How to know when it’s time to let your little skier venture out on her own.
If you’re a ski parent, passing your passion for the sport on to your children is as important as teaching them how to tie their shoes. Kids who start perfecting turns before they have full command of the English language often reach adulthood as strong skiers with a healthy love of the sport. For parents who want their children to follow the path to skiing greatness, the question of how and when to let the kiddos roam free on the hill looms. Parents looking for a quick and consistent answer are out of luck.
When is it worthwhile to ditch the rentals and invest in kids' skis?
Your seven-year-old just bombed down a tricky blue run. This is the first time you’ve actually had to work to keep up with him. It suddenly hits you that it’s time to take his skiing to the next level, which might mean buying better gear. Suddenly you’re struck with the doubt shared by all ski parents: Is it worth it? Your kid is certainly still growing; in fact, he’ll probably grow out of his gear in two years, if not by next season. But without good equipment, he faces certain limitations, like when he gets going too fast and those rental skis start to shake like Tickle Me Elmo.
Camp Keystone aims to introduce the youngest skiers to the sport sans tears and tantrums.
Parents often worry about the ski school drop-off. Will there be pouting, crying, clinging? Puhleeeze. Send them to Camp Keystone. They won’t be able to get away from you fast enough.
Maybe it’s the mini snowmobile in the registration area, or the grooming machine a few feet away that acts as a defacto playground, with a half-dozen snowbooted groms scampering around the cockpit. Maybe the instructors stash Skittles and Gummi Bears in their pockets and apply liberally. Either way, drop-off worries will be a thing of the past.
Black Diamond Fist Strike junior trekking pole (MSRP: $46)
Ski tourers like adjustable poles because you can make them long for the ascent and then go back to your regular length for the descent. So how come no one thought of this before: adjustable poles for growing kids.
The Black Diamond First Strike is conceived as a junior trekking pole, but it strikes us as a no-brainer for parents of budding alpine skiers. It’s a two-section pole with an easy adjustment system that allows it to grow from 25.5 to 43 inches. As Black Diamond says, that ought to get your growing boy or girl through four seasons, easy.