DD is 7 now and started skiing last fall. She's been several times throughout the season and has taken to the sport like a champ. Last weekend her instructor mentioned it was probably about time to get her poles and to be honest, it shocked me, as I originally thought we'd wait a season or even two.
If you yourself ski or your kids ski, when did you get/give them poles? I worry about them distracting her and of course her losing them or dropping them on the chair lift.
My daughter is 7 and she uses poles. I'd trust the instructor on this - the ones who teach children do so all the time and know what they're talking about. Your daughter isn't going to be able to progress much more without poles... There is only so much you can learn without them.
I've seen 5 year olds with poles ... and dealing with them quite proficiently. Your daughter won't be distracted by them because very quickly she'll need them. They serve a purpose. As for dropping them on the chair lift ... she'll always be accompanied by an adult and on the chair lift, the instructors (here, at least) take all the poles before anyone gets on. Yes, she might lose them BUT as they're part of skiing and as they're not easy to miss she probably won't. Does she lose her gloves a lot?
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