I see there are a few devices on the market that could help me track and measure my ski/board activity. Do you have any recommendations of what options are better than others?
A variety of options exist, some integrated into gear such as goggles with multiple electronic features and also some Apps for your smart phone. This is a hot topic so expect more new gadgets to be released each year.
We don’t proffer to be experts in this field but to date we have used the blue version of the App Snow Tracks (available through the App Store) for a number of seasons and we find it excellent to record our exploits on the hill and take away for fond memories.
CNET released a report on options available in this space. This link to that report may assist your particular needs.
Should I teach my children skiing or snowboarding first?
It depends on the age of the children. Most ski/snowboard schools do not recommend teaching snowboarding to kids 6 and younger. If they’re older than 6 and really only want to snowboard, let them learn.
The only reason to require skiing would be if you’re a skiing family and want them to learn the basics at least. But, there’s no reason (except the cost of equipment) they can’t ski one day and board the next.
There is a practical reason though to teach skiing first: The learning curve of skiing is such that learning the basics, and being able to turn, stop and comfortably move around on an easy slope can be achieved for most students older than 4 in only a couple of hours.
Mastery of skiing takes much longer. It’s a good way to get the kids quickly moving around on the mountain.
Snowboarding takes much longer to be able to comfortably negotiate even an easy slope. It sometimes takes students a week before they’re able to go top to bottom on a green slope. For kids, this can be frustrating.
Source: 20 years skiing, Level II PSIA certified ski instructor, formerly of Aspen, Vail, Eldora and Keystone, now head coach of Kalnu Ereliai ski team in Vilnius, Lithuania.
What is the best age to start children skiing or snowboarding?
Answer courtesy of Canadian Champion Alpine Skier, Nancy Greene,
”Many skiers ask me, what is the best age to start their children skiing. I usually tell them, “The sooner the better.” Actually, any time between age three and five is ideal, as they will learn instinctively and will develop a natural balanced stance on their skis.
I started skiing when I was three and I really can’t remember learning. It is important to make skiing a fun activity for young children. Don’t take them out when the weather is too cold, and always pick terrain that they are comfortable on.
Little children are often very happy to stay on the beginner slopes, especially if it has a terrain garden for kids, even though this might be boring for parents. If you are not a strong skier yourself, it’s probably best to put your children in a ski school program.
They often learn faster in a group setting and the instructors make sure they learn at their own pace and without developing bad technical habits. Children get the most out of ski school classes if they are confident and outgoing.
Every child is different and only the parents can know what is best for their child. Whether you teach them yourself, or put them in the ski school, be happy knowing they are learning a sport they can enjoy all their life. A skiing family looks forward to winter and the adventures they share together on the slopes give them memories to last a lifetime.”
My existing boots are ok but is there a good outlet that I can purchase good boots from and be professionally fitted while on vacation at Big White?
If you are ready for new boots then leave your current ones at home; and yes think seriously about purchasing while you vacation at Big White Ski Resort.
Dizzy’s is the place to buy your new boots. They have excellent boot fitters, some would say the industry’s finest, with a wide range to choose from. Having the opportunity to go back for fine adjustment during your stay, while you are on the snow, is a huge bonus in getting your fit just perfect for the long term.
What on-snow options are available for people with disabilities?
The Powder Hounds Adaptive Ski Club is part of the People in Motion non-profit organisation. Their program at Big White is available to children and adults with disabilities who wish to participate in downhill skiing.
The program is designed to meet the needs of athletes who are either intellectually, physically or visually disabled and operates 7 days a week during the regular Big White ski season.
Note: Stonebridge Lodge at Big White Ski Resort has elevator and disabled access to all floors within the complex.