I've seen 5 year olds who are already better than me. I'm sure some parents get their kids out there as soon as they can walk. I've seen infants at resorts before. Even if they are skiing, they are exposed to the sport. I plan on taking my kids as soon as they express an interest. (When I have kids, that is)
My little guy is on his second season and. I started him when he was 3years old.He is 4 now and loving it he begs to go.one piece of advice is try the burton chopper with the rocker tech. makes life easy for them to learn to link turns.I say as soon as she wants to go take her and have fun.
The way I look at it is that if they make gear to fit them, they're old enough to go.
I had my boy skiing when he was 2 and my daughter when she was 3. They're now 4 and 6 and can handle most black diamond runs I throw them down. I chose to teach my kids how to ski because it looks easier to teach and I used to be an avid skier so I know how to teach it.
Start off on the magic carpet and skip the rope tow if you can. remember to have patience and make shure they're having fun the whole time. When they start to get grumpy, give them hot chocolate, take a break or pack it in for the day.
skiing is much easier to adapt to when very young. being able to snowplow on skis and learn to stop just comes way quicker. learn em on skis, then they get a feel for chairlifts, the mountains and the dynamics of mountain sports. then drop a board under there feet.
I started my son at 5, he is 10 now and is very good. He can go down any run linking turns all the way. I sent him with instructors for about 15 days the past 2 years as well as summer camp on mount hood this year. He can do anything that 90% of his instructors can do. They usually look like they are doing some sort of partners dance coming down the hill on their snowboards. I only put him with instructors because he is better than any of us in the family and better than all of the snowboarding class kids so he always ends up being in a private lesson type of setting with only him and MAYBE one other student. It also makes him step up to their level of boarding to keep up. Sometimes by the end of the week they are trying to keep up with him.... He loves it. I make him wear protective gear always, if I catch him without it he is done for the trip, no exceptions. I dont need/want a head injury kid....
oh and one other thing. get the younger kids full protective gear in the summer and put them on a skate board and/or ripstick. The ripstick is a little big for 2-3 year olds but my kids started on them at 4 or so. The snowboarding was just a natural thing after that, it was just getting over the height of the mountain and not worrying about falling down.... way down....