Teaching your child to ride
So living with a vertical drop of 2,600’ in my backyard and an average annual snowfall of 269” for the past 14 seasons has afforded me an opportunity to enjoy, explore, develop and share my love for snowboarding. Now I’m 36 years old with a 5½ year old son and a wealth of knowledge i want to share with him. Yeah I know what your thinking…future X-Games gold at slopestyle and half pipe, the same thought may have crossed my mind.
Lets look at how that journey is going. This is my son Shaun’s 2nd season and let me tell you, he kills it going straight…and up until recently killed it at exploding into a ball of snow and gear. I’m not trying to brag but i can get most of my beginner lessons making some kind of turn or turns in 2hrs. Its taken me 2 years, i said 2 YEARS to get this little whirling dervish just to stop in one direction. So much for the X-Games. Don’t worry we’re not giving up that easily.
There are so many factors to different learning curves and they are compounded by age. You need to understand what your expectations are as a parent and where your child’s focus is at. You’ll want to teach and they’ll want to play. Snowboarding properly doesn’t come naturally to a child but playing does. Before even considering teaching your child, or any child; let them play, explore, and imagine the possibilities. I doubt you give them instructions on how to play with their cars or dolls, why step in now? Snowboarding may be your passion, you need to allow it room to develop into theirs. In the beginning all you need to do is provide a fun, safe environment and they will learn something.
Now for the pro tip that will save the day. Put your child in a ski lesson. I don’t know about you, but I barely ski well enough to survive the greens so I don’t have much to give. This lesson will serve you in many ways. This is an area where the child doesn’t see you as an authority, especially with all those people in the cool uniforms around. Putting a child on skis will allow them to get comfortable sliding around on snow in a natural body orientation. The lesson will also help develop the skills needed to receive instructions and perform tasks in a low stress and fun atmosphere.
So my advice to you if your looking for that grom supreme that loves the sport and still loves you. Keep it simple and let them play. Give them diversity in disciplines, let them follow the fun. Put them in a lesson, not only will they learn, they will develop a mind set around learning on-snow.