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 Snowboarding for Kids
Detailed information on cost, clothing, equipment and lessons

 

AGE REQUIREMENTS FOR KIDS SKIING

AGE GROUP BOYS AND GIRLS STARTING AT AGE 6 - 7

If you have never had the opportunity to spend time at the top of a snow covered mountain then you are missing a chance of a lifetime.  My family has been fortunate enough to enjoy this wonderful sport.  We have been to Snowmass, Steamboat, Aspen, Vail and Beaver Creek in Colorado; Squaw Valley and Heavenly Valley in Lake Tahoe; Deer Valley, Snowbird and Park City in Utah. 

What is Snowboarding?

Snowboarding is one of the fastest growing sports today and without a doubt, it is great fun.   It can be compared to skateboarding or surfing except it is done on snow. Basically snowboarding involves descending a snow covered slope with a snowboard, which resembles a small surfboard, attached to the boarderís feet using a special boot that is set into bindings, and without ski poles.  It is a great activity that tones your entire body while providing an excellent cardiovascular workoutYou find people all over the world who snowboard. Snowboarders hit the slopes in search of the thrill, freedom, and creativity that snowboarding personifies.

When to start Snowboarding?

Kids do like to start snowboarding at a young age because it has become the cooler version of skiing.  Snowboards are available for five year olds but it is recommended that you wait until your child has better muscle development and coordination. Edging and balancing skills are very important in snowboarding because your feet are secured, you can't step from foot to foot, and you don't have the use of poles as skiers do. Snowboard lessons at most resorts start at age 6 or 7.  Remember that skiing is a great prerequisite to snowboarding and lessons can begin at age 4.

If you take snowboarding at a slow pace with the right guidance boarding can be quicker to learn than skiing. Most resorts will have qualified snowboard instructors on staff for lessons. Most boarders will agree that initially snowboarding is more difficult than skiing but after learning the basics the intermediate and advanced levels are achieved more quickly. Like everything else, you'll improve the most when you receive some expert guidance. The best way to acquire superior downhill snowboarding skills, is to take a lesson, or a series of lessons

Ski resorts have developed a focus on services for families and children to keep up with the changing demographics of their customers.  They offer snowboard classes for all skill levels.   Most ski resorts offer hourly, half-day  or full-day programs.  You can take either group or private lessons.  Some resorts will offer snowboard packages which include beginner chair lift tickets,  board rentals and a beginner lesson.  You must check with the resort that you will be visiting for details.  Depending on the resort and location prices can vary dramatically.  Half day group lessons will cost about $35 - $55.  Private lessons for a half day will run approximately $180 - $300  and $300 - $500 for a full day. Hourly, rates are about $75 - $125 per hour for those resorts that offer this type of program.

COST

Like skiing, snowboarding is a very expensive sport. You have to take into consideration in most situations you will need some or all of the following: accommodations, travel,  lift tickets, meals and equipment.  Equipment can be either rented or purchased.  The difficulty with purchasing equipment for children is that they are constantly growing.   Donít be tempted to buy equipment too big for them to grow into because it will make snowboarding difficult and it could result in injury.  Many ski shops will rent equipment for the entire season. 

To help reduce cost you can avoid vacationing during peak season or book a  package at the last minute to get a good deal.  You can travel with friends to share the cost of renting a condo or stay on the outskirts of the resort.  For some tips on selecting a ski resort click here: Selecting a Ski Location.

Depending where you are snowboarding the slopes are open anywhere from November to April.

EQUIPMENT

 

A cold snowboarder is an unhappy boarder so when dressing for snowboarding you should always wear layers to compensate for changeable weather conditions and temperatures.   There is a lot of clothing designed just for snowboarding. It tends to be reinforced in the knees, butt, shoulders, elbows, palms and fingers. When purchasing your clothing keep in mind that a beginner spends a great deal of time on the ground and cheap clothing will wear out quickly.  You will need a jacket, snowboard pants, gloves/mittens, helmet, and goggles.  For more details on Clothing click here:  Snowboard Clothing

Along with the boards, boots, bindings, safety straps and a helmet are the necessary equipment needed too participate in this sport.  The cost of snowboard equipment is very comparable to ski equipment with a wide range of costs and types.  For more details on equipment click here: Snowboard Equipment.

GENERAL INFORMATION
 

 Tips For a Fun Trip:

Carry some high energy snacks in your pocket.  Dried fruit, peanuts, granola or energy bars are good snacks.   Boarding takes a lot of energy and mid day you may need an energy boost.

Try to avoid crowds if possible attempt to snowboard during the week when the slopes are less crowded.

Use plenty of sunblock. Winter sunlight reflecting off the snow at high altitudes is intense. Believe it or not you will get a sun tan.  Protect their eyes from the sun. Be sure everyone wears goggles, or sunglasses at all times that are 100% UVA protected.  You can burn your eyes!

Be sure your child has the name and phone number of your hotel, as well as your cell phone number, written down on a piece of paper and it's in a secure pocket.

You child should always know the name of their  instructor.  Be sure older children always have have a trail map.

Select a meeting place so if you happen to get separated you know where to find your party. Consider taking long range walkie talkies on the slopes.

It is important that your child knows when to stop.  For instance if they are tired, cold, hurt or have equipment problems they should stop immediately and remedy the problem.

Get the equipment in advance so that your child can become familiar with it prior to actually having to use it.  Have them practice putting on the boots and walking in them (on a rug for safety), wearing the helmet, goggles, and carrying their board.

Allow extra time for everything!  Getting dressed and driving or walking to the slope will take additional time.  Rushing can cause disagreements and unhappy parents or children and that is not a good way to start your day.

If you're traveling to Colorado, Utah, or some other resort at high altitude, give your family a little time to get used to the elevation.  We always fly in the day before, arrive midday, and stay at a hotel near the airport and then start out early the next day for the resort.  We found that this helped us adjust slowly to the altitude and worked out much better.  Also, the dry air at requires drinking extra water.

Always have a lease on your board.  The safety leash is a strap that is wrapped around your leading leg to keep your snowboard from getting away.

 

SNOWBOARDING LINKS

www.milosport.com
www.extremegear.com/

www.salomonsports.com/
www.bonfiresnow.com/
www.boardzone.com/