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Old 10-12-2012, 10:19 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on teaching my 2.5 y.o. Daughter to ride (peep the videos!!)

Hoping to get a conversation on getting young kids into riding (I realize as I type this perhaps i should have done a search first.....)

So my daughter will be 3 in January and this year my wife and I want to get her onto skiis/snowboard. The sooner she learns to shred the sooner we can all take family vacations together and REALLY shred the winter, lol. (I board, the wife skiis)

I have always assumed that kids should start on skiis (Yes I know how wrong i am), In fact the more I look at young kids on boards the more I realize that due to their low center of gravity and the width of even the small boards, kids are QUITE stable.

Anyhow, I was wondering what some of your personal experiences were either from your childhood, or as parents etc....

check out these kids......

I really like the extent to which the parents thought out the training levels in the first video....(he even created a training board out of an old 164, making the tip super long to put the child on, and then a harness on the kid with a handle to hold him.... so smart)


Baby snowboarder Emile 22 month - YouTube


Snowboard Girl 1 year old - YouTube

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Old 10-12-2012, 10:25 AM   #2 (permalink)
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my daughter is too young to think about this yet (only 6mo old) but in a few more years we will be putting her on some sort of shred stick whether its skis or a board I'm not sure yet. I think the "skis first" is probably changing with the times, as more people snowboard there are a lot more people who know it and know how to teach it to younger kids. although skiing seems somewhat more intuitive, there are plenty of ways for an uncoordinated kiddo to screw it up on skis (crossing tips, wobbly, etc.) that wouldn't happen on a board and vice versa.

Personally, as much as I'd like to start her sooner rather than later, I think my rule will be: she can't go on the hill until she stops shitting her pants (and preferably until she knows how to wipe her own ass). Keeping your kids clean is enough of a hassle without the added trouble of boots and snowpants and baselayers getting in the way.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, as much as I'd like to start her sooner rather than later, I think my rule will be: she can't go on the hill until she stops shitting her pants (and preferably until she knows how to wipe her own ass). Keeping your kids clean is enough of a hassle without the added trouble of boots and snowpants and baselayers getting in the way.
HAHAHAHAHA thats awesome! Best criteria for the age to start a kid off on the hill, when they can go take care or them selves in the bathroom.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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my daughter is too young to think about this yet (only 6mo old) but in a few more years we will be putting her on some sort of shred stick whether its skis or a board I'm not sure yet. I think the "skis first" is probably changing with the times, as more people snowboard there are a lot more people who know it and know how to teach it to younger kids. although skiing seems somewhat more intuitive, there are plenty of ways for an uncoordinated kiddo to screw it up on skis (crossing tips, wobbly, etc.) that wouldn't happen on a board and vice versa.

Personally, as much as I'd like to start her sooner rather than later, I think my rule will be: she can't go on the hill until she stops shitting her pants (and preferably until she knows how to wipe her own ass). Keeping your kids clean is enough of a hassle without the added trouble of boots and snowpants and baselayers getting in the way.
U need a trap-door onesy to do the michael jackson thing off the chairlift...
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I am an instructor and the mtn where I work just started offering snowboard lessons for 4-6 year olds. In my experiences with these lessons, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, is overall coordination. Once you strap these kids in there balance is usually pretty good allowing them to do fine while going straight. However, the more complex muscle movements needed to twist/tilt the board to make it turn are very difficult for most children at this age.

The other things to take into consideration are attention span and energy levels. Both influence their ability to learn and determine how much fun they are having.

So, I think its a great idea to get your kids out there at an early age just dont expect them to be ripping down the mountain at the age of 3 or 4.

However, you do get the occasional 3/4/5 year olds that can pick up skiing and can advance to green and maybe even blue runs.
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:40 AM   #6 (permalink)
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To op, my skier bud put all 4 of his kids in boots and on skis almost as soon as they could walk...he let them play in the basement/garage and in the yard with ski boots on and skis on. Then on the hill at age 2-3 they had the boot thing down, could walk around, side-step and skier step-turn things, no real balance issues except for moving, i.e., pizza, fries....often the first day they were doing the bunny hill, lifts and on the greens on day one....needless to say all of them can rip. There are alot of toddlers that are in backpacks, front packs, kid binders mounted between dad's on the board...and they are used to sensation of riding or skiing...mind you it is pretty mellow...usually...another friend packs his infant and does a fair job of ripping around...but his wife said no backflips with the kid.
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Old 10-12-2012, 12:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I am an instructor and the mtn where I work just started offering snowboard lessons for 4-6 year olds. In my experiences with these lessons, there are a few things to take into consideration. First, is overall coordination. Once you strap these kids in there balance is usually pretty good allowing them to do fine while going straight. However, the more complex muscle movements needed to twist/tilt the board to make it turn are very difficult for most children at this age.

