U6 & U8


October 22: Parent info meeting, 5:30 pm, Bozeman Public Library

View equipment sourcing events here

November 16: Early-bird registration deadline 

November 17: Program prices increase $50.00

December 1: Final registration deadline

January 8: First week of program (8 weeks total)

February 26: Last week of program

Choose 1 or 2 days: Tuesdays or Thursdays at Lindley Park or Saturdays (location TBA)


$225 for 1 day per week for 8 weeks

$400 for 2 days per week for 8 weeks

Age cutoff: skiers should be ages 5-7 by January 1, 2019

Register Now
Note: In order to register for a BSF program, you must have a current BSF annual membership. Membership fees will be charged to your account during the registration process.

BSF uses the U-age-group system.

Here’s how the U-system works: 

Child’s age as of January 1 of this coming ski season: 

U6= age 5 Stay on this page for all your info.

U8= ages 6-7 >> Stay on this page for all your info

U10=ages 8-9 >> Go HERE 

U12=ages 10-11 >> Go HERE 

U14= ages 12-13 >> Go HERE 


Ages 5-7

Learn to cross-country ski. We focus on the fundamentals of skiing: agility, balance, and coordination in a fun and supportive environment. We teach classic (or diagonal striding) technique, including double poling and double-pole kick, through games, drills, relays and other fun activities. Kids work with U.S. Ski & Snowboard-certified coaches in groups of the same age and ability to build confidence and skills.

These 5-7 year olds will have a blast learning to ski with friends during this 8-week introductory program.

No prior ski experience necessary. Children are placed into groups based on age and ability.

Cost: $225 1 day per week or $400 2 days per week


1 day per week for 8 weeks or 2 days per week for 8 weeks

You choose: Tuesdays, Thursdays, or Saturdays

Tuesday Sessions

4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Lindley Park Pavilion, Cypress St. (park on Cypress St.)

Thursday Sessions

4:00-5:30 p.m. at the Lindley Park Pavilion, Cypress St. (park on Cypress St.)

Saturday Sessions

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. at Crosscut


Proper equipment is required. U6 & U8 Intro skiers only need one pair of classic skis.

Classic skis: We do not recommend three-pin bindings, as they tend to rub against the tracks and make it harder for the skis to glide. Waxable or waxless (or "fish-scaled") skis are fine. Skis should be roughly up to a child's wrist when their arm is extended over their head.

Classic poles:  should reach between the armpit and the shoulder.

Clothing: We recommend that skiers dress in layered clothing that does not restrict movement and prevents overheating but still protects them from the elements. Multiple layers are better than one thick, insulated layer.

Where to GET Equipment
  • New Equipment may be purchased at Bangtail Ski Shop, Homestake Lodge, REI and Bob Wards.
  • Used Equipment: The Ski Swap, held each November at the Fairgrounds. Thousands of items. (It's also one of BSF's biggest fundraisers.) BSF members get in an hour early. If you volunteer at the event, you get in even earlier!
  • Leasing: We've been informed that Round House Sports now offers a leasing program for classic cross country skis.

Cancellations & weather

Bozeman kids are a hardy bunch. Lessons will only be canceled due to extreme temperatures. Coaches will make those decisions as necessary. Sessions will not be canceled or postponed due to lack of snow or snow conditions; instead, we’ll communicate instructions for dry-land training (ski-specific activities for outside when snow is not available).

We do not have make-up days, for either sickness or weather-related cancelations.


While we don’t put on races in the Intro program, there are certainly chances for young skiers to participate in fun local races, should they wish.


When you register for the program, you will be added to an email list. Our coaches will communicate weekly details to you through email, as well as any last-minute changes. (It’s important that you do not unsubscribe to BSF emails, as this is our main mode of communication in the winter.) If for some reason, you are not receiving emails from the YSL directors, let us know!


Races: Parent/volunteer assistance with BSF races is needed and is a fun place for parents to learn about ski racing. No experience necessary. Look for info in emails. 

Other chances: BSF is a traditional nonprofit, relying on donations and fundraisers to cover approximately 50% of our program costs. Volunteers donate thousands of hours each year. We couldn’t do it without you! We’re always looking for volunteers to help with our fundraisers, serve on committees, or help at Nordic, Alpine, and Freestyle/Freeskiing competitions.

