Last weekend we took our little one to try skiing again. This time we had a fantastic instructor (yours truly) and she learned to ski all by herself. The current trend of using the concept of a pizza slice to describe the snow plough stance helped. She grasped the three ways of stopping (increase width of stance, turn up the hill, and fall…) and lessened the strain on my back.
My previous way of teaching was to hold a long pole and ski beside her hunched over and taking all the weight/strain on my knees. This appeared to be great fun for her as she could just hold on and ski without effort but it was physically exhausting for me coming all the way down the mountain hunched over in a snow plough stance and fighting gravity.
Just like the lamp at Ikea, the new way is much better.
It was thrilling for me to see her move and stop all on her own. She stayed in control (most of the time) and safely skied all the way down from the top of Mont Tremblant. I also enjoyed the times on the “magic carpet”, but the view from the top of the mountain is far more impressive. There is still a long way to go, especially since we only ski a few days a year (at best), but there was definite progress of an upward slope on the downhill slopes this year!
*Note to anyone who wants to teach their kid(s) to ski.
1. Safety first, Fun second, Learn something (optional)
2. Don’t use ski poles – focus on the legs first. (that goes for the instructor as well)
3. Go slow, use the pizza slice stance. Practice stopping three ways – open stance, turn uphill, fall.
4. Hands on knees, focus the weight on the downhill ski.
5. Push down going into the turn, stand up and lift the arms coming out of the turn.
6. Don’t overdo it, keep it fun and stay safe. (Wear helmets!)
p.s. The “magic carpet” at many mountains is free, just slap on the skis and ride the carpet.