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.
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.
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)!]
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.
- Poles (if your child is capable of using them; usually at Level 4+)
- 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!
- 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)
- Extra snacks (especially helpful if your child has a food allergy)
- Stick of sunscreen to reapply at lunch (tubes get messy)