Kids Snowboarding

The time has finally come for you to pass down all that snowboard knowledge to the next generation. All that time spent in the mountains, lapping in the route park, and hiking will be used accordingly. It’s time to impart that knowledge to your kids. 

Snowboarding has no set age; it’s just suitable for everyone. Most people believe that kids should begin with skiing and then proceed to snowboarding. Nonetheless, this is for parents and kids to decide. The advancement of skiing tends to be faster, but snowboarding can be more effortless for parents to teach their kids even though they are not skiers. So, it’s up to you! 

Meanwhile, let’s see how to teach kids snowboarding. 

Clothes and Accessories for Snowboarding Kids

Snowboarding Kids

Warm Clothes

While snowboarding is all about having fun, it is essential to keep your kids warm. It requires attire that’s somewhat different from skiing. Your kids will spend a lot of time kneeling or sitting on snow. Besides, they will frequently come into contact with wet objects. 

Hence it is essential to keep them dry and warm. Don’t take any risks as a hot summerlike day can turn into a cold one within no time. The advantage of snowboarding is that you’ll always be near a lodge. Nevertheless, with a newbie rider, lowering from the mountain can be somewhat challenging. 

So, adequate snowboarding outfits include:

Burton jacket

Compared to a conventional skiing jacket, a snowboard jacket is more spacious, making it more functional when on the mountain. Its spacious design comes in handy in giving the rider enough room for movement. 

Additionally, these jackets tend to be longer, reaching the hips, to keep your child’s back and buttocks warm in the cold and when on the chairlift. Also, it keeps the snow from accumulating at the waist.

A pair of trousers

This doesn’t mean your child’s casual jeans or khaki pants. Make sure you go for trousers with additional padding and waterproofing on the knees and back. This is because your child will sit down for some time when putting the bindings on, watching as the adults work, and so on. 

Snowboard-specific pants have a loose fit compared to skiing pants. They are mainly equipped with boot gaiters, insulation, and articulated knees. The boot gaiters help in hindering snow from accumulating at the ankles. 

Underwear

Don’t forget underwear, but don’t carry the typical underwear either. Have your child wear either merino or synthetic wool base inners. Again, ensure they have no cotton. Plus, if you plan to purchase one pair only, choose the midweight version. This is because it tends to be less restrictive than other underwear. 

Insulating layer

If the weather is cold, kids can go for wool or light fleece and wool pants and tops after the long underwear. Remember to select a cotton-free insulating layer. Also, your child can wear two long pairs of underwear under the insulating layer. But, one pair should be a size larger than its counterpart. 

Neck gaiter

This is frequently overlooked, though it is convenient when snowboarding. It usually shields the neck, lower face, and ears from sunburn and wind. Polyester fleece and merino wool are the perfect options for a smooth and warm experience. Plus, it emits less odor after wearing it for a long time. 

Note: wash them often and hang them outside to dry. 

Socks

As usual, avoid cotton. Typically, snowboarding socks are supposed to reach slightly on top of the calf. Moreover, they should be made from a combination of synthetic fibers and wool. It would be best if your kids had more than one pair to interchange. This will come in handy in case they get their feet wet or have blisters. 

Mittens

Mainly, snowboarding involves touching the snow with your hands; therefore, it’s best to keep the kids properly insulated with breathable waterproof gloves or mittens. That said, gloves are not as warm as mittens. Frequently the bindings are manipulated, which makes dexterity a problem. 

All the same, some mittens are equipped with a lobster claw design to solve this dexterity issue. The design comes in handy by compressing the three small fingers and featuring independent index finger and thumb sleeves. 

Furthermore, some mittens and gloves have integrated wrist protectors to shield your kid’s wrist from getting injured in case of a hard fall. Plus, they feature interior hand-warming pockets. 

Lastly, as kids tend to accumulate snow in their jacket sleeves, go for mittens or gloves with extended wrists, which will go under the sleeves by a few inches. 

Goggles

Goggles come in various colors, sizes, and shapes. Nonetheless, medium-tint ones are the most suitable for kids as they’re perfect for all weather conditions. Usually, kids` goggles last for a maximum of three seasons if appropriately stored after use. 

You can also purchase a pair of goggles and helmet as one pack. Most are structured to work together like this way you won’t have a gap on your child’s forehead. 

