A guest post from Brave Ski Dad, James Lummis.
My wife is my main skiing partner. Lifelong skiers, we met in college and have skied together long enough to raise two teenage skiers. We are very fortunate to enjoy such a great sport together.
Participating in sports with a spouse, partner or girl/boyfriend can be incredibly rewarding, but it also has its risks.
Here’s a story I turn to often, when explaining why you should never try to teach your spouse, partner, or girl/boyfriend how to ski.
A few years ago, we were in the hot tub at the Grand Lodge in Crested Butte. Another couple joined us and we started talking. They were on their first trip together, since having kids.
It was also the woman’s first ski trip.
Although we suggested she take a lesson, her husband was confident he could teach her.
Twenty four hours, we spied the same couple sitting indoors by the fire. She was sporting a new set of crutches. He’d tried to teach her to ski. It didn’t work.
End of trip? Maybe. End of skiing together? Maybe. End of relationship? Hope not.
Tips for Success
Here are some ideas to help make your ski time with your significant other more fun.
Don’t try to teach your partner – leave this to the professionals.
However well-intentioned, the margin of error when teaching a significant person in your life is very thin. Teaching requires knowledge, patience, and communication skills. We don’t all have these, especially when dealing with our loved ones. Pay for a lesson and you will be a hero for investing in your spouse’s enjoyment.
Let the less skilled partner pick the runs.
Skiing depends upon confidence and a sure way to kill confidence is to force someone to ski way above their head. Yes, you may have to ratchet back your stoke for a while, but it will be worth it in the end.
Have your partner’s back.
Bring snacks and hand warmers. Take lunch before you’re both too hungry, and go inside to warm up if it’s cold. I learned this the hard way lapping Sam’s Knob at Snowmass one beautiful morning. The snow was great and we skied well past lunchtime. As we walked into the lodge, down goes my wife – a no-fuel faint. Best to suggest food and water before you think you or your partner needs it.
The happier you are, the happier your partner will be and the better the odds that you will both enjoy skiing — together.
Most of these tips apply just as well to skiing with children of all ages. What tips do you have for skiing with loved ones?
More on Navigating Family Skiing:
- Hard Truths About Skiing With Teens. And Some Good News, Too. March 12, 2014.
- Start Right: Eight Learn to Ski and Snowboard Tips for Your Child (and You!), January 8, 2014.
- Why Skiing is Good For Me and My Family, January 5, 2015.
- What to Do With a Scared Skier, January 15, 2012.
- Skiing with Babies and Young Kids: BSM Greatest Hits, June 4, 2012.
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