Introducing Young Children to Winter Snow Sports – Snowboarding
Winter offers many opportunities for families to participate in outdoor recreation. Alpine skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing and snowshoeing are all sports that families can enjoy together and pursue as lifelong hobbies. If your children are young, how do you know if they are ready to begin a snow sport? To help parents make that decision, the following tips were collected from snow sports program managers at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, whose family programs have received a #1 ranking for 13 years from SKI Magazine readers.
As far as trying snowboarding, Johnson observes that “a good signal is that your child tells you they want to try it, or at least they are open to the suggestion of trying it.” With snowboarding, muscle development and balance are important. Can your child do hopscotch jumps or balance on one leg? One other thing to keep in mind is the importance of finding functional, well fitting boots and bindings for young children. Smugglers’ beginning snowboarding programs offer equipment from Vermont’s Burton Snowboards, which developed Learn To Ride (LTR) gear with features designed to ease the learning process for beginners, including the little riders who enter Smugglers’ Discovery Dynamos snowboarding instruction program for ages 3 and 4.
Johnson suggests that parents be prepared to manage their child’s expectations. “Many kids look at Olympians doing snowboard tricks in the terrain park and immediately think they’ll be doing that as soon as they start their lesson. Build in the reality that, as with any sport, coaching with a trained instructor and practice on your own is key to progression.”
About Smugglers’ Notch Resort, Vermont: Smugglers’ is widely renowned for its quality family programming and beautiful setting in Vermont’s northern Green Mountains. The popular Club Smugglers’ winter packages offer great value with ski-and-stay, children’s instruction and family instruction options and include mountainside lodging, daily alpine lift tickets, cross-country and snowshoe trail passes, and numerous activities and entertainment for families and adults. For more information on Smugglers’ vacations please call 1-800-451-8752 and visit Smugglers’ website at www.smuggs.com.