Do you crosstrain your children Ski and Board?
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November 30, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
I am looking for a little guidance. I have a 3 and a 5 year old. My 5 year old can parallel on skis and does very well. My 3 year old only wants to board. He will ski but wants to board. I assumed it is easier to learn to ski but see that a bigger percentage of teens board. Knowing a day will come when they want to learn to board, I went as far as getting a board and learned when the day would come and I would be ready.

Is it a good idea to let your kids do both or should they somewhat master the basics of one first?

Is it easier to ski or board for most kids?

My kids both started skiing at 2 is there a starting age for boards?
The Colonel - DCSki Supporter 
December 1, 2008
Member since 03/5/2004 🔗
3,110 posts
tHE cOLONEL smile
December 1, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
You need to find your three year old a 'cool' skier to show him how lame snowboarding is.

Its weird to see all the snowboarders around here, out in utah most have given up on the concept with shaped fat long twin tips being able to do everything much better than any snowboarder could ever have dreamed of.

December 1, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
I also want to add that it easier for kids to ski till about 6-8 then boarding is a viable option. but by no means a better option.
December 1, 2008
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts

I think it depends on the kid's skill individually. My son started snowboarding since age 5 or 6. My daughter started skiing from age 6 until 8 yrs old switched over to snowboarding until 16yrs switched back to skiing. My daughter is more clumsy for lack of better word.
My son loves skateboarding so snowboarding came easy for him. After one skateboard injury , he sticks with snowboarding ever since.

I grew up rollerskating, surfing, skateboarding, hockey skating, and other sport that requires balance skills. After 15 years of skiing, I switched over to snowboarding when it became popular back in the 90s.

Most skiers here on forum are .. well you can see their responses here.

If you put two fat shaped twin tips skis together , it's not much different from one fat shaped twin tips snowboard.

Let your kids ski or snowboard as long as they are having fun.
December 1, 2008
Member since 12/9/2004 🔗
649 posts
Just to be clear I started out boarding around 97ish.....but with the help of boarding forcing skiing to advance. A snowboard is cumbersome tool for any mountain.

Beside being different it has absolutely no advantage over skis any where on the mountain. The best reason to learn to snowboard is if you ever blow a knee out really bad.

Carving? almost any modern ski can out carve a snowboard now especially on ice.

Powder? my thugs have way more surface area than any snowboard you can think of. if they were one 'board" the dimensions would be 192 282/222/262

Bumps sure you can do them on a snowboard but its easier to learn on skis.

traversing especially going up hill good luck with that with a board on.

park? skiers can go bigger than any snowboarder. Watch the X games the skiers boost higher. I hate when I here you can do more 'tricks' on a board which just isnt true.

I am just thankful because of snowboarding we have better skis because of it.
December 1, 2008
Member since 06/21/2004 🔗
42 posts
SeaRide has a lot of good points.
Being a snowboard instructor, I have seen resorts place an age limit on when to learn to board, usually around 7.
Yet I know families that board, and they have placed their kids on a snowboard by age 5. Some never hit skis at all.
I think the best example is to get one familiar with the snow and sliding around on it with skis, then change to boarding if they choose.

A much different senario does exist if the child and family participates in many "sideways sports" such as wakeboarding and surfing and skateboarding etc. then it is possible that the child may adapt to a snowboard more readily and at an earlier age.

But I'm breaking a cardinal rule about giving advice about children, when I'm not a parent.
December 1, 2008
Member since 03/14/2005 🔗
893 posts
In GENERAL it is much easier for children ages around 8 and under to pick up skiing(I mean to be able to leave the teaching area and explore the mountain). Children who ski can often negotiate lots of the mountain with the same amount of practice a child snowboard rarely leaves bunny hill/teaching area. The reasons I will give are mostly based on physical development and each child develops differently and there are exceptions.

Skills that are essential to snowboard such as the ability to move laterally, fine motor skills in ankles, upper and lower body seperation generally don't show in children until 7-10 years old. Also the fact that in proportion young children have big heads...throw on a helmet(bigger head) and a snowboard on the feet and you can image the balance issues. Also the first few days of learning to snowboard for most are strenuos and small children tire easily.

Having said this there are tons of games and exercises to address these things. I have used many with success and many with no success. There are also always freak kids who pick up riding immediately. There are a couple young kids on the snowboard team I help coach who rip and blow my mind everytime I ride with them.

I've taughts children of all ages 4-45 years old. My suggestion would be don't tell them snowboarding exist until they are 8 years old. Tell them Santa doesn't visit children who snowboard before they are 8. If they still want to snowboard then get a lesson for sure, and be prepared for them not to leave the teaching area without serious assistance.

Having said all this I have ridden with shredders that are 5-6 years old, but I'd say in my 11 years of teaching and 5 years of running a snowboard school I've maybe seen a dozen kids 6 or under who could turn and/or stop on their own consistently. I have seen countless numbers of kids 6 and under take a lesson and not have the physical ability to maneuvor the board and never get out of the teaching area.

I would also say the same is for obese folks. Don't try to snowboard if your fat, you ain't gonna be able to stand up by yourself(unless you were skinny when you learned and then you got fat). If you can't see what's going on when you are in the restroom don't even think about learing to snowboard. If your kid is fat it is not even worth trying.

If you still want to get your child on a board you can do things before you even visit the mountain that will help. Skateboard, surfing, wakeboard, and/or vodoo board are excellent. Strapping the snowboard on and off on the carpet or the yard, and or jumping up and down, maybe get on the trampoline with taped edges. When the board is strapped on practice getting up and falling down. Learning how to work the bindings by themselves is crucial!!! Wearing the helmet and boots around the house for a couple days(football players have been the best young riders I have seen-I think because of helmet and they are used to taking a beating). Games like ring around the rosie that encourage lateral movement also help. Lateral movement is huge!!!

Eating twinkies, drinking mountain dew, and playing video games does not help.

I could go on but I am starting to bore myself.sorry
December 1, 2008
Member since 01/31/2007 🔗
4 posts
Bryce teaches kids since they are 6. I am not sure whether it is a good idea since most resorts limit minimum age to 7, so what is the guiding principle behind Bryce decision to allow kids earlier.

I have similar problem - my middle son is turning 6 this winter. Myself and my older son moved to snowboarding a few years ago and would not consider putting on skis again even if we would be paid to do so, but I will try to hold the second child for 1 more year on skis till he is closer to 7 in age.
December 1, 2008
Member since 08/24/2007 🔗
134 posts
Thanks everyone for the quick responses. It enforced what i was thinking in most cases and Tuckers response was one of the most entertaining I've read at dcski
February 14, 2009
Member since 06/21/2004 🔗
42 posts
I have enjoyed the information in this thread.
I have come across some exciting info on Burton's website about Learners as young as 5yrs old learning to ride.. topic has pics to enjoy as well.
JimK - DCSki Columnist
February 14, 2009
Member since 01/14/2004 🔗
2,982 posts
Interesting old thread that I did not pay attn to first time. I have raised four skiers. Two tried snowboarding, one full time for about 2 or 3 seasons. I tried boarding for one day. I still hit the mtn for multiple days with a full time sonwboarding nephew from time to time.
I concur with the general opinion that under approx age 8 should start with skis. Then anything goes, depending on individual and family preferences. REgarding simultaneous learning, no law against it, but if you're trying to instill avid interest I think it is more rewarding to stick with one discipline until a good degree of competence. The better you are a