How to Get Your Kids to Start Skiing
We aren’t a skiing family. Growing up in Brooklyn, skiing was never a part of my life. However, when I moved to Westchester almost eight years ago, I quickly saw how much skiing was a part of the culture. I was intrigued but also didn’t know much about it. Being within close proximity to so many beautiful mountains, I thought it would be a fun activity for myself and my kids to try.
However, since my kids are a little older, it has been challenging to get them to commit. We’re taking it slow as we’re learning how to ski together. Luckily, there are many ways to learn – no matter what age your child is. Read on to check out some tips on how to help your kids start skiing, even if they are reluctant, scared, or simply don’t want.
Psst…check out where you and your family can go skiing in and around Westchester.
Tips to Help Start Your Kids Skiing
Talk about Skiing
If your kids are older, have a conservation about skiing before you go. Show them pictures of the resort/place you will be staying and provide them with information about what they will be doing. Many ski resorts also offer snow tubing, a range of kids’ activities that you can balance with your day of skiing. This may be comforting to the reluctant newbie.
Book a Lesson
The simplest thing you can do is to book a lesson where you child gets personalized and undivided attention. Even if you are an expert skier, it might be easier if someone else instructs your child. In Westchester and the surrounding area, check out Thunder Ridge Ski Area (137 Birch Hill Rd, Patterson, NY 12563. 845-878-4100). A member of the Professional Ski Instructors of America, Thunder Ridge has over 200 trained ski and snowboard instructors. They have Daily Group Lessons, Private Lessons, Family Private Lessons and a Six-Week Program to help your child learn how to ski.
The family private lesson could be a fun option for families and small group to get personalized attention with your own instruction. This option is for groups of 4-6 people for one-two hours. For consistency, families can try the six-week program. This program is grouped by age/ability, starting at age four.
Hunter Mountain (64 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY 12442) also offers private lessons. These personalized lessons start for groups, ages three and up that covers a half-day session ( 2-3 hours) or a full-day (seven hours).
Go on “Off Days”
The holidays and weekends are often very busy at local ski resorts. If your child is not into skiing or doesn’t do well in crowds, try to go on an “off day” for their lesson. If that’s not an option, arrive early so that they can meet their instructor and become familiar with them. This is also a great time to ask questions and/or bring up any concerns.
Go with With a Friend
For some comfort, see if you can make it a fun day trip by having their friends join. A friend who is also learning can be a comforting ally for your kids to have nearby. Additionally, a friend who knows how to ski can also be helpful who offers guidance and advice in a gentle-way.
Prep for the Day
Spending the day (or days) skiing means being outside in cold tempartures. Make sure your kids are layered up with everything they need to stay warm and toasty. This includes neck warmers, googles (it gets sunny!), helmets, hats, gloves, thermal underwear, a super warm coat, thick socks, leggings, sunscreen, snow paints, and of course ski boots.
Get Your Equipment
Depending on your level of commitment, you might want to rent your gear at a nearby ski shop. The benefits of this allow you to talk to someone before you ski and to find the best fitting gear for your kids. Check out Hickory & Tweed in Armonk (410 Main Street, Armonk, NY 10504). Here, families can rent ski poles, boots, tune skis, get helmets, and more.
Keep Going Back
If you opt for one lesson, it’s important to keep skiing consistent and go back. Even if you don’t go back every weekend, going a few times over the winter will only build their confidence and eventually getting them to go down mountains with ease.