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leesamgentry 02-05-2014 09:22 PM

seeking advice as parent of a child who wants to pursue snowboarding more serioulsy
My son is 10 years old and has been riding since he was 7. Considering we live near the beach and not the mountains, he has advanced quite a bit for as little as he has had chances to practice. Including his 2 weeks last summer at Mt. Hood, he has probably had less than 30 days of instruction total, but he has definitely impressed me (although I am biased). He is riding most terrain with confidence and now working on tricks in the park such as small jumps, box slides, 360s, smooth transitions on the halfpipe, etc.

He has expressed an interest in concentrating on snowboarding more seriously including snow"boarding" school. Obviously this is a huge financial committment and a family sacrfice so I really want to make sure he is serious and knows what he is getting into. We are also looking into more summer camp opportunities in Oregon (again cha-ching, cha-ching). I would like to be able to send him to college also.

For those who are pursuing this sport seriously, I would be interested to know the path you took and how you got started. I am not at all delusional about my son's chances of ever competing at the top levels, but he seems to have some raw talent and he wants to try to be the best he can be. Any and all suggestions are welcome.


Argo 02-05-2014 10:26 PM

How constraining is money for you? That will indicate the path I would suggest to test him....

leesamgentry 02-06-2014 04:16 AM

well, we don't have an unlimited supply of funds. We have 2 other children (1 in college already). Private school or private coaching is not out of the question, but it would be a stretch with our current combined income.

Also contraining is our location. We live on the east coast 3 miles from the beach, but 5 hours from the nearest descent ski resorts.

Deacon 02-06-2014 04:43 AM

If there's anybody on this forum that can answer your question, it's Argo. :thumbsup:

wrathfuldeity 02-06-2014 05:50 AM

I'd say at that to be near the hill...whatever hill...and the hill determines the rider. So idk if it you are able to move the family. Of course living on the hill is best and if the hill has a school on the hill, then its riding everyday...iirc Argo's situation. But the hill will have a large influence...park, big mtn or otherwise. Obiviously kids change, I know a fair amt of kids that are now 18-21 that have grown up on the hill that is 70 minute drive...and when younger they all dreamed of being pro and some have access to legit pros. All of them have skills and yet none of them want to be a "PRO" for more than having heli access, but they do want to live the snowy life....but in general, that is what our little hill produces...lovers of the snowy life.

larrytbull 02-06-2014 06:49 AM

Try sending him to woodward.they have a location in pa. They have a snowboard program.they can help in his development. Especially in park. I am sending my 10 yo there this summer.

leesamgentry 02-06-2014 08:04 AM

Thanks for all the advice and comments. I check in with my son every day to see how he is feeling about all of his activities. Snowboarding is still his top choice although I do want him to realize that he would have to give up pretty much everything else to focus on this. He is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do but ready to take a break on this. I have to say the balance and strength he gained through the TKD has helped him with everything else including snowboarding. He also likes basketball and lacrosse so my question to him was are you ready to give up all other sports to focus on snowboarding? He says yes, but at 10 I think he needs not make a quick decision. Luckily he cant attend any boarding schools I have found until 7th grade so if he is still this enthusiastic by then, I will know he is serious.

I will check out woodward. One of the snowboard instructors at 7Springs also recommended this. He is getting to the point that regular kids camps at places like 7springs are less geared to his more advanced level. We are also looking into Windells (in Oregon) to advance his skills this summer. H's younger brother is 8 and has had a total of 8 hours of snowboard instruction, but moved from complete novice to a level 5 rider in less than 2 days. I see him following in H's footsteps so perhaps I have 2 potentiall serious riders in my house. Double the fun and double the money of course.

Unfortunately living near the hill is not possible right now as our incomes are dependent upon living near DC, but I think it's a fair question to raise for discussion regarding the possibility of any kid being serious about riding and NOT living near the hill. I would be interested in other's perspective on this.


BigmountainVMD 02-06-2014 08:16 AM

Since you don't live near a hill, your only option other than short, camp style board school outings would be to send your son to a full on boarding school.

There are a lot around, but the only one I have experienced is Carrabassett Valley Academy in Maine. It's a great program, I've had many well educated friends that have gone there for their high school years (9 - 12), and they have some big names that have gone through their program such as Bode Miller for skiing and Seth Wescott for snowboarding.

wrathfuldeity 02-06-2014 08:18 AM

My daughter went Wendells for a week during 3 summers which she earned 1/2 funds for. She had a great time, learned some things...but the real experience was social...perhaps a girl thing, but she still has contact and ocassionally shreds with some of that crew and the extended friends. However a person can do academic schooling and boarding there...iirc mostly year round....maybe not this year due to lack of snow. For us its beyond our $ range. But living 70 minutes from the hill, during her Jr yr in hs did about 80 days and sr yr did 100+ and her sr project was training with Baker's pro and vol patrollers. But as a parent, a significant part of riding and getting in is having some skill, determination but alot of it is developing relationships with folks who are IN the sport.

leesamgentry 02-06-2014 08:30 AM

I have been on the CVA website as my son shoved his ipad in my face to look into it. He found it and is already relentlessly asking me to go there. In 7th grade it's only a 4 month program (and he has to get through the rest of 5th and 6th grade first). If he attended in 7th grade he would have to attend part of the year here and he is currently in an academically advanced day prep school. I'm a little concerned that the two schools would not mesh with their curriculums, but I know WPS where he goes now does cater to some child actors who are away a lot of the time in NY doing Broadway shows or filming movies so maybe there is a way to work it out. Of course this means paying for 2 private schools at the same time. Public school not so great here at the beach and we were used to MoCo MD public schools before which are in the top 5 in the country. As his parent, I am not willing to completely give up academics for snowboarding.

Does anyone have any experience with the middle school program at CVA?

I wish there was a way to have someone knowledgeable evaluate him and say, this kid has great potential in this sport, or he doesn't. It's not just the money, but also him giving up part of his normal childhood and adolescence. Is this too crystal ball?

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