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