Gearing Up for Ski Season Family Style

Today, we are thrilled to have Jessica Socheski,a freelance writer who focuses on family and healthy living, to give us some great tips to get ready for ski season.  Yes, it’s right around the corner, so read up and get excited!


The leaves are turning and falling, and that means winter is right around the corner. This snow season, your family might be ready to try skiing for the first time. Or, you and your gang may be seasoned veterans of the slope. Whether you’re familiar or a first time family, here are some need-to-know tips for an awesome ski trip this winter.

To Ski or Snowboard? That Is The Question.

Kids can start skiing or snowboarding at pretty young age, from three or four years old and up. But one of the biggest questions is whether to start kids out on a snowboard or a pair of skis.

For really young kids, skis might be the best choice. Ben Boyd, the head of the Ski & Snowboard Club Vail recommends that “It’s hard for them to ride sideways on the snowboard as they don’t have the balance yet.” But skiing, “gives them the sensation of sliding, and they get used to sliding on the snow.”

Snowboarding, on the other hand, has some advantages for beginners, too. Snowboard boots are more comfortable to walk around in, and a snowboard offers greater simplicity. On a board, kids are strapped in and just have to point down the hill. There is no difficulty of getting their skis crossed when trying to turn.

But the best way to choose which is better, says Boyd, is to make it all about fun. See which option catches your child’s interest the most and let them go for it. As long as they come down the fun smiling, you will have achieved success.


Get the Gear

Once you and your kiddos have identified either skiing or snowboarding, it’s time to go gather the gear. If your family is a gang of regular skiers and boarders, then you probably have or are planning to invest in your own equipment. Though kids are constantly growing, you can hand-me-down gear to younger siblings.

But for first time skiers or families who take around one or two trips each winter, renting equipment is probably a more cost-effective option. When wondering how to choose a snowboard, the pros at a ski and board shop will be able to help find the best set up for each child’s height, weight and style.

Along with jackets and snow pants, you may also want to buy or rent a ski helmet. These special helmets are designed to sustain the force of impact and protect your child’s head from a bad fall. They also offer cushy padding to keep ears warm.


Keeping Warm

One of the most important parts of preparing to take the family skiing is planning for warmth. Wool and wicking materials are ideal because when cotton gets wet, it stays wet. Layering is another key because they can be added for warmth or peeled to cool off once your blood gets pumping.

Mittens and gloves are another huge consideration. You probably want to pack a couple of pairs of reserve in case the initial pair gets filled with snow. There are few things more miserable than a child with freezing fingers. Make sure that mittens fit with some extra room at the finger tips. This loose fit allows for a pocket of warm air to cushion the fingers.

Finally, keep kids fueled with nutritious snack and plenty of fluids for hydration. Dehydration and hunger make it more difficult for the body to regulate temperature. Keep energy bars, trail mix and other snacks in your jacket pockets to keep your children energized throughout the day.

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1 Comment

  • Gretel says:

    A family ski holiday is a good way to bond with kids (as long as parents plan ahead and keep a positive attitude). I learned how to ski/snowboard very late that’s why I’m bent on teaching kids young. Thanks for the brief but concise article. Can’t wait to get some ski action here in New Zealand as the ski season is about to start.

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