Warmers

In the cold weather, warmers can come in handy in keeping your child warm when on the slope. As mentioned above, most gloves feature handwarmer pouches. All you need to do is shove the warmers inside the glove pockets to keep your young one warm. 

Also, foot warmers can be positioned on the snowboarding boots to keep their feet warm. Position the foot warmer on the upper part of the boot, above your kid’s toys. This way, it will generate warmth but reduce discomfort as compared to placing it underneath the feet. Considering the number of things you need to carry, you should develop a checklist and mark everything, lest you forget. 

Kids Snowboarding Gear

How to Teach Kids Snowboarding

Now that you know how to keep your child warm let’s delve into snowboarding gear. The first thing to weigh in is whether to buy or rent snowboarding equipment. 

It usually is better to own this equipment, though renting is not a bad idea either. If you’re a beginner or only plan to snowboard several times, it would be best to rent the gear. Consult with your local snowboarding shop and see how much it would cost you to rent boots, helmets, and other general equipment. 

Moreover, some shops let you switch up in case your kids outgrow the equipment. Additionally, another upside of renting is that you’re given the best gear that’s ready to use. With newbies, it is more suitable to choose smaller snowboards. If it’s a lease, you can trade this gear as your kid grows or as they improve their skills. 

How to Shop for Snowboarding Gear

If you’re more comfortable purchasing your gear, then here’s what you need to consider;

Snowboarding Helmet

It is essential that your child wears a helmet when snowboarding. This sport is designed so that they’ll most likely fall as they partake in it. There are high chances that your child will hold an edge and fall onto the snow when learning. 

Ensure it fits appropriately. Most Children’s helmets are equipped with an inner harness that can be contracted or expanded for the perfect fit. Also, it should feature a strap for fixing the goggles. 

Snowboarding Board

Younger kids are supposed to begin with smooth, all-mountain boards. Additionally, this board should reach the child’s chest in terms of height. The best thing about this type of board is that it is easy to use, as a longer one would float more effortlessly in powder when riding a snowboard in powder.

As your kid’s skills improve, go for a board specifically engineered for halfpipes and terrain parks. Again, boards more suitable for advanced riders feature reverse cumber structures, making them better suited for snow features and jumps. In summary, children-specific boards are 90 to 146cm long. 

Snowboarding Boots

Novice riders require warm and adequately fitting snowboard boots. Ensure the buckles are adequately fitting and not too tight. Also, go for soft boots as they let the kids move their feet comfortably inside. The motion required to move is from heel to toe. 

This means you should not oversize your child’s boots as too much room hinders turning. Additionally, if it’s too tight, it will result in pain in the heel and toes and blisters. Lastly, these boots are equipped with a strap that comes in handy in loosening and tightening them. 

Snowboarding Bindings

The bindings for children are modifiable to make room for different shoe sizes. For this reason, you should purchase top-quality bindings so that your kid can use them for a long time. If your child already has snowboarding boots, carry them with you as you go to purchase a board and binding system. 

The boots and bindings need to be compatible. Also, it is equally essential for your child to attach and release the bindings with their gloves on. 

Wrist guards

Among the most common snowboarding injuries is wrist sprains. However, some gloves are equipped with wrist guards. Again, you can purchase wrist protectors alone. So, teach your kids how to fold their hands into fists and hit the ground with them if they fall. Nevertheless, guards do not shield your hands from wrist sprains. 

Beginner’s Tips for Kids Snowboarding

How to Teach Kids to Snowboard

Take lessons

Like everything else in life, your child needs to take snowboarding lessons to learn and improve their skills. There are multiple moves you can make when snowboarding, hence the importance of taking lessons. Again, children will learn better from an instructor than from a guardian or parent. 

If the whole family wants to learn how to snowboard, give the children lessons according to their age. Besides, after the usual lessons, you can take some time together to sharpen your overall skills. 

Make the lessons fun

Learning can, at times, get boring, especially if it’s too long. So, take breaks, and carry some snacks for the kids. Besides, you can play other fun games in between sessions. Also, it would help if you considered giving rewards for impressive moves or improvements. 

Go for slightly steep terrain

Children should be taught on the suitable terrain. Go for easy routes instead of excessively steep terrain, which will help them learn and build their technique. 

