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October 29, 2008

Teach Kids to Ski – The Meaning of the Emergency Stop

teach-kids-to-ski

“Teach your kids to ski” is the topic I like nowadays. I have three kids, and I spend quite a bit of time in sloeps with them, so I enjoy sharing what I have learned so far.

As the season gets underway, I would like to remind all you fathers and mothers who are about to teach kids to ski about the importance and meaning of the emergency stop. Although it might seem natural for grownups to brake by falling or sitting down in case of emergency, for kids it might not be so. As part of teaching kids to ski you must make sure your child understands the meaning of the emergency stop and can actually perform one when necessary.

Teach kids to ski – and fall

Do you remember your first days skiing? I remember my first day crystal clear because I was so stoked with my new hobby. I was doing fine, but my cousin had some difficulties. She was not able to make any turns for some reason. She basically turned her skis downwards at the top of the hill and started coming down straight, damn fast. She was screaming “watch out” and people gave her way. It really looked funny and scary at the same time, because she did that more than ten times until a ski instructor stopped her and told her how to make turns.

What can we learn from that first day of skiing back in the late 1970′s? My cousin was actually in danger because she didn’t know how to make turns at high speed. There was a risk of hitting trees, structures or other skiers. What makes her first day of skiing even more dangerous is that she didn’t know how to STOP. She didn’t know the meaning of emergency stop.

When you teach kids to ski, make sure you teach them the meaning of the emergency stop. Tell your kids that gaining high speed can be really dangerous and can lead to injuries. Make sure they understand that whenever they feel their speed is too high, they must sit down. Yes, simply sitting down leads to a controlled crash and can avoid serious damages or injuries. All your child needs to do is to sit down when his/her speed get too high.

The importance of the emergeny stop might seem natural to us, but for some reason it is also easy to forget when we teach kids to ski. Maybe we just enjoy the wonderful day of skiing together and forget the basics. So next time you are out teaching your kids to ski, remember to teach them the meaning of the emergency stop and how to do it.

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About the Author

Marko Pyhajarvi
I am an old-school alpine skier, snowboarder and telemarker, and I love writing. Therefore I founded Homeboy. I (too) enjoy powder, mountaineering and backcountry skiing as well as photographing. Nowadays, as an old fart, I mostly ski with my kids and focus on financing their hobbies.




 
 

 
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