Today starts a little mini-series on some great gear for getting really young kids out skiing. We are passionate about the sport, but are learning to teach our own children as we go. It’s definitely been a trial-and-error “ordeal” but we are thankful to see the fruits of our labor in their improvements and current love of skiing. However, we are far from experts in the area, so please know we are learning too. This series is an attempt to show you what has worked for US (and will of course be built upon as time goes on.)
The closest mountain to us is Bridger Bowl. Admittedly, since we are relatively new to the area and haven’t had a chance to get away from the kids to ski on our own, we know the very (very) bottom of the mountain and that is it. Hopefully exploring some additional parts will happen later this year before the snow goes away, but for now we are happy to just have us all out of the lodge and on the slope (however gentle and gradual it may be.)
One of the things I love about Bridger, though, is the fact that it is literally crawling with bitty skiers. Seeing someone as small and young as P is completely normal. Additionally, most of those kids are attached to a Lucky Bums Ski Harness as they learn to ski. It is a fabulous piece of equipment, but doesn’t make skiing with really REALLY beginners that much easier. Therefore, I was super excited to discover the Launch Pad line of ski gear, endorsed by Picabo Street (Olympic gold medalist skier.)
We have had a edgie wedgie for the past couple of years. The idea is to hook the child’s ski tips together so that is one less thing they have to worry about. The one we had in the past used a screw to attach it to the ski tip. Launch pad’s Wedgease really IS easier. It attaches with a clamp that keeps skis where they need to be, but is also simple to put on and remove.
The harness is great for a variety of uses: picking kids up when they fall, helping them get on the chair lift, and, as they get to be better skiers, pulling out the straps and guiding them down the mountain. We have tried both methods with J, but he uses the Harness no matter what. It just makes life easier for everyone!
This is the really unique product that is unlike anything else out there. In fact, when we were out testing it with J, the comments were unending from other parents on the hill. Using the Hookease, the parent attaches their ski poles to the back of the child’s skis. They then have complete control of the child and can help them learn how to make a “wedge/pizza/pie” shape with their skis. Like we mentioned before, J still wears the harness because it helps to have a handle to get him on the chair lift, etc. When he gets a little more comfortable, we take off the Hookease and then just use the straps from the harness. The only issue we ran into is that the Hookease was just a little wide for our older consignment-bought kid skis. We put a piece of cardboard in to fill the gap, which actually worked pretty well, and then rented for a day just to try it out with more “modern” skis. I was assured by Launch Pad that their research was extensive and the Hookease will fit 95% of any skis you could possibly find. We highly recommend the system for beginner skiers – it helps boost confidence of kids dramatically and J progressed rapidly.
Launch Pad has generously offered my readers a 15% discount from their site. Just use COUPON CODE “tales” when checking out.
Win from Launch Pad:
To kick off our little ski segment, today you have the chance to win a learn-to-ski package from Launch Pad. One winner will have the choice between a Hookease/Wedgease bundle and a Harness/Wedgease Bundle. This giveaway is open to the U.S. and Canada (though a Canadian winner will be expected to pay all duties/taxes…sorry!)
As usual, please use the Rafflecopter Widgets below to enter to win. Winners will be emailed and announced on this post in the Rafflecopter Widgets. Have questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact me at mountainmamatales(at)gmail(dot)com so I can help!
Launch Pad generously provided us this gear in order to facilitate this review. However, as always, the opinions expressed here are completely and honestly our own. You can find my full disclosure here. Some of the photos shown here were taken from the Launch Pad site or provided by the company.
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