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Thread: Are there any guidelines on binding settings for little kids? Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
01-04-2012 12:41 PM
Snowrat I'm far from an expert here, so I welcome any criticism, but here's what worked for me: I have identical twin girls that I started on snowboards when they were 5 (they're almost 8 now). One is predominantly left handed, one righty, but they switch often (I know that has nothing to do with regular or goofy, but being identical twins, I thought it was a little telling about their general differences).I got into "play boxing" matches with them to get an idea of where their dominant athletic stance and forward foot was, but set them up evenly for switch, figuring they probably hadn't settled on a final preference yet (like with their hands). I padded them up well (elbow pads, helmets and hockey pants). Feeling no pain, they never developed a fear of slamming. (and it was kinda fun watching them curl up like hedge hogs and roll ouf of a slam) getting them to go toe side and look up hill was really a matter of mental preference, not fear, so I'd play games with them staying uphill and creating incentive for them to complete their turns and look up at me. This is their third full season (3+ times a week) and they're doing a decent "completed turns slalom" on gentle blue runs sort of naturally carving or dynamic skidding as the terrain and speed dictates. About three weeks ago they found a little natural hit, caught "huge" air (they're 3 feet tall, so 2 feet of air is "huge") and now they're incecently begging me to take them to the park. I've created monsters! But back to the original point... up until around 10, most kids wont have settled into a front foot preference, so playing a game like boxing (and the other poster's suggestion of jumping off the ottoman) to get an idea of their natural stance width and angle, and setting them up for switch, is the best bet in my opinion.
01-03-2012 11:47 AM
Matt166 I hear you wolf, differences of opinions are what keep me interested in teaching, I always like to hear what other people have to say.

One things for sure, co is in rough shape right now.
01-03-2012 09:04 AM
Matt166 I can see how some of your logic is very true for adults, but I am still not in agreement about it for kids, here is my reasoning.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowolf View Post
Riding "open" or in a countered stance is a tough habit to break once established. No matter how difficult it might be at first to get the kid over a fear of turning their back to the hill, I find it is easier to deal with it early on before they build upon habits.
You know all about internal and external motivation right, well I have found that kids are not really ever internally motivated to ride by the book.

The best way to deal with this countered stance and fear of turning their back to the mountain is to choose more appropriate terrain for progression. Pick slopes with a gradient gentle enough for them to make much shallower, open ended S turns instead of closed C turns if this fear becomes evident. By doing this, they never really get more than about 45 degrees off of the fall line so there is no real feeling of turning their backs to the hill. It will will always feel like turning to the side instead. I have found this to be highly successful for dealing with this fear whether a kid or an adult.

I feel if a kid progresses without closing turns off, if you take them on anything steeper they are never going to be able to control their speed, which would be a way bigger issue to me than riding in complete alignment. AASI have changed their view on stances in the last couple of years, shoulders are no longer part of the reference alignment that talks about being stacked up, so long as your hips align

As a teacher, I would rather select more suitable terrain than allow bad habits to develop that will become a difficult obstacle to overcome to achieve advanced levels of riding. As they ride with these open ended turns, they gain confidence through repeated success and then when you advanced to more challenging terrain, they do not have as much of a problem with this fear. I find it a faster progression than allowing bad habits that then have to be undone later.

In fairness wolf, open ended turns are a bad habit if they are the only one you know how to do - how many times have you taught lower level adults that have complained about not being able to slow down on their toe edge? I have seen kids that I tried for days and days to correct alignment when they were 6 and 7, years later the same kids are stacked up.
01-03-2012 08:24 AM
wrathfuldeity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
Do you recall at what angles you set her bindings?
Really don't remember, was 10 years ago, but iirc it was slight duck, maybe +6 and -3. Also she has always rode a bit open shouldered and almost flat based. However now she just skis and maybe rides 1-2 days out of a 60+ season.
01-03-2012 06:53 AM
Toecutter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt166 View Post
Yeah thats right, its mainly the shoulders that stay open, when shes on toe side. Honestly I think its because when kids learn they dont want to turn their backs to the downhill. You can spend your whole time trying to correct it, and they will have a horrible time and end up hating you, or you can roll with it and get them doing other fun stuff that encourages good posture. Like what happened with you, form can be improved when she actually feels like it and is a little more comfortable on her board.

With regards to switch, I would encourage it as soon as possible. As long as you dont go over crazy with those angles, low level switch riding shouldn't be too difficult. Kids love tricks, if she can do a little switch then flatground 180's etc are just around the corner.
That all sounds quite reasonable. May I ask what your background is with teaching kids?
01-03-2012 06:52 AM
Toecutter
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrathfuldeity View Post
I would say just get her to ride both ways...my daughter at age 7...we all including the instructor, thought she was regular. She learned to ride both ways but was primairly regular for the first 2 years but was especially good on her toeside (duh). But then she found out that with a minor adjustment in binding angles that she was really naturally goofy and started riding goofy but didn't have any trouble riding switch.
Do you recall at what angles you set her bindings?
01-03-2012 05:57 AM
wrathfuldeity
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt166 View Post
With regards to switch, I would encourage it as soon as possible. As long as you dont go over crazy with those angles, low level switch riding shouldn't be too difficult. Kids love tricks, if she can do a little switch then flatground 180's etc are just around the corner.
I would say just get her to ride both ways...my daughter at age 7...we all including the instructor, thought she was regular. She learned to ride both ways but was primairly regular for the first 2 years but was especially good on her toeside (duh). But then she found out that with a minor adjustment in binding angles that she was really naturally goofy and started riding goofy but didn't have any trouble riding switch.
01-03-2012 12:01 AM
Matt166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
I see. "A little open" therefore means pointed forward a bit, correct? That's how I learned, then gradually migrated to stacked.

I set up my daughter's bindings duck in hopes that she becomes comfortable riding switch right from the start, but do you think it's better to ride a little open until she gets things down a bit, then worry about learning to go switch later?
Yeah thats right, its mainly the shoulders that stay open, when shes on toe side. Honestly I think its because when kids learn they dont want to turn their backs to the downhill. You can spend your whole time trying to correct it, and they will have a horrible time and end up hating you, or you can roll with it and get them doing other fun stuff that encourages good posture. Like what happened with you, form can be improved when she actually feels like it and is a little more comfortable on her board.

With regards to switch, I would encourage it as soon as possible. As long as you dont go over crazy with those angles, low level switch riding shouldn't be too difficult. Kids love tricks, if she can do a little switch then flatground 180's etc are just around the corner.
01-02-2012 11:37 PM
Toecutter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt166 View Post
Shoulders and hips in line with the board. It has nothing to do with the amount of flexion.
I see. "A little open" therefore means pointed forward a bit, correct? That's how I learned, then gradually migrated to stacked.

I set up my daughter's bindings duck in hopes that she becomes comfortable riding switch right from the start, but do you think it's better to ride a little open until she gets things down a bit, then worry about learning to go switch later?
01-02-2012 11:19 PM
Matt166
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
What does "ride stacked up" mean? Straight and tall?

Shoulders and hips in line with the board. It has nothing to do with the amount of flexion.
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