Place your dominant foot forward

The first thing is to decide which should be in front, preferably the dominant foot. A typical snowboard posture is regular, which requires the right foot to be in front. Also, your child’s stance can be goofy, which requires the left foot to be in front. 

To choose which posture is best for your child, have him, or her run up and down the snow and look at their foot formation. Alternatively, you can have them stand with both feet together and begin walking and watch which foot they move first. Also, don’t mention the different stances before knowing their dominant foot. 

Aligning the plates

If you’re having a hard time with binding placements and posture, consult the snowboard shop workers. However, if you intend to do it yourself, remember that your kids are supposed to have bindings placed in a stance that’s somewhat wider than their shoulders. 

Most people prefer starting with the bindings at the board’s center or relatively positioned to the tail. The foot on the front should be pretty slanted to the back foot’s tip or hardly pointing to the rear. 

Practice makes perfect

Like the homework your kids are given at school, you can give them some” homework” for practice purposes. For instance, you can have them practice removing and putting on the board. This can be done when sitting as this way it will be much easier than when standing. 

Safety

Typically, riders prefer sitting down if they’re not riding. This puts their lives at risk, as they can collide with an uphill skier or rider. Hence, the safest place to rest is by the side, ensuring your kids are not on the uphill side. Also, avoid sitting on the bottom-most part of the hill in case of a jump. 

Basics

Normally when snowboarding, the main issues are with loose laces and bindings. Ensure to check your children’s straps and laces before they go for the chairlift. Also, check their bindings to ensure they’re tight enough. 

Furthermore, ensure your kids practice falling, mostly to the uphill part of the terrain. However, in the case of downhill, the most suitable way to maneuver this is to roll down. They can reduce the fall’s impact by catching themselves using the forearm. If they can’t do this, they can fold their hands to make a fist and hit the snow with their wrist straight to aid in hindering an injury. 

Teach your kids on soft snow. Soft snow translates to risk-free landing. 

Kids Snowboarding FAQs

Little Child Snowboarding

At what age can my child learn to ride?

Riding needs your child to be developed enough to achieve balance on their own. The best age is typically when they’re developmentally and physically grown, approximately seven years. For children below this age, it’s all about motivation. 

So, if they’re willing to learn at a younger age, it’s alright. Though children are different, and the most important thing is for them to have fun. 

Which is easier to learn, skiing or snowboarding?

Snowboarding is harder for most kids to understand, though it takes a shorter while to become an advanced rider compared to skiing. Skiing is easier to learn but more difficult to become a professional. That being said, it’s much simpler to become an average snowboarder since there are much fewer steps to learn. 

My child wants to go home after a couple of runs. What can I do to encourage him to persevere?

Have their friends accompany them or be involved in some way. Also, you can arrange to teach them together with other children, so they can become friends, and motivate each other. After teaching them, make sure to spend a little more time with them. When your kids go snowboarding with friends, they could do more runs than when they’re with their guardians or parents. 

Ride lingo is confusing. What is the difference between switch and duck?

Duck is the posture whereby the foot in the front points to the tip and the other points to the tail. Switch, on the other hand, is riding backward. It is recommended that newbies have their front foot tilted toward the tip while the other foot should be somewhat inclined to the tail. 

I want my child to love riding. How can I speed up the learning curve so we can shred together off-piste?

Begin slowly, and move on from there. Novices should start on favorable terrain. As this is a child, they will most likely want to do not more than five rounds. It’s even possible that they enjoy drinking a hot or cold beverage after snowboarding more than the snowboarding sessions you have together. 

Eventually, they’ll become more interested. 

How do I not embarrass my kids when they’re hanging out with their cool snowboard friends?

You can begin with calling it riding; the term snowboarding sounds complex and is typically used by people who are not good at it. 

Final Thoughts

Now that you’ve finally done it, you can finally snowboard as a family. The next thing is to wait and watch your kids surpass you, leave you behind, climb, and get down. Though as much as you’ll be out of breath trying to keep up, you’ll still be very proud of them.

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About the author 

Kevin

Kevin loves bouldering. Mainly because he can practice it alone without considering other people. Although he rediscovered this hobby in the last three years, the boulders turned out to be his most visited landmarks.

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