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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-21-2011, 10:46 PM
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Age is not as important as the childs personel development mentally, physically and emotionally. Three years old and potty trained is usually a requirement for either discipline at a snowsports school. The problem for snowboarding at that age also comes down to availability of "size/weight" appropriate gear. This can make or break experience of riding on snow. Skiers have it easier to learn due to the support a stiff boot can provide, plus the use of an edgie-wedgie. Snowboarders at that age don't really have that tool and a child needs to have a real awareness of balance and their body to succeed. Normally you don't see to many kids learning to board before 5 years old due to the timeframe for development. It does happen though and some are very successful overtime. Typically it is easier to snowplow down the bunny hill in control when younger than it is to snowboard. At that age it is all about having fun sliding on snow. Doesn't really matter what is on your feet. If you do decide to go the route of snowboarding make sure it is within a private lesson setting. It will provide the best chance for success.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 04:55 AM
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My daughter started boarding at age 7 and did fine actually learned how to ride switch first then figured out she rode goofy and now she is a ski instructor for the "screamers"...meaning little kids usually 4-7/8 years old. I'd concur with the above differences of skiing is easier to start and have seen 2/3/4 yr olds on skis and very few on boards at that age. A ski buddy who has ski'd since a wee tyke (his parents were patrollers) had his kids skiing at 2-3 years old and two of the four did a couple laps on the bunny hill to practice getting on/off lifts and by the end of the first day were doing greens and blues (no leash or harnes). He said the trick is to have them play around with wearing the skis and boots at home in the basement/yard...so they get used to walking around, balancing, side stepping and etc....so that when they get on the hill they just have to figure out how to go, turn and stop. The other thing is just have fun, play games...so that they like the snow.


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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:15 AM
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:16 AM
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I will be starting my son out on toy snowboards maybe when he's 3 or 4 out on some local hills (hills as in actual hills, not the demeaning term we use for our "mountains").

I will move him up to the resort when he's 5 with appropriate gear. I'm a little apprehensive about taking a 3yo out on the crowded slopes.


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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo View Post
I will be starting my son out on toy snowboards maybe when he's 3 or 4 out on some local hills (hills as in actual hills, not the demeaning term we use for our "mountains").
That's my game plan exactly.

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post #16 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 10:13 AM
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I started skiing at 3 years old and supposedly picked it up really quick. Definitely made me love snow, I cant imagine a year without getting on snow, i might go insane! I switched to a board at 10 or so, when snowboarding really started to take off.

I would suggest starting your 3 year old on skiis for sure, but let the 6 year old decide between skiing/snowboarding. I think at 3 it would be difficult to learn how to ride a board, and strapping in, getting of the lift, etc. will make it more of a hastle. Like others have said, at that age you just want to make sure they're having fun! A good way to do this is make sure you and your husband are having fun and they'll likely tag right along. My nephew is 3 and I'll be taking him out skiing this year, so stoked!!

Have Fun!!
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post #17 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-22-2011, 12:34 PM
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My middle son started last season, just before he turned 5. He really shocked me at how well he did. That is not to say he was exceptional for his age, just that I expected him to have more difficulty than he did. He had been begging me to try it since the previous season, but our home mountain didn't have gear or lessons for his size/age at that time and I was afraid he might get too frustrated which could sour him on trying it later (personality-wise, he gets frustrated pretty easily). Despite my concerns, he balanced surprisingly well and quickly grasped the concept of heelside turns. Also, I've noticed at young ages many kids seem to be able to ride switch readily.

My youngest son turns 4 in a couple months, and he is begging to learn too. We got him started on skis last season since the mountain we were at didn't have boards or lessons for his age/size. He completely loves it, even though he mostly just spent a few hours with instructors (and later me) running backwards down the little learner slope, helping him stop or picking him up. Comically, every time he sees a mountain he says "I want to go skiing!" (most comically, he did this when we were in the mountains in Puerto Rico). Another of his favorite phrases is "Jay Peak!" (where he learned). I'll probably let him try snowboarding this year, if I can find rental gear his size since he is small for his age.

I think basically it is like gjsnowboarder said, it really just depends on their development. I think level of interest is a factor too, and I would be careful not to push them too much (figuratively, not literally).

Here are a couple earlier threads that might be of interest if you haven't seen them already:

http://www.snowboardingforum.com/tip...irst-time.html

http://www.snowboardingforum.com/tip...-year-old.html
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post #18 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:06 PM
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A member of this forum I had the pleasure of meeting and riding with a few times, Catman, has a very young son. He was 6 last season and this video came out of it.
chase 2011 - YouTube

little guy's an inspiration to watch ride... rides hard, fast, gets back up and tries again if he fails at anything.

Very progressive rider, and I'm sure it's in large part to his father for teaching him and letting him have fun.

I don't know much about his younger days, but maybe you could speak with him as well.
Great guys!
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post #19 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-24-2011, 05:22 PM
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5/6 seems to be the typical age for boarding, little bit younger if on skis. Even though they may not want to, putting kids in lessons the first or several first times is a good idea, mostly because it takes them out of their comfort zone. What I mean by comfort zone is that they will realize the instructor is not their parent, whom's buttons they can press, and therefor will focus more on learning and less on having an effective meltdown. If they are being taught with other random kids too, they are less likely to have a meltdown due to peer pressure.

PowderHound and TreeNinja
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post #20 of 24 (permalink) Old 09-25-2011, 04:50 AM
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I am a snowboard instructor and our age limit is 6. However, some kids can learn at 3, it all depends on their balance and muscular strenght.

It is easier for small kids to start with skiing and move on to snowboarding later on.

One thing worth noting is that kids dont really develop a sense of speed until about 5-6, that is the reason you see many toddlers bombing down the hill.
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