We bought our daughter her first pair of skis before she could walk. Of course, she didn’t actually start skiing until she was almost three, but we were anxious! By ski, I mean short distances, no hills, and no corners. We started slow.
We learned to enjoy the sight of chickadees flitting from tree to tree; we learned to get excited by the fact that we were outside – even if it was only for a short shuffle. The distances crept upwards and by the time our daughter was eight, we skied over eight miles into a backcountry hut for an overnight adventure.
Tips for cross-country skiing with kids:
- Have the right boots – check the fit often, kids tend to sprout when you feed them.
- Know which skis to use – our daughter’s first pair of skis were waxless strap-ons. Waxless skis work well for beginners as they are slower than waxables and they provide consistent grip for hills. We moved up to waxless with regular boots and bindings and then on to regular skis.
- Trick then treat – teach your child to do the Toblerone. It used to be pizza pie, that v-shaped snowplow on downhills, but when they master the move, a v-shaped piece of chocolate is a pretty nice reward.
- Learn to layer – ‘nuff said.
- Get out on skis as often as you can – the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Start slow, gear up, and get going!