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Teaching Kids to Ski with the Tom Sawyer Method

Tom Sawyer convinced his friends that painting a fence was fun. Here are some thoughts on how to have a fun ski lesson with kids (fun for both of you), but still stay focussed on skills acquisition. It all comes back to Tom painting that fence.

Sideslipping Away

Sideslipping is one of downhill skiing's fundamental skills, whether you downhill on alpine or telemark gear. Not only does it get you out of trouble on hard terrain, it teaches you fundamental edge control and stance skills. Surprisingly, though, I often come across even intermediate skiers who haven't truly learned this skill.

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Easing into Carving with Garlands

Garlands, a wavy traverse across the slope, are the standard way that ski instructors get students to start in with a carved turn (among other uses). Here's a quick primer on how to run yourself through a basic garland progression.