What’s the Best Age for Kids to Start Skiing or Snowboarding?

Do you remember the first time you were put on a set of skis? My parents put me on a pair of plastic skis in our hilly backyard in northeastern Massachusetts, when I was around 3 or 4. I remember having no control and being absolutely terrified. When I was 9, I was finally entered into the real skiing world–starting with a lift ticket at Wachusett Mountain Ski Area, in Princeton, Mass. I thought I had conquered all black diamonds at the end of the day…only to realize that I hadn’t reached speeds of 50 miles per hour, and I definitely stayed on the bunny slope. Regardless, it was a great first experience and it opened my eyes and mind to a lifestyle and culture we are lucky to love and belong to.

If you have young kids, you are probably asking yourself–what’s the right age to get them on a pair of skis or a snowboard? I’ve posted some videos on this blog so far of some young kids being crazy daredevils (such as the three-year-old snowboarder!), and also of some kids who are a bit older and just killing it (Alexis Roland!). To stay on the safe side, I would say wait until your kids are at least 4 or 5. At this age kids most likely have been in a classroom situation (whether it be preschool or daycare), so they are familiar with learning and can be better prepared for a ski or snowboard lesson.

However…these are not rules that need to be followed! If you feel your kid is rockin’, and has what it takes to be out there on the slopes at age  2 or 3–go for it! It’s up to you to decide if they are ready to ride. 3-year-old Wesley Muresan would not be as good of a little snowboarder as he is now if he hadn’t initially tried at such a young age in the first place:)

What age do YOU think is appropriate for kids to start skiing or snowboarding? Would you put your kids on skis at age 3, or hold off until age 9?

(Just remember: ALWAYS wear a helmet for both your child AND yourself!)

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