There was a point in our life where gravity just sucked, a point when we were trying to walk, then ride a bike, then skateboarding the skatepark.The skatepark experience could be a whole post of its own, a post I will have to write write while at the said skatepark so I can describe THAT element firsthand as it happens but for this post I will talk about being Slopestyle in the snow.

We are going on three years now of a new found freedom for my son, a freedom of defying gravity on the slopes.  There are many different elements to defying gravity on the slopes, from catching air off of moguls or as my son prefers to call them jumps, to grinding elevated rails in the freestyle snowpark to sitting still while in the air 50+ feet of the ground on Arial ski lifts.

Untimely side note, Airlife just landed outside my window here at Eldora Mountain Resort as my heart sinks and hope it’s not my crew involved.Airlife
Update: Whew, the just showed up for snacks and soda.  I kid you not, this is really happening, check my Facebook profile on 03.25.2011 at 10:30.

This brings a good time to discuss my ski experience and writing on this topic.  I spent 17 years as a ski lift mechanic/ lift constructor at Keystone Ski Resort building the first two quads, 1 gondola and parts of the Outback. I skied 100+ days a year, then in 1994 I had a motorcycle accident.  I continued to ski until my son was born and I retired because I now had to much to loose should I get hurt.  His Mom skis with him now and with the cost of lift tickets we cannot afford three sets of passes and equipment, we skied Vail through my lift connections and got free ticket saving us 176 dollars just in passes, 2 passes.  Then there is food, lodging, trinkets and trade beads and so on…  I do miss the thrill of skiing but not the perpetual cold and high dabloon value of skiing plus with 17 years of 100+ days of skiing i have had more than my share of tasty turns.  With that said, I feel  I have a unique perspective on the sport of skiing.

Back on task now, sorry for the side note scare but I guess that just goes to show the dangers of having an active family.  Anyway…

There are elements of risk involved and there are no givens and you never know, there are things you can do.

  • Have the kids ski before they learn to snowboard.  Not only does this give them a well rounded ski experience, they will also know the skiers tendancies and the way they do things preparing them so they can anticipate what’s going to happen.
  • Let the pro’s teach the sport to your kids, they will listen and obey better while not pressing your patience when they try and “work” you for the end result.  Not only will they have a better experience, so will you.  You will be able to ski where you want to ski as long as you want to ski and you won’t be preaching the “pizza wedge” and worrying every time they go fast and crash.
  • Have a discussion with the instructor before you are in too deep to make sure you see eye to eye on expectations and that they value the “art of the turn” as you do.
  • When you do ski with the kids, make sure they understand in no uncertain terms that there are no do overs if you fall 50 feet out of a chairlift to the ground.  Have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to riding and playing on the lift.  Take the privilege away and make them walk up a hill, within the first 50 feet they will see it your way and obey.
  • Let them fall, if its a bad crash shake it off and go help them pick up the pieces without getting too emotional, your emotion brings on more unfounded emotion.  Chances are if they tried something beyond their capabilities that the learned from their mistake and will not go there again.

There you have five basic tips to get sliding with the kids, there are more, a lot more, but if you keep to these five pointers you will be off on a successful career sliding downhill!  Now since this Blog platform will not let me embed youtube.com video, I present to you Dakota skiing on this day on my youtube.com channel.