Chemmy Alcott's guide to skiing with kids

Winter Olympian Chemmy teams up with SkiStar to offer her top tips on taking little ones skiing for the first time.

Taking children skiing for the first time can be a daunting prospect. But, says Winter Olympian Chemmy Alcott, sparking a life-long love of skiing and snowboarding is easy when you know how.

Chemmy has teamed up with SkiStar, Scandinavia’s number one ski resort owner and operator, to offer her tips on a successful first ski trip with kids.

Families and SkiStar

SkiStar’s prestigious resorts – including Sälen, Vemdalen and Åre in Sweden and Trysil in Norway – are specifically geared to the needs of families. There are cosy Scandi cabins right by the slopes, childcare for two to nine-year-olds at Sälen, Vemdalen, Trysil and Åre, baby minding from six months in Sälen and lots of fun family activities away from the slopes.

Key to nurturing a love of winter sports is Valle’s Ski School. Valle, SkiStar’s lovable snowman mascot, helps children prepare for their holiday with a fun app full of games, songs and stories. Instructors teach the children Valle’s techniques and rules of the slopes at all SkiStar resorts. When lessons are over, Valle provides entertainment with skiing expeditions, concerts, theatre shows and mini discos.

Meanwhile, quality boots, skis and boards are expertly fitted by SkiStar’s ski hire teams so kids will be safe, comfortable and ready to concentrate on their lessons.

Chemmy Alcott’s guide to taking kids skiing for the first time

Alpine ski racer, family ski coach and mum Chemmy Alcott is a huge fan of the romance and excitement of Scandi skiing. Here are her tips on making sure that all-important first skiing experience goes without a hitch.

“Don’t try to teach your kids to ski yourself – children love learning with their peers,” she said. “You’ll be amazed how quickly they pick it up in a class with kids the same age.

“Let children decide whether they want to board or ski. There’s no reason they can’t try both! Technically, it’s better to start off on skis – four edges are easier to manage than two. However, an older child who skateboards may feel more comfortable on a snowboard, while a keen scooterer – where the action is hips forward – will probably feel more natural on skis.

“Plan other activities off the slopes. Very small children will get bored and cold fairly quickly, so find a resort where there are lots of fun things to do.

“Use travel companies and resorts that are geared up for kids – SkiStar resorts in Sweden and Norway have a mascot, Valle, as well as an app with games to get them excited before they go, and it can all be sorted when you’re booking your trip.

“Having a swimming pool nearby is a godsend when you’re tired out after a day skiing or boarding and the kids are still full of beans.

“It’s really important to invest in some decent goggles – Panda ones are great. Children can easily be put off skiing if they’re wearing uncomfortable goggles with poor visibility that are going to mist up.

“Finally, get the right kit. Handwarmers are important for little hands and choose mittens over fiddly gloves – I wear mittens, they’re the best! Layering up is the best way to keep warm.”

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