. Base layers will also help keep them warm and dry underneath.
Our kids have been on skis in they were each about 2 years old. That first winter my husband had them out on skis, he probably broke that rule about not investing in ski gear right away, but he’s also a dang good skier and knows a thing or two about skiing. So he grabbed some used ski equipment at a swap and got the first kid set up. (That’s a pro tip I won’t recommend unless you know what you’re doing; if you do, it will save you a bit of cash). We’ve been handing down ski equipment for 12 years now and have all levels of skiers from triple-black diamonds to our first ski racer this year. They all love to ski.
When you’re out on the slopes all day, you’re cold and you’re also burning a lot of calories staying warm and skiing. Make sure to pack some snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and dried fruit to refuel. Pack a water bottle, too, to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Sign Up for Lessons
Even though my husband had our kids out on skis getting them used to the feeling of skis and teaching them the basics at an early age, all of our kids went ski school as soon as they were old enough for ski school. Do not underestimate the value of having someone else teach your kids how to ski. My husband was actually a ski coach when we first moved to Vermont. He taught kids to ski and was a racing coach for several years. That said, it’s always better to have someone else teach your kids. They listen better to someone else, and you are likely to stay sane and not get frustrated. The same goes for partners—don’t teach your partner how to ski. I signed up for lessons years ago and didn’t let my husband teach me. I know what's good for me.
Choose the Right Place to Stay
Searching for the best family ski resort can be a lot of work and research, especially for new skiers. On a ski vacation, staying at a resort condo makes your ski vacation easy! We love the convenience of being able to ski in/out of our resort residence at a ski resort. This year we're deciding between Tahoe, Park City, and Vail. There are so many benefits of a condo for relaxing and spreading out at the end of a tiring day on the slopes. Especially as a large family, the benefit of having a full kitchen is economical as well as functional. Who wants to gear up and trek out again for dinner when you really just want to relax by the fireplace?
No matter what you do, have fun. That is what skiing is all about. Get out on the slopes and enjoy the moment.