IVGID Tip: How young can I start my child skiing, snowboarding? | SierraSun.com

IVGID Tip: How young can I start my child skiing, snowboarding?

Ken Mattson
Special to the Bonanza
Children enrolled in Diamond Peak’s Child Ski Center learn the basics of getting around on skis, riding a surface lift, and having fun on the snow.
Courtesy Chris Talbot / talbotImages.com |

Skiing can be a life changing experience for both kids and adults. If you’re excited to get your children on the slopes, below are a few questions to ask yourself before introducing them to the sport.

What are my expectations for my child?

A child as young as 13 months is old enough to maneuver around on flat terrain in snow boots and/or skis or snowboard.

As long as your child is stable enough on his or her legs, they can manage playing in the snow, which is the approach our ski school takes to introduce children to the sport.

However, it’s generally agreed that a child should be at least 4 years old before taking on the full ski experience of independently “turning” on flat-to-mild terrain, and using a surface lift or chair lift.

How long does my child like to play in the snow?

If your child loves the snow and can stay outdoors for a good length of time, they may be ready to be introduced to a lesson experience.

However, if your child gets cranky or cold easily, it’s a good idea to wait until they’re a little older.

Do I want to enroll my child in ski school?

YES!! The youngest age that most ski schools will accept a child into its programs is 4-5 years old. Any younger and the child should be in a private lesson.

Some ski schools may offer “introduction to snow play” programs for younger children, in which case your child may or may not make it onto skis, but, will be familiarized with the snow and getting around in their equipment.

Still unsure? A good way to address the issue is to simply ask your child if he or she wants to try it. Then keep it safe and fun, keep them warm, and let them find their own love for the outdoors.

Ken Mattson is Diamond Peak’s Child Ski Center Manager. Visit diamondpeak.com to learn more.