What Is The Best Age To Start Skiing?

What Is The Best Age To Start Skiing

Skiing is a tricky sport to learn, and it can be a rather intimidating process due to the risks and large time commitment involved. In order to make this easier, it’s best to start skiing at a young age, although that’s not always necessary. Read on to learn more about the best age at which to start skiing.

Defining Goals

Before one starts skiing, it’s important to understand the goals that are in mind. If you’re hoping your child blossoms into a professional skier one day, the strategy for learning how to ski will be completely different from a child who might spend only a couple of weekends per year on the slopes.

In general, if you anticipate skiing being a major part of your child’s life in the future, it’s best to start them as soon as possible. This would ideally be at a very young age but can vary from child to child. However, if skiing won’t play a major role in their life, there’s not as much of a rush to learn how to ski. 

Ages 3-5

If you foresee skiing being a major part of your child’s life growing up and into adulthood, this is the best age for them to start skiing. So long as a child can walk, they can start skiing. And at this age, children can gain quite a bit of confidence on the slopes and can quickly learn how to turn and control their speed. This age is foundational for getting comfortable with moving down a slope, riding on chairlifts, and getting used to other skiers and snowboarders around them at a ski resort. In most cases, ages four and up are a perfect age to start learning how to ski. 


Ages 6-11

While it’s often best for children to learn how to ski as early as possible, ages between six and 11 are still perfectly acceptable for starting skiing. Children will still be young enough to progress quickly and internalize their knowledge. At this age, children still have the adventurous spirit which allows them to make great leaps in their learning journey. They also have more developed muscles and better balance, which might make for a more comfortable experience learning at this age than if they were younger. It’s also better to start skiing closer to six than 11 because it will give the child more time to develop their skills and get comfortable with skis on their feet. 

Ages 12 and Up

The feeling of skiing won’t come as naturally to children ages 12 and up as it does to very young children, but that’s negligible so long as one puts in a legitimate effort to learn. Many people even start skiing once they’re well into adulthood. At this age, it really depends on how motivated one is to learn how to ski. It’s also important to push yourself when learning at this age. Younger children don’t think as much about risk, so at this age, while it’s okay to consider the risks of skiing, real progress is always made outside the comfort zone. 


For Future College Athletes

If one is hoping for a future collegiate skiing career for their child, it’s important that the child starts skiing as soon as possible. Many college ski teams are highly competitive, so one must be highly skilled in order to earn a spot on the team. As such, it’s important that a child is given as much time as possible in order to develop their abilities, which means starting them as soon as possible. Any head start is valuable in this case. So long as a child is capable of supporting themselves on skis and that they’re actually enjoying themselves on the slopes, it’s fine to start children skiing as toddlers.

For Future Professional Athletes

If one is hoping for their child to have a career as a professional skier, one must have their child start skiing as soon as possible in order to give them the best chance to do so. The skill level of professional skiers is incredibly high, and it takes time to develop those advanced abilities. Starting children at a young age gives them the head start that they might need in order to do so. Of course, it’s up to the motivation of the individual, but younger is almost always better in this case.


Safety Concerns

Skiing is an action sport, and like all action sports, there are certain risks that are unavoidable when skiing. The good news is that children who start skiing at a young age  might not be as susceptible to some of those risks. Thanks to their more flexible bodies, they’re less likely to do serious damage to themselves. However, kids should always progress to more difficult terrain at their own rate, as it can be quite dangerous if children can’t be fully in control of their skiing. This is also why it’s important that whoever is teaching the child is knowledgeable about ski safety. And, of course, children must wear helmets at all times when learning how to ski. 


How do I get my kid started with skiing?

The easiest way to get your child started with skiing is to put them into a lesson with a professional ski instructor. The ski instructor will more than likely know how to effectively teach children how to ski and will have the enthusiasm to get them excited about the sport. Whether it’s with a group lesson or a private one-on-one session, ski lessons are definitely the very best way to progress in skiing.

How old should my child be to start skiing?

Most professionals in the ski industry agree that around four years old is the best time to start skiing. It’s at this age that children are able to support themselves on skis and still have the highly curious and adventurous spirit that is conducive to quick progress in the sport. Of course, it always depends on each individual, but children can start skiing at a very young age if they enjoy it and feel capable.

Can I teach my child skiing?

Equipped with the proper knowledge, it’s absolutely possible to teach your child how to ski. Of course, this means that you, yourself, should be a more-than-capable skier and effective communicator. Children all over the world are taught how to ski by their parents, and when done correctly, it can be one of the most effective ways for them to learn. It’s important to remember to always have patience when teaching a child how to ski, as everyone learns at their own rate.

How do I pick a skiing coach for my child?

You should consider several key factors when choosing a skiing coach for your child. Most of all, they need to be knowledgeable. A good ski coach needs to be a strong skier, and they need to be aware of what skills strong skiers need. They also need to be able to teach these things, which means they need to be able to communicate effectively with kids. Lastly, any good ski coach should be patient and enthusiastic in order to deliver the best possible learning experience for children.