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

Primrose123 Tue 05-Feb-13 21:23:18

Mine were about 3 or 4, but I think it depends where you go.

massistar Wed 06-Feb-13 09:56:12

3 1/2 for my eldest but that was in Italy where they start them young and he was a big strapping lad who was desperate to give it a go. My youngest was almost 4 this year but I didn't put her in ski school as I didn't think she'd cope so just pottered with her myself. She'll go into ski school next year when she will be almost 5.

LIZS Wed 06-Feb-13 10:00:36

ds was 4. Physically many aren't really ready beforehand and ski schools need them clean and dry. dd was on skis at 3 but no more than pottering around for short periods and in short snow garden lessons.

TwinTum Wed 06-Feb-13 10:01:04

Mine were nearly 6. We go with a group of friends with similar aged children and theirs started earlier (3 or 4). We decided against this as one of our children is not strong physically and we thought it might put her off. It was the right decsion for us. They are now 9 and have pretty much caught up with those who started younger.

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Wed 06-Feb-13 10:03:05

Just over 3. But that's primarily as we lived in Switzerland at the time. They did the Ecole de Ski in the mornings then in the afternoon skiied with me, either between my legs or on reins.

JumpJockey Wed 06-Feb-13 10:03:20

DD1 will be trying for the first time this year (in 3 weeks grin), turned 4 just before Christmas. She's tall and quite strong, plus has good balance (does gym club) so we're hoping she'll enjoy playing on skis even if she doesn't learn much.

LIZS Wed 06-Feb-13 10:03:56

Agree there is little long term advantage in learning early unless you can go very frequently.

5 and a half, when they were old enough to be quite strong, to not feel the cold too much, and able to have fun at ski classes (which usually last 3 hrs, here).

I love skiing but not so much to face the effort of taking a 3 yr old skiing.

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.

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)

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.

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 !

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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 09:13:17

Races don't know what happened there

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.

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

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

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