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Old 08-24-2010, 10:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice for getting my son into snowboarding?

My 8yr old son (almost 9)is begging for me to take him snowboarding this year. I finally gave and said I would. Few issues here: I am fairly new, and would probably be able to teach him to get up, stop and go etc. But would lessons be a better idea? My guess is yes, but when I look at the price point on this it comes down to:

Lesson: 2 hrs $69 (although this apparently includes rental and lift ticket.)
They do have a 3-day lesson at the place I have a season pass for $109, 2-2 hour sessions and an "exploration day"

these are group lessons so my guess is he will be bunny-hilling with 10 other kids around his age. good idea? better than me teaching him? bad idea?

AND ALSO, hehe, now im asking a lot....better to buy him a snowboard if he gets into it? or continue renting until he gets to the point that hes not growing so fast. My guess is that if he enjoys it, he won't be able to go more than 3 or 4 times per season (i have him every other weekend).

THANKS!
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:50 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atrus View Post
My 8yr old son (almost 9)is begging for me to take him snowboarding this year. I finally gave and said I would. Few issues here: I am fairly new, and would probably be able to teach him to get up, stop and go etc. But would lessons be a better idea? My guess is yes, but when I look at the price point on this it comes down to:

Lesson: 2 hrs $69 (although this apparently includes rental and lift ticket.)
They do have a 3-day lesson at the place I have a season pass for $109, 2-2 hour sessions and an "exploration day"

these are group lessons so my guess is he will be bunny-hilling with 10 other kids around his age. good idea? better than me teaching him? bad idea?

AND ALSO, hehe, now im asking a lot....better to buy him a snowboard if he gets into it? or continue renting until he gets to the point that hes not growing so fast. My guess is that if he enjoys it, he won't be able to go more than 3 or 4 times per season (i have him every other weekend).

THANKS!
Lessons are definitly a better idea. Unless you have experience teaching snowboarding for a job chances are you don't have the knowledge or training to help your son as well as a trained instructor. Put him in the lesson and you will both have a better day. I a group setting they will take a lot of the mystery, trial and error, and misconceptions about how to move your body on snow. This means faster and "safer" progression.

2hrs is not really a lot of time for a beginner to learn to "ride" a snowboard. There is so much to learn initially that 2 hrs flys by. I recommend going with the second option because that has the most bang for your buck. The group setting over that many days could end up being more productive him for long term riding. He will get to see what happens when people fail and succeed. Also he may end up finding a riding buddy or two which can make the experience that more rewarding.

Renting is fine at his age because he will be changing size so often. However ski-swaps can offer a cheap way to get and trade out gear until he levels off on growth that might end up being cheaper then renting. If you do buy anything get good boots. They can make or break the day.

P.S. one suggestion that I have is that initially snowboarding can be very tiring. If he is tired at the end of the lesson and there is still time to ride, don't. At least not until the last day or he next time up. A big slam because the student is tired and outside the semi-controled lesson environment at the end of the day can really set them back mentally. If he isn't tired(put some food or sugar in him first anyways) be sure to take a ride to have him "show-off" what he has learned.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Totally agree with gj.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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OK, thanks guys, that is kind of what I was thinking. He's been begging me for 2 yrs, but I wanted to get more comfortable on a board before I take him, and now I think I am at that point. It was the expense I was fretting over, but the $109 deal sounds pretty good.

I appreciate it.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Atrus, does he have any little homies he can shred with? In my opinion thats the best way to learn if he's got some friends that already know what they are doing. I never had lessons but definitely agree they'd be worth it. I just learned off my friends when I was his age. There is just somethin about your peers pushing you that helps you lear faster. Good luck to yo kid.
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Old 08-24-2010, 11:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Having some friends to ride with will also stave off the, "Oh no I fell, I NEVER WANT TO SNOWBOARD AGAIN" fits. What he will pull with you he deffinitely won't want to pull with his friends.
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Atrus, does he have any little homies he can shred with? In my opinion thats the best way to learn if he's got some friends that already know what they are doing. I never had lessons but definitely agree they'd be worth it. I just learned off my friends when I was his age. There is just somethin about your peers pushing you that helps you lear faster. Good luck to yo kid.
No little buddies to ride with, that would be me. I agree though, less likely to give up with his friends around. Maybe he'll brag about it and someone else will want to learn...
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Old 08-24-2010, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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No little buddies to ride with, that would be me. I agree though, less likely to give up with his friends around. Maybe he'll brag about it and someone else will want to learn...
Hey That could happen. Well either way it should be a fun season with him. As long as he feels confident and sticks with it he'll fall in love with it. It may take a couple trips to the mountain though to get him to connect with it.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:14 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe rent him a board the first time and if he has fun consider buying a board. Deals on kids boards are pretty easy to find, there are usually plenty of $50 kid setups on craigslist or look for new gear on sale. Kids love having their own gear that they can slap stickers on.
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Old 08-24-2010, 02:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will try to help the best I can. I am not really a good explainer at things, but I think I can help with what kids think at that age since I recently started to grow up (I'm 14). I started to ski when I was 10, but I decided to snowboard instead because when I tried it I liked it better and a lot of my friends did. I think it is a good idea taking group lessons, because I took private lessons, and I disliked them. I don't know if this is how he is or if he will like them better. Since this question is titled how to get my son into snowboarding, I will say that kid's won't like taking lessons ALL the time. They will enjoy lessons when they are first starting expecially if they are nervous and scared, like I was. But after that, they want to actually snowboard. For example-When I started skiing, my mother made me take lessons. one private, 2 group, and I pretty much learned the same things in all of them. Then I wanted to start actually skiing, even though I just wanted to go on the bunny hill. However, she insisted that I take more lessons. I took a few more lessons after that and then got so bored, I wouldn't take any more. (I was about 9-10 at this time.) I don't know if this is why I started to dislike skiing, but more likely just because I wanted to snowboard instead. What I would do is ASK your son after he takes a lesson or to if he wants to try to actually ride. Actually let him use his new found snowboarding skills instead of just relearning them in lessons. Imagine learning how to do something new and getting good at it, but then never getting to do it. Actually letting him snowboard will be the best way to get him to like it. Also, for sure if he likes it and you take him often buy a new board for him, they aren't that much, expecially used. (I am selling the board I used around that age with bindings and boots for 130$) he will like it much more then renting. I hope I helped and good luck!
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