Top 3 Tips for Preparing Your Child for their Ski/Snowboard Lesson

kids enjoying Aspen/Snowmass
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Unlike gymnastics, basketball or other after-school sports, skiing is an all-day commitment for your child. Skiing also requires more equipment than most sports. Luckily, the ski/snowboard instructors at Aspen-Snowmass provide a unique blend of athletic coach, mentor and caregiver. Their world-class expertise and guidance will help your child attain his or her individual goals. However, to get the best experience out of your child’s lesson, it is helpful to prepare for a ski day much like you prepare for the first day of regular school. The following tips will help streamline the morning routine and ensure a positive skiing/boarding experience for you and your child. Preschool Ski School Lesson

1) Gear Check

The most common mistake parents make is to rent or buy equipment immediately before the lesson. Sizing equipment requires care and can be a little overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Avoid this obstacle by renting or purchasing all necessary gear the day before. Gear rented after 2 pm at Four Mountain Sports (Aspen-Snowmass) does not incur an extra charge. (Rental fees are covered in some beginner packages.) Refer to the Skier Checklist at the bottom of the page for a list of recommended items.

2) Proper Sleep and Nutrition

Skiing requires a full tank of energy so a well-rested, properly fueled body is essential for peak performance. A good night’s sleep and a solid breakfast are necessary for mental awareness, muscle strength, body warmth and overall stamina. Plus, children who are not used to high altitude may experience increased fatigue, especially during those first few days on the mountain.

3) Communication

Be prepared to meet your child’s instructor and explain your child’s previous skiing experiences, if any. And, it’s nice to mention any personal goals your child may have; for example, learning the basic terrain park features or skiing a black diamond. [Insider tip: if you’re at the base of the mountain around 3pm the day before, you might have the chance to meet your child’s instructor. A quick meet and greet the day before eases the jitters (for parents too)!]

Skier Checklist

In addition to having all the appropriate gear, make sure everything is labeled. If the item is too difficult to label, dress it with a colorful ribbon or fancy duct tape.

Hardware:

  • Skis
  • Boots
  • Poles (if your child is capable of using them; usually at Level 4+)

Software:

Outer Layer:

  • Helmet and Goggles
  • Neck gator (fun prints or bright colors help your child identify the item)
  • Jacket, snow pants and/or snow suit
  • Mittens (with hand-warmers)
  • Ski pass!

Inner Layer:

  • Long underwear bottoms and tops
  • Turtleneck and sweater (and possibly an extra fleece vest)
  • Ski socks (regular cotton socks do not stay warm and dry)

Helpful Extras:

  • Hand-warmers
  • Extra snacks (especially helpful if your child has a food allergy)
  • Stick of sunscreen to reapply at lunch (tubes get messy)
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About Becky Musselman

Born in the Catskills of New York and raised in Basalt, Colorado. Becky is the oldest of three girls born to an Aspen ski bum and a Kiwi transplant. As a result, all three girls are dual citizens and have logged many ski travel miles. Their early travel experiences are eerily similar to many Warren Miller out-takes. Nevertheless, Becky has had the good fortune to ski throughout the United States and Canada, plus Europe and New Zealand. After getting married, she and her husband moved to New York City to pursue graduate school and experience city-life. However, after the birth of their first son, the mountains called them back. The young family was lucky to relocate to the Aspen area and has stayed ever since. Becky is now the mother of three boys, aged 11, 7 and 2. The age gap means that the oldest son is hiking and skiing the Highlands Bowl and the youngest is making his first turns at the Snowmass Meadows. Never a dull moment! And, when the family is not skiing on snow, they are waterskiing and wakeboarding together.