Top Tricks for Teaching Your Kids How to Start Snowboarding!
If you don’t know, I used to be a former pro-snowboarder and I always get asked what my favourite gear for the kids are and how we introduce them to snowboarding. Today, I am going to walk you through all the snowboarding gear I got for Leo and Annie and a few tips to get your kiddos up on their board. And don’t forget to watch the Justin Show episode here!
I know that this blog is going live at the very end of the snowboarding season, but it is the best time to get all of their gear at a fraction of the price. Kids are expensive and as they grow, they will need new apparel and gear, so this may just be the perfect time to buy their equipment and get a headstart on next season.
Let’s start with the gear and apparel that Leo and Annie have!
1. Snow Pants
I love the overall style snow pants because they keep the snow from going down their pants, and they can take their jacket off when they get hot and still be warm and dry, they work out great!
2. Snowboard Boots
My favourite snowboarding boots for the kids are called the Burton Mini-Grom and they come in sizes from 7C and up. Because the kids are growing like weeds, one of the things that we do is get both Leo and Annie half a size too big at the beginning of the season so they can grow with them throughout the season. If you are lucky, the boots should hopefully still fit them by the beginning of the following season too or you can pass them off to their siblings or cousins.
When it comes to jackets, I don’t like anything too big or bulky. I like to make sure that the jacket is comfortable and depending on how cold it is you can add or remove layers underneath. I found this great Burton Bomber jacket for Leo this season, it has a bit of a loft to it so it will provide a little bit of extra warmth compared to just a shell.
4. Neck Warmer
I am a BIG fan of a nice and light balaclava. It helps keep their hair out of their face while they are snowboarding. Another huge benefit to balaclavas is that they help keep their helmets snug on their heads, and not to mention it provides a great little layer of added warmth.
Trying to get 5 little fingers in gloves when it’s cold out… there is just no way. I would highly recommend that you opt for mittens instead, if you can get the thumb in the thumb hole you are doing GREAT. With Annie, I just shove her whole hand in and hope for the best, but I can rest assured knowing that her hands will be warm.
6. Helmet & Goggles
The helmet brand we always buy for the kids is called Anon followed by a pair of kids Anon goggles. As you may have guessed, the kid’s googles usually end up all over the place, but it’s nice to have when it’s bright out, but at the end of the day it’s really up to you!
There is a lot of variety of snowboards out there that you can get for your kids. I am a big fan of Burton products, so that’s what we have for Leo and Annie. When it comes to the height of their snowboard, the general rule of thumb is to make sure it measures up to their nose. Now when it comes to setting up their bindings on their snowboard, make it as neutral as you can. It’s so early that they won’t know if they are going to go goofy or regular yet. So, having said that, keep it very neutral. The pre-drilled hole slots on the boards are a really great guide to help with their overall balance. At the end of the day, if they seem comfortable with it, just roll with it!
Ok, now who’s ready to hit the slopes… I mean bunny hill!
Tip #1: Get your kids comfortable on their snowboards
If you are just starting out with your kids on a snowboard, it’s crucial that the first few times you get them out on the board that you are getting them comfortable with the feeling of the board beneath their feet. And you don’t need to go to the hill for that. You can practice this in your backyard or at the park.
Tip #2: Give your child one object to focus on
With Annie, I will ask her to head to something like “dad’s backpack”. While she is boarding toward the object, I will follow closely alongside her to catch her if she loses her balance. When they have an object to focus on, it makes it easier for them to snowboard to it.
Tip #3: Increase the distance between you and your kid
When your child gets a bit older and they have found their balance, you can let them go a little further on their own. If you were running alongside them to start, maybe give them 5 steps of distance, and as you get more confidence, increase the distance. This will really help them gain some confidence. Having said that, if this is the first time your kids are snowboarding you want to be there to guide them, if they have a bad fall this could hinder their learning curve when they get back on the board.
Tip #4: Be patient and have fun
I can’t stress this enough. At this point in their age, keeping things happy and being patient is SO important. If you can bring snacks up, some water and have a little reset in between runs they are going to be more inclined to continue to do this and get excited to hit the hill the next time you ask. Even if it’s just 2 runs, to begin with, that’s ok, especially when you have a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.
I really hope that you can take some of these tips and tricks and help your tot or kiddo out on the hill! Drop a comment below if there is something that you’ve done to help improve your kid’s snowboarding skills that I should know!