The other things to take into consideration are attention span and energy levels. Both influence their ability to learn and determine how much fun they are having.

So, I think its a great idea to get your kids out there at an early age just dont expect them to be ripping down the mountain at the age of 3 or 4.

However, you do get the occasional 3/4/5 year olds that can pick up skiing and can advance to green and maybe even blue runs.
I've been working on getting my two younger boys (ages 4 and 6) riding, and my experience has been right in line with what you're saying. My 4-year-old seems more enthusiastic than his brother, even though he's less coordinated. He did lessons a few times last season at our local hill (and a couple the year before) and loved it. He can't wait to go more this season. The 6-year-old did a couple lessons, but said he prefers to have me teach him (really, I think he just likes the attention and trying things himself). They can both go straight and and sideslip heelside to stop. The 6-year old can do shaky heelside turns and understands the concept of toeside turns, but has trouble executing them while in motion. Also, they seem to have little leg dominance at their ages, so switch is nearly effortless. I will say their progress has been much slower than my oldest son, who started at age 8 (he's now 11). He and I both took lessons together, and he progressed as quickly as I did (much quicker when it came to jumps and grabs). Then again, my younger ones have really only gone about 5 or 6 times total so far, and you can undoubtedly get them progressing sooner if they go often, assuming they have the interest.

On the other hand, this kid didn't have much trouble at age 3, though he's no doubt the exception, and I'm guessing he got plenty of days on the snow:

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I've been working on getting my two younger boys (ages 4 and 6) riding, and my experience has been right in line with what you're saying. My 4-year-old seems more enthusiastic than his brother, even though he's less coordinated. He did lessons a few times last season at our local hill (and a couple the year before) and loved it. He can't wait to go more this season. The 6-year-old did a couple lessons, but said he prefers to have me teach him (really, I think he just likes the attention and trying things himself). They can both go straight and and sideslip heelside to stop. The 6-year old can do shaky heelside turns and understands the concept of toeside turns, but has trouble executing them while in motion. Also, they seem to have little leg dominance at their ages, so switch is nearly effortless. I will say their progress has been much slower than my oldest son, who started at age 8 (he's now 11). He and I both took lessons together, and he progressed as quickly as I did (much quicker when it came to jumps and grabs). Then again, my younger ones have really only gone about 5 or 6 times total so far, and you can undoubtedly get them progressing sooner if they go often, assuming they have the interest.

On the other hand, this kid didn't have much trouble at age 3, though he's no doubt the exception, and I'm guessing he got plenty of days on the snow:

Mother of god that kid shreds Thats amazing! It's like he has the snowboard mind of a 17 year old in a 3 year olds body.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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its amazing how well that kid rides..but i do notice from watching the video that based solely on the size of the bindings and such and his height, it looks like his knees are always perfectly bent naturally while riding. when he lands, hes always got his knees in perfect position because of his size and center of gravity. it has to make learning so much easier.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I started at 6 on skis. Like almost every Canadian kid I was put in hockey very young and hated it. Number one I'm not a people person so team sports suck. Number two who wants to get up at 6:00 on a Saturday morning to go play hockey? Not me when I was 5, that's who (not)!

So my dad said "You either ski or you play hockey"... And 26 years later my dad and I still meet up on the hill and go skiing/boarding together!

I switched from two planks to one in grade 6 when my school offered a course. One or two days of sore knees and ass and I was hooked. Wish I had started on a board earlier but in 1986 it was still almost non-existant in southern Ontario!

I've seen little tiny kids having a ball on a board. I say if they're willing, start them young!

+1 to starting on a board instead of skis. Can't stand the pizza/snow plow pylons all over the hill heading straight down. A snowboard forces you to learn to turn, or you'll end up heelsliding all day. Kids love speed usually so they'll stop heelsliding quicker than an adult will.
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