Coaching: We love having parents as coaches in our Intro programs. We pay a modest stipend and cover training and CPR/First Aid certification. And you get to have a ridiculous amount of fun. Interested? Email us or click on the coaching button when you register your child.

Trail Passes

The trails we use in and around Bozeman, including those at Lindley, are groomed in the winter by Bridger Ski Foundation. BSF must fundraise to cover grooming and maintenance costs; donations and trail pass sales are vital to continuing this service. Trail passes are voluntary; please consider purchasing a family pass if you can. And be sure to explore all the trails.

WHAT'S AFTER U6 & U8 Intro?

It's on to U10 (ages 8-9)! All skiers in the U10 category are part of the Introductory Development program. You can sign up for their Intro (2 days per week) or Intro Devo (3 days per week) programs. And your child can move between these programs as they're ready--even during the middle of the season. There are no skill or fitness requirements. They meet more often, as they age and develop. Please don't hesitate to talk to a coach if you have questions about which U10 program is best for your child. Everyone is different.


There’s a bigger picture to what BSF teaches skiers, when and why. BSF’s programs are consistent with the USSA Long-Term Athlete Development (LTAD) Systems.

What does that mean? We’re not focused on short-term success—and the hazards (and burnout) that often come with it. Instead, we follow LTAD plans that are individualized and based on science to make sure your child can maximize their long-term potential as a skier (should they wish to do so) and their enjoyment in the sport. We take into account a child’s development physiologically, cognitively and socially, as well as their experience skiing.

The LTAD is the ideal progression for an athlete, based on science, and allows for an individualized approach. This makes it easy for your child to progress through our programs as they age and develop, even on to skiing as an adult Masters athlete. That being said, not every skier has the opportunity to start at Phase 1. Skiers are welcome to join us at any stage.

(View the entire LTAD for all skiing disciplines HERE.) 


Phase 1 

Ages: 2-6 

Years skiing: 1-4 

Days per week: 1-3

Training emphasis 

An emphasis on outdoor recreation. Ski for play, fun and balance. Parents should encourage play, rather than training. Child should participate in many physical activities and explore individual coordination or balance-based sports. Team sports are encouraged to build teamwork, ethics and fair play.

Physical fitness focus

Begin to develop fundamental movement skills through play, fun, novel activities. Explore activities and games that use a variety of body movements and that encourage range-of-motion and exploration of movement options. Fast movements developed by running, jumping, throwing. Create a foundation for agility, balance and coordination through participation in multiple sports or physical activities.

Technical and Tactical Emphasis  

Athletes in Phase 1 should have fun on snow, with games and play enhancing both enjoyment and skills. This includes learning how to run on skis, gaining confidence, general athletic skills, fitness and coordination. Terrain should be flatter, shorter trails.

Performance Psychology Emphasis  

At this time, it’s important to foster an environment that promotes enjoyment amongst the participants. Provide participants opportunities to experience success with even the most fundamental of tasks and positively reinforce these behaviors. Inspire a passion for the sport.  

Competition Emphasis   

Competition only exists in the form of cooperative games or relays on skis.

Phase 2 

Ages: 6-10 

Years in skiing: 1-4 

Days per week: 2-6 or as enjoyable

Training Emphasis 

An emphasis on outdoor recreation. Parents should emphasize activity versus training. Child should play many sports, with active participation in coordination- or balance-based sports.  

Physical fitness focus 

 Increase play to enhance specific elements of physical fitness in open environments. Continue to establish foundations of endurance through sustained activity and play. Add duration to activities and games. Introduce and practice mobility exercises through unorganized play and some structured activities. Use fun playful activities to enhance body awareness, spatial awareness and object manipulation.

Technical and Tactical Emphasis  

Athletes in Phase 2 should have fun on snow, with games and play enhancing both enjoyment and skills. Gaining confidence and coordination while running on skis in multiple directions.  Ability to balance on both skis while moving downhill. Tactics are learned through self-discovery by skiing and adapting to different terrain.


Performance Psychology Emphasis  

Continued cultivation of a fun environment to allow child to continue to experience success. Use simple self-talk cue words to reinforce task-oriented behaviors.  Focus on the love of sport.

Competition Emphasis   

Compete for fun. Local competition at age-appropriate distances.