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Hi, I need some advice on teaching my son. Last year was his first season at age 4. He had instruction on a regular basis. This year we are at a pretty sad location with little in the way of instruction. He started the year zipping down the hill like a scud missile and squatting very low, then when he gets going faster than he is comfortable with he puts his hands down and carves hard toeside without and real change in direction. He will continue on switch and repeat this process. Now we are a couple months into the season and I haven't seen any change; he doesn't seem to have much initiative to learn to carve. I know he is just 5 and is having fun, but I would appreciate any tips to get him into a better stance and carving progression. Thanks!
 

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This is a very natural development phenomenon for kids that age (and applies to any sport). Let him have fun. You'll also find a lot of plateauing and regression as you go. It can be frustrating as, no doubt, you're probably bored as hell. My son is 8, we're both on our 3rd season of snowboarding. Last year was really hard at the beginning. He had regressed, was scared and frustrated, etc. But, he snapped out of it eventually. Watching cool vids (generally people freeriding) has really helped, he wants to emulate that stuff. But, I think the main thing for kids these ages is to let them be, if they're having fun, they're going to continue to want to do whatever they're doing, they'll naturally start to branch out and develop.
 

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You have to turn it into a game. To him snowboarding is no different than the fun that sledding is. Go to the top, zoom to the bottom. He needs a different motivator than simply 'this is how you snowboard' He's enjoying it his way and who are you to tell him other wise in his mind.

The important thing is to find a way to motivate him without discouraging the whole thing. Kids can be weird like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I have been going pretty easy on him so far, that or being to lazy to teach, lol. He is definitely having fun and I don't mind paying an instructor from time to time to do the hard work, but without instructors available where we are now it seems like his progress just stopped.
 

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follow the leader and horse will be good. At that age it is what f00bar said, probably no different from sledding at this point. give him goals and check points. drill him on turns for 2 runs and then let him have free time.

watch snowboarding vids with him to give him a example.
 

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Hi, I need some advice on teaching my son. Last year was his first season at age 4. He had instruction on a regular basis. This year we are at a pretty sad location with little in the way of instruction. He started the year zipping down the hill like a scud missile and squatting very low, then when he gets going faster than he is comfortable with he puts his hands down and carves hard toeside without and real change in direction. He will continue on switch and repeat this process. Now we are a couple months into the season and I haven't seen any change; he doesn't seem to have much initiative to learn to carve. I know he is just 5 and is having fun, but I would appreciate any tips to get him into a better stance and carving progression. Thanks!
My 5 and 8 year olds much prefer having fun with mom and dad than taking lessons with their instructor...but I can't teach them (because I suck) and the hubs doesn't have the patience. So we gamify it for them...10 points for going on the lift, 5 points for not falling on dismount, 1 point for every s-turn on the way down, etc. etc. Since all they do in lessons is practice skills...we tell them the instructor is adding up their points. It also allows us to get an extra hour or two out of them after their l2 1/2 hour lesson.

10 points = $1

I don't actually keep tally, but it means if they practice their skills with us we stop and get them a small toy afterwards. It makes it more fun for them. Otherwise my 5-year old would prefer to bomb down the hill as fast as he can!
 

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I'm not sure how crowded your area is, but if you can find a good placetrying building little snow men, like 6" tall ones in a sort of course and get him to try to smash them

Kids love smashing snow people. And when he gets a bit older do the same thing only have him try to ollie over them. Kids love jumping over snowmen too.
 

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Not an instructor....but I have taught some some kids....this has worked in the past...find a nice beginner slope...put him on his toes and have him traverse across and down the trail towards you or someone else. Put him on his butt and flip over and have have him do the same thing on his heels. Flip over on knees and repeat many, many times. At some point he will be ready to start linking those turns. Make it fun as possible. Investing the time and patience will work better than having him doing heel slides and falling leaf (do they even use this term anymore?) or just bombing and crashing IMO.
 

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At 4 and 5 years old with only a couple of trips to the snow each season I just pointed my oldest son downhill on the learner slope and literally ran ahead to catch him when he got a bit too much speed :)

He loved it which is my aim in the early years. As long as he's having fun he'll want to go back!

This year he is 6 so I'm hoping to get more days in and actually teach a little.
 

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We used rock climbing harnesses to teach ours at that age. They have attachment points on the back and front that we would clip a long rope to and use like reigns to point them downhill and correct them if they started to catch an edge. That let them work on toe and heel side turns on slopes with some angle rather than flat bunny hills and not worry about speed. We would side slip behind them at first and as they got more comfortable we could skid turn behind them with a longer rope. We weren’t stuck on bunny hills and they could learn to turn without dealing with speed at first. All three little shits charge harder than me now, real turns.
 

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At age 5, basically the only thing you need to worry about is that the kid is having fun. So games like follow the leader, and knock over the tiny snowman, stuff like that - that's the way to go.

My 5-year-old grandson just loves going to the mountain and bombing down the baby hill, so I try to mix it up between little learning games, and straight-up yee haw where he can go as fast as his little self can go, and then gravity stops him at the bottom.
 
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