Embracing the Edgie-Wedgie
Whenever I find myself riding up a chairlift with a ski instructor, the first thing I do is ask what age range they teach. And if they say 'kids', I get a bit of a glint in my eye and I start asking a whole bunch of questions. That's how I learned about the Edgie-Wedgie, a simple and inexpensive device that I've really come to see as essential when working with small children.
The Edgie-Wedgie is just a bit of rubber tubing attached to clamps which screw onto your child's ski tips. This holds the ski tips together, stabilizing the skis, and also greatly reducing the effort needed to make and hold a wedge or 'pizza' shape. Broadly speaking, the Edgie-Wedgie falls into the Leash category of ski teaching tools—it's something we want to use only when needed, and something we want to transition away from as soon as we don't need it.
That said, compared to the dreaded leash, there is a far smaller chance that your child will grow overly attached to an Edgie-Wedgie. So, for appropriate ages (2 and 3, especially), I encourage you to embrace it whole-heartedly. You'll love it.
The thinking here is that very small children don't yet have the leg strength or muscular coordination to keep their ski tips together. The Edgie-Wedgie does the job for them until they can do it on their own. The end result is that you'll find it much easier to ski with a two or three-year old using an Edgie-Wedgie. Their skis will remain together and stable, allowing them to slide around without falling, and they'll even be able to start making wedges to try to turn and stop. More fun for all.
To use the Edgie-Wedgie, just tie a loose knot in the middle to shorten its length, and screw the clamps onto the ski tips (flanges go down). That's it. Depending on age, terrain quality, and the individual child, you may find yourself using the Edgie-Wedgie for a season or two, or not at all. Probably you should be done with it by age five, even if it's your child first time on snow, but for teeny-tiny turners, don't leave home without it!
→ Get the Edgie Wedgie at amazon.com
Andy Lewicky is the author and creator of SierraDescents
Bill February 29, 2012 at 4:27 pm
Perfect. Just when I was wondering what you could possibly post about in this drought snow season. This'll be great for my 3 year old.
Andy February 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm
Bill, I've been doing a series on kid skiing tips -- check the 'kids' category to see all of 'em...
Bill Adams April 5, 2012 at 1:59 pm
Got to try these out after kids were using them in a full day ski school (Brighton UT). After another half day, my 3.5 yr old boy didn't need them anymore. But judging by the ski school use, they are an invaluable starter tool.
Alan May 25, 2013 at 8:44 am
Yay for edgie-wedgie! I taught skiing at Mt. Hood Meadows, Oregon and several ski instructors I talked to carried edgie-wedgies in their pockets like emergency blankets. I never ended up using one on my kids, but I probably should have. I suppose I'm not really qualified to be commenting on this post, since I've never used one myself or even applied one to a child, but man, I just love them I guess.
Perri December 20, 2013 at 6:37 pm
I've been teaching adaptive for 3 years. As a young skier I DETESTED the edgie wedgie, but now it's my best teaching tool, especially when I get kids with muscular dystrophy or little toddlers. It's much more fun for everyone than carrying a child up and down the hill.