First time on the snow or a seasoned regular it really doesn’t matter Ready for one of life’s best lessons
WE were looking for someone who could give us the good oil on learning to ski and snowboard and after spending the past 32 years in a state of perpetual winter we couldn’t have done better than talk to Mt Hotham’s Nigel Mills.
The director of Hotham’s Ski & Ride School “got the bug” in 1980 and hasn’t seen a summer since.
Why should kids get a lesson when they first come for a skiing or boarding holiday?
Apart from the fun factor of being with kids their age, they will improve at a faster rate and learn about being safe in our mountain environment. It is also a great time for the parents to go skiing or boarding and not have to worry about their kids.
Say my son and daughter have been on the snow for a couple of seasons, are capable skiers – should they get a lesson?
No matter how good you are the answer is yes. As instructors we constantly train ourselves to get better. The better you are the more fun you have.
With young children is it better to break lessons up – for instance two ½ days compared to a whole day in ski school?
All parents know their own children’s capabilities so it may be an individual decision, however, if they are physically capable they should maximise their time on the snow.
What is the break-up of kids wanting to learn skiing and boarding? Is there an age limit, where perhaps motor skills are better suited to one or the other?
Good question. We still have about an 80/20 split of children skiing versus snowboarding, however, once they are seven years of age we take them into our group lessons.
Younger kids generally are better served co-ordination wise having skis on and being able to separate their feet. We do, however, get the little guy or girl who wants to rip on a snowboard and as such we have a Riglets Private lesson designed just for these guys/girls. This is a private lesson (90 minutes) which uses terrain based learning where they are on a specially designed board and scoot around on our especially designed terrain under the guidance of one of our highlytrained snowboard staff members.
I’m coming to Mt Hotham for the first time with the kids – where do I start?
Start at the ticket office and get your products sorted out. From there you will need to get your rental equipment and then be at the Big D in time for the kids’ lessons (Might Mites 3 to 5-year-olds start from 8.30am and our Kids Klub 6 to 14year olds start from 9.15am). Remember snowboarding lessons are from 7 to 14-year-old for kids.