To children, a trip to a ski resort can be the beginning of a great adventure. It’s a chance to get away and do something special for the season, to unwind and have a good time, and to learn new things, like nifty tricks on the slope. Learning ski moves enhances your children’s experience on the grounds, and practicing and perfecting tricks will keep them entertained for hours. Plus, you’ll have plenty of time to bond with the kids while teaching them simple moves.
But before the lessons start, it’s important that your children are acquainted with the safety guidelines first. Never let a kid ski without the proper safety gear. The snow may be soft enough to cushion a falling child, but a few inches of it can also hide rocks and other hard objects or surfaces. Gearing up will also protect your kids if they suddenly speed up and hit something forcefully. You and your kids should have proper ski boots, helmet, protective goggles, and (of course) properly insulated clothes.
“Learning ski moves enhances your
children’s experience on the grounds,
and practicing and perfecting tricks will
keep them entertained for hours.”
Now that you’re all set, it’s time to hit the snow. Find an easy spot that doesn’t get a lot of traffic, away from other faster skiers. A gentle slope with very few obstacles works best for kids and beginner skiers. There, you can start practicing the following moves:
1. The Pop
Learning how to pop is the most basic trick, but it is also the foundation of the most advanced ones. By learning this move, your kid will be able to hit the boxes and get more air time in ramps. Besides, being able to lift the skis off the snow is already neat in itself.
How to do it: Keep skis shoulder-width apart and keep the body weight centered. Lower the body a bit as if making a small squat and then jump as if jumping on normal ground. Keep both hands steady by positioning them slightly at the front on both sides of the body. Attempt the pop without moving and then, after the kid gets used to it, attempt to pop at a low speed.
2. The Ollie
At first glance, the Ollie looks like a basic pop, but a closer look reveals that the move actually “rolls” off the front tips of the skis instead of lifting the entire ski. Ollies are essential in managing higher ramps that a basic pop won’t reach. This move is also more effective for jumping over things because the ski tips are less likely to get snagged by the obstacle on the way up.
How to do it: Start by leaning a bit forward and bending the knees to get into position, with arms positioned a bit back on both sides. To make the Ollie, swing the arms forward and up, straighten the legs, and lean slightly back. If done right, the front tips will always rise up before the tails do.
“The next time you go to a ski resort
with kids, teach them these tricks for a
more fun and memorable day
out on the snow.”
3. Jump or Straight Air
Once your students get the hang of trying to get off the snow, they’re ready for the small ramps. Going fast over the ramps don’t always give the skier good air time. Learning to manage small jumps can be intimidating at first, but it shouldn’t be that difficult; all the practice that went to learning the pop and the Ollie should make it easier for your student to stick the landing.
How to do it: Going into the ramp, keep the feet parallel and hunch a bit forward. As soon as the feet are at the highest edge of the ramp, pop or ollie to get extra airtime and farther jump distance. Take note that going off a ramp will tilt the kid’s body backwards so popping should reduce the chances of falling on their back.
If popping and ollies are necessary to get on boxes and rails, the shifty is necessary to stay on them as long as possible. The term shifty comes from how the skier shifts their body sideways, either to prepare for landing on a box or to compensate for over-rotation while in midair.
How to do it: Just before the kid catches some air (either by popping, doing the ollie, or jumping off a ramp or box), one hand must be positioned in front while the other behind. While the hands keep the balance, rotate the legs one way and rotate the upper body the other way, all while keeping the skis parallel to each other.
These are just some of the basic tricks that can be easily taught to children and other inexperienced skiers. The next time you go to a ski resort with kids, teach them these tricks for a more fun and memorable day out on the snow.
Do you and your family like to ski?
What are your favorite ski tricks?
Share your thoughts and comments with us.