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Skiing with kids is one thing – getting all their ski gear from Point A to Point B is a completely different story.
There were years when I dreaded that walk from the car to the chairlift and back, mostly because I was trying to do everything FOR my kids instead of giving them independence.
The good news is that most kids age 3 and older are completely capable of carrying their own skis IF they know how. And that’s exactly what I’m going to show you.
Is There One RIGHT Way To Carry Skis?
No, just like there’s no one RIGHT way to get dressed in the morning, there’s not just one way to carry your skis. In our family, we’ve got 5 kids and they all prefer to carry their skis slightly differently.
The best thing that you can do as a parent is to show them a few different options and let them figure out what works best for them.
Easiest Way For Kids To Carry Skis: The Ski Pack
Best for: Really young kids, long walks, ski shuttles
The absolute EASIEST WAY for kids to carry skis is with The Ski Pack. The Ski Pack is a little backpack that’s designed to put skis in and simply put them on your back. The pack is incredibly small and compact and after you get to the hills, it folds down small enough to go in your pocket.
This is the best way for kids to carry skis if you have a really long walk to the ski hill, or have a long shuttle ride in your future. We’ve found this to be a great fit for kids under the age of 10, since it gets a little trickier with much longer skis. It’s the easiest way to carry skis for little kids.
Our youngest started using this a little before he turned 3, and it made him feel strong and like he was one of the big kids!
The Hug and Carry Method
Best for: Young Kids and shorter skis
If kids are carrying their own skis with their own two hands, the hug and carry is the best way to go. It’s simple enough that even preschoolers can understand it, and it’s easy for a parent to adjust the positioning if skis start to slip.
Here’s how to explain it to your kids:
“Stick both arms out in front of you with your palms facing up”
Place their skis across their arms
“Now hug your skis tight and carry them close to your chest”
We recommend this way to carry skis only with young kids or with really short skis, since it can be a bit of a hazard when in a crowd or walking through a parking lot with longer skis since they’ll likely bump into something or someone. If you see that your kids skis are drooping down, we often just remind the kids to “hug your skis tighter” which is a great way for them to bring them closer so that they don’t drop them.
This method is best for carrying just skis, as most kids who have skis and poles will have a difficult time managing them both with this method.
Over the Shoulder Ski Carry
Best For: Kids 6 and older with good spatial awareness
This is my personal favorite way to carry skis for a long distance and the one that most of my kids prefer as well. In this method to carry skis, simply lift your skis onto your shoulder and hold them with one hand. If they start to slip one way or the other, simply rotate them 180 degrees while on your shoulder (a quick roll one way or the other) so that the binding brake grabs them and holds them together tightly.
Since this method only requires one hand to hold your skis, it leaves the other hand free to carry ski poles. This is also a great method for parents who need to carry more than one pair of skis since you can easily carry one pair of skis on each shoulder.
Note: this method should only be used by kids with good spatial awareness. If you make a quick turn, you’re likely to whack someone next to you with the end of your skis. Practice just walking straight with your skis before you let your kids walk around people or cars if they carry their skis this way.
The Upright Ski Binding Carry
Best For: Crowded Areas, short distances, older kids
When you’re in a crowd of skiers (often around the base area), this is hands down the best way to carry your skis. It’s the most compact, and has the least chance of hitting something or someone as you’re walking. This is our ski teens favorite way to carry their skis.
To carry skis this way, look down at your ski bindings, and grab the binding of the ski that has the brake at the BOTTOM. This will ensure that by grabbing just one skis binding, you can carry both skis. If your ski starts to slip and only one comes when you grab it, you grabbed the wrong ski, so go for a quick switch.
This way of carrying skis can get tiring fast, so it’s best saved for shorter distances and crowded areas, not a super long walk to the car. This method can be more difficult for younger kids since the concept of grasping the binding in their chunky mittens can be a real challenge for them.
Whatever way your child chooses to carry kid skis, remind them to be aware of people and things around them so they don’t hit someone or cause any damage. Having kids carry skis is a great way to teach them to be independent which easily transitions to being independent and responsible on the mountain as well!
Do I need a bag to carry skis?
No, a bag for carrying skis is rarely necessary. Most ski carry bags are designed for travel and carrying skis through the airport.
At what age can kids carry skis?
Most kids should be able to carry their own skis around age 3. The more comfortable they are walking in their ski boots, the easier it is to carry their skis, to have them practice walking in ski boots before you get to the ski hill.