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Old 03-06-2012, 05:31 AM   #11 (permalink)
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just don't set unrealistic progression goals. For kids this is play and about fun; don't take that away from them by making it goal oriented and they and you will both have fun....
I think the above is really important. I hate seeing parents (actually it seems to only be dads) angrily snapping at their kids for not performing well enough. Leave it to an adult to suck the joy out of something.
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Old 03-06-2012, 09:16 AM   #12 (permalink)
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When we have taken out young kids 2-4 the only key to the day if fun. make sure they are having fun if they want to get in a snowball fight or get coco we do it and if we are lucky we can get in at least an hour or two of riding in. By riding I mean one person stands uphill and aims the child down hill about 15-20 feet and another waits downhill and catches. This is to start them off having fun and being excited about the sport. They will start picking it up and ripping before you know it. But Snowolf is right if you give them unreasonable goals they may fail and hate the sport.

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Old 03-06-2012, 10:28 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I think the above is really important. I hate seeing parents (actually it seems to only be dads) angrily snapping at their kids for not performing well enough. Leave it to an adult to suck the joy out of something.
I will never be this way. I want my kids to have fun and have a chance to experience a lot of fun things so they can decide what they are "in to". My two biggest sports are basketball and snowboarding. If my son decides he doesn't like either, that's cool with me. I just want him to enjoy and be passionate about something productive.

The only reason I am thinking about switching to a board this early is because he enjoyed skiing but he is now asking if he's old enough to snowboard. I want to give him a chance to try it, but I just want to make sure I don't do it too early.

To the instructors - Based on your experience, if he was coordinated enough to start hitting the green chairs during his second group lesson on skis, does that translate to being coordinated/developed enough to have a chance at being successful at learning to ride as a 5-year-old? Very general, I know, but that's the only real gauge I can give you.

Thanks for all the thoughts guys.
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:45 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Absolutely if he is athletic in anyway at all he will be more than ready. Also if he is interested and asking about snowboarding its time for him to start standing sideways!! The only kids that haven't developed enough for snowboarding are the obvious overweight couch potatoes.
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Old 03-06-2012, 11:09 AM   #15 (permalink)
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To the instructors - Based on your experience, if he was coordinated enough to start hitting the green chairs during his second group lesson on skis, does that translate to being coordinated/developed enough to have a chance at being successful at learning to ride as a 5-year-old?
I'm an instructor, and here's my experience with other people's kids: EVERY (and that's no exageration) EVERY 5yr old I've instructed amounted to me walking up the magic carpet with them and holding their hands for the entire lesson... no chair lifts (since I can't ride one without my board). If I was fortunate enough to have a second person with me, I could point them downhill and have the second person play catcher. It was still a great experience for the kids, though. By the end of the first lesson, they all understood the concept of toeside/healside, but couldn't really execute on their own.

And my experience with my own kids: I started my twin girls when they were 5 (better than average athletes, but not supernatural). We went out at least once a week. Spent the first half of the year walking down with them and holding their hands. Second half, they were riding the chair, but I had to stay with them (their hands were too small to buckle in by themselves). They're 8 now. They ride switch like it's natural, look good on blue runs and OK on black, small jumps (about 2 feet of air) and started riding boxes this year.

My opinion: If you have the time and energy to walk with them for the first few months, it's well worth it to start them as early as they're willing
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Old 03-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Absolutely if he is athletic in anyway at all he will be more than ready. Also if he is interested and asking about snowboarding its time for him to start standing sideways!! The only kids that haven't developed enough for snowboarding are the obvious overweight couch potatoes.
Haha, he is definitely not a overweight couch potatoe. He is super skinny and toned (kinda looks like a mini adult) and runs and jumps around the house all day. I'm afraid he as ADHD

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My opinion: If you have the time and energy to walk with them for the first few months, it's well worth it to start them as early as they're willing
Sounds good man. I'm all about spending the time with him to help him learn, it's fun for me. Before he had ski lessons I took him for a few days on the magic carpet and spent the entire time running backwards down the hill yelling "pizza wedge" while he just strait lined lined, giggling all the way to the bottom until I caught him.

Thanks for the advice. I think I might trade in his skis for a board at the rental place and let him try riding a few times before the season is over. Then let him decide what type of lessons he takes next year.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:18 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Whatever you do, keep an eye on your kid or have them ride with someone that knows what to do in case of a bad situation. I can't tell you how many times, even on these small MI hills, I've seen kids under 10 getting hurt with no one around knowing what the heck to do. I also see youngsters doing shit they shouldn't like trying to ride down a wall of ice/grass that transitions into fast runs where they have no business being on.

I'm not saying be super strict here, just to be responsible about it. Me personally, I wouldn't let my son ride alone because I want to be able to help him if he gets hurt. Ski patrol doesn't always do a good job (as I've also witnessed many times).
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:51 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Get a Hula Hoop or even a pole. Rid with him in tendem using the hula hoop or pole for him to hang on to. This gives him the extra balance he needs but gives him the feeling that he is doing the actual riding. I have found this to be very helpful and you can play fun games this way.
Do you ride behind him (i.e. up hill) or beside him? I'm goofy and I think he'll be regular based on the foot he uses to push his scooter so if I was beside him I could actually face him which could help.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:52 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Whatever you do, keep an eye on your kid or have them ride with someone that knows what to do in case of a bad situation.
Oh yeah, he won't be riding along anytime soon. I'm not sure how old he'll have to be before I let him ski/ride alone, but it's not anytime soon that's for sure.
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Old 03-07-2012, 08:58 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Get a Hula Hoop or even a pole. Rid with him in tendem using the hula hoop or pole for him to hang on to. This gives him the extra balance he needs but gives him the feeling that he is doing the actual riding.
No dis on Snowolf intended here, just a different experience and some food for thought. When instructing 5 yr olds, I find that walking with them and holding their hands helps them through the progression faster. As an example: They get the idea of toeside/healside pretty quick, but they don't get the idea of subtle movements. I say "toeside" and they go into a toeside turn that transitions into a spin. When you ride tandem with them, your stability will compensate for this and they won't even realize that they would have spun if you weren't there. Holding their hands allows you to let them spin (like ballroom dancing) without slamming. They'll pick up on the subtly needed to stop spinning quicker. Even simple things like traversing across the fall line. They would go in a completely different direction on their own, and again, with your stability while riding tandem, they wont realize that what they're doing wouldn't have made the board go where it did. If you walk with them you can let them go (generally) where their movement is taking them. They'll learn to control the board quicker. In any case, try them both and see what works. Disclaimer: Although I'm an instructor, I'm not AASI kid certified, so this is all personal experience, not proven progression and I welcome any criticism. I'd be interested in hearing from an AASI kid certified instructor here.
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