Hitting the slopes with kids

January 23, 2013

This is my awesome momma friend Ursula. I could do a whole post about how awesome Ursula is, how many times she’s talked me down from a ledge and all the insightful, thoughtful, truly calming advice she offers but this post is about getting those kids on the slopes! 
When we were up in Lake Placid last week, one of the first questions I asked my instructor was when can kids start skiing and snowboarding? He said for skiing you can pretty much start as soon as they can stand but for snowboarding, 5 is a much better age to start. 

I reached out to Ursula who is a big snowboarder & certified snowboarding teacher about her experience taking her 2 kids skiing and snowboarding. Here is her awesome advice: 

1) Go on a warm day.

2) Baby steps; tow around the parking lot, strap in under the lift and play around without tickets.

3) At first sign of fatigue, adjourn for hot chocolate and french fries.

4) Once they can stand up and start to find their edges, only then consider a lesson.

5) Always have lollipops or starburst in pocket to get past any hurdles.

And one other note: kids under 5 may not have muscles to twist the board to turn. But the exaggerated camber on the baby boards makes it really easy for them to stay up.  

Here are some places to take kids skiing and snowboarding (or just go tubing) near NYC: 
Windham Mountain
Hunter Mountain

Here’s a great Times article about the most overlooked skiing and snowboarding places in NY state. Worth a read!