3 Tools to Help Young Skiers Learn


Don’t hesitate to introduce kid-friendly tools that can help your young skier progress faster and have fun doing it.

Teaching your young kids to ski can feel daunting. Heck, getting young kids to the mountain, dressed properly, and clicked into their skis can be daunting, let alone teaching them to ski. We’re here to help.

But first things first: How do you know your kiddo is ready? We asked Brian and Aleks Smith, PSIA instructors at Aspen Snowmass and parents of two daughters. The Smiths work with the youngest sliders all winter, and what’s more, they went through the process of introducing the sport to their own girls not too long ago. In other words, the instructor pair is a wealth of information when it comes to the how and when to get the groms sliding.

Most kids are ready to hit the slopes between the ages of 3 and 4, says Aleks Smith, but some 2-year-olds may already be interested and able. One thing to look for is the ability to balance, says Smith, e.g., riding a push bike or playing soccer or other sports. The other thing is interest: Do they want to try skiing?

Once you’ve determined that your child is ready, one option Smith recommends is using props. “Many parents choose to use tools to aid in their children’s skill development,” Smith says. “If used properly, these tools can be useful.” The props Smith reaches for most often are the harness, the Edgie Wedgie, and the Hula Hoop. Here, Smith walks us through how to use each prop safely and successfully.

Prop: Hula Hoop

Ski Magazine
  • Age : 2-3
  • Indication : Child is struggling to maintain balance while sliding

The idea here is to teach young kids to stand independently while sliding forward and resist the urge to lean back. Slip the hoop around the child’s waist and hold onto the back of it. You’re in control, while the child feels the sensation of sliding.

  • _ No longer needed : When the child isn’t leaning against the front of the hoop_

Prop: Edgie Wedgie

  • Age : 2-5
  • Indication : Child is having trouble keeping his tips together
Ski Magazine

Making a wedge can be difficult for kids five and under, as they often don’t have the leg strength to hold their skis in that position. That’s where the Edgie Wedgie comes in. This device easily attaches and detaches to the tips of the child’s skis. Ashe stretches the Edgie Wedgie, his skis will naturally form a wedge; the bigger the stretch, the wider the wedge. Once the child understands the shape and knows what it feels like to arrange his skis just so, he should be able to start to wedge without the Edgie Wedgie.

  • No longer needed : When the child isn’t stretching it while turning or stopping

Prop: Harness

Ski Magazine
  • Age : 2-6
  • Indication : Child can’t stop on her own or is nervous

A harness is a great tool for very young kids who haven’t figured out the wedge stop. It can be tricky to put on properly, so be sure to read the directions. The idea is to keep your little skier in front of you as you descend very gentle terrain, holding the straps with some slack. Don’t ever tug on the straps, or you can throw the child off balance.

  • No longer needed : When the child can stop on her own


Now that you have the tips, tricks, and tools, shop with us in-store or online for all of your ski gear essentials! We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Written by Samantha Berman for Ski Magazine and legally licensed through the Matcha publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@getmatcha.com.


The Cutest Gift Guide: Kid’s Edition

Even though shopping for kids can be the most fun because everything is so adorable, we know that it can also be a challenge if your kiddo is picky. We have picked our favorite gifts for kids this year that your adventure buddy and mini me is sure to love. We think you will like them, too!



Osprey Ace 50 Youth Backpack 

Your buckaroo will feel just like you when you hit the trails. With the same functional and practical details as their adult packs, the Osprey Ace 50 was built with kids in mind. Up to 5 inches of torso adjustability and an extendable Fit-on-the-Fly hipbelt™ allow the pack to grow alongside its user. An included raincover keeps your camper’s gear dry and ready to go outside no matter what! We also recommend these Black Diamond Kids Trekking Poles for trickier treks. Time to explore!



Black Diamond Kid’s Full Body Momentum Harness

These gifts are for your little monkey who loves to climb on (everything). They have thoroughly practiced at the local climbing gym or even on your new at-home climbing wall you built during quarantine. It’s time to show them they rock on the rocks with their own harness. Designed to mirror the original Momentum Harness, the Full Body Momentum Harness provides full support without giving up comfort for the little tikes. Don’t forget their own shoes and chalk bag to make them really feel like a true climber.  


Hydro Flask Kids’ Wide Mouth Insulated Stainless Steel Bottle – 10oz

Your little munchkin will feel like a big kid and they will love being your mini me with their own Hydro Flask. What’s even better? The Kids Hydro Flask features an easy-to-clean straw lid and a durable Flex Boot that adds protection from accidental drops, as we know it’s inevitable. Cold drinks stay icy for up to 24 hours so you know that their lunch beverage will be just as cold as when you poured it in.



CamelBak Eddy Kids Water Bottle – .4L

Spill-proof and leak-proof? Now that’s wizardry! The CamelBak Kids’ eddy® water bottle features a spill-resistant design and fun graphics to keep you and your kids happy and hydrated. Plus, they are so easy to clean and dishwasher safe!




CamelBak Mini M.U.L.E. Youth Cycling Pack – 1.5L

For long bike rides or on the trail, this will keep them hydrated and make them feel cool. They’ll no longer be asking you to get the water out every 5 minutes, and they will stay more hydrated with the easy to use straw. We see this as a win, win. This pack has grown up features—1.5 liters of water, a bike tool organizer pocket, and zippered compartments for layers and essentials— in a package that fits younger explorers. There are also reflective strips and a safety whistle to make kids easy to spot on the trail. Safety first!



Hydro Flask Kid’s Lunch Box Small 

Raise your hand if you wish you had this lunchbox growing up. Me! With the Hydro Flask Kid’s Insulated Lunch Box you won’t worry about your kid’s lunch melting or getting warm. With a fun, kid-friendly design and a durable build fit for the playground, this lunchbox is sure to keep up. A fully lined interior makes for easy cleanup, and a flexible handle makes this lunch box easy for little hands to carry. No more lost apples through the bottom of the brown bag.



Marmot Kid’s Nanowave 40° Synthetic Sleeping Bag

Give your living room and couch a break from pillow forts and opt for a night under the stars even if you set up camp in your own backyard!  To keep the kids warm through the night, might we suggest the Marmot Kid’s Nanowave 40. The Nanowave features only the best with Spirafil High Loft Insulation for Maximum warmth and durability down to 40 degrees F. This youth sleeping bag is lightweight and highly compressible if you head out on the trails. These nights are best paired with a toasty campfire, hot chocolate and gooey s’mores!



Wild Republic Stuffed Animal

These win for the cutest and fluffiest gift by far! And who can say no to that sloth? A great gift for kids or animal enthusiasts, the Wild Republic Stuffed Animals bring a sense of wilderness into your household. Wild Republic crafted these toys with environmentally friendly and ethical practices so future generations can enjoy our world and all the creatures that roam it.




Buff Junior Amity Knitted & Fleece Hat

Keep their style fun and fresh in the winter with this cozy Buff Junior Amity Knitted & Fleece Hat. The Amity Junior has soft knit fabric that offers comfortable warmth in chilly winter weather. This beanie features a soft fleece lining that adds warmth and stays soft next to the skin to keep their ears warm.



Buff Child Knitted & Fleece Hat

Cuteness overload alert! Just as soft but even cuter than big sisters Junior Amity Fleece hat. The Buff Child Knitted and Polar fleece hat will keep your little cubs ears warm while being the envy of everyone at the park.




‘Tis The Season Of Giving! Check out our other gift guides to help you find the perfect gifts for the ones on your list. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors

Back to School Athleisure


Many students will go “ back to school” virtually this fall, joining the scores of people who continue to work from home. Whether you need a WFH wardrobe refresh or some back-to-school (virtually) clothes that are functional and fashionable, athleisure is the way to go.  

At a time when so many are staying close to home, hybrid clothing referred to as athleisure has never been more relevant and perfect for our daily lives. Read on to find our favorite athleisure items!


The North Face Women's Motivation High Rise Pocket Crop PantsLeggings

Leggings are comfortable, versatile, and ideal for transitional weather. Try pairing leggings with a cute top or a simple tunic for a fancier look.



Athletic shorts, with elastic waists and breathable fabrics, now come in a variety of cute prints and colors, for kids and adults alike. For instance, Free Fly’s Men’s Breeze shorts have a drawstring waistband and a bamboo blend material. Patagonia’s Women’s Baggies feature a drawcord and Supplex nylon. You can pair these shorts with a t-shirt, an athletic top, or something nicer.


On-Running Men's Cloud ShoesRunning Shoes

They are comfortable and safe for walking, running, or even hiking. They can also be paired with just about anything, from athletic shorts to casual dresses. Kids can pair running shoes with jeans or leggings and a simple top for school.


Ilse Jacobsen Tulip 139 Perforated Slip-On Sneaker

Slip-on sneakers are casual, comfortable, and ideal for the relaxed dress codes that come with remote working or learning. The Ilse Jacobsen Tulip, for instance, can be worn with leggings, shorts, or a skirt.


Chaco Big Kids' Z/1 EcoTread SandalsSandals

Sandals are easy on the feet, and the best ones are also designed with safety in mind. They’re also fashionable enough to pair with nicer outfits. Birkenstocks, for instance, feature an anatomically shaped footbed. Chacos have adjustable straps that custom-fit to your foot and a rubber outsole designed to grip surfaces. And Teva’s outsole design gives greater traction while its midsole provides cushioning for every step.


When you need to refresh your child’s wardrobe or your own, consider investing in the comfort, versatility, and reliability of athleisure. 


Find your favorite back-to-school apparel and gear at Alabama Outdoors. We want everyone to enjoy the outdoors, and we work to build loyalty one connection at a time. Visit one of our stores or take advantage of our shipping or curbside pickup! #BeOutdoors