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What age can kids start skiing or snowboarding?

You will be the best judge of whether your child is old enough to try skiing.

Generally 5-6 years old is a good time to start your kids in group ski lessons. If you are wanting them to try snowboarding instead it is worth either starting with skiing, or holding off until they are 7-8, as snowboarding requires a bit more coordination and concentration when you first start out.

If you are unsure about whether your child is ready to give skiing a go, some useful things to consider are:

  • Do they show coordination?
  • Are they toilet/potty trained?
  • Are they happy to spend the day away from mum and dad?
  • Do they follow instructions well?
  • Will they happily spend the day bundled up in thick, warm clothes?

If you answer no to any of these, it could be a good indication that your child might not quite be ready to start skiing just yet.

This does not mean you need to give up entirely until every answer is yes though! If you are keen to get your child on the snow straight away, some great options to start out with are:

  • A fun day on the mountain, play in the snow to get them used to the clothes and the cold
  • Consider trying them out with a private lesson, this will allow you to stay with them if needed and allows for 1-on-1 attention
  • Take a look at the different lesson programs on offer for under 5s. They often include lots of fun play and a very gentle introduction to skiing

For kids that do check all the boxes, New Zealand ski fields offer a great range of different kids lessons with loads of different options to suit. For the younger kids that aren't quite ready to hit the slopes just yet, there are also some great on-mountain childcare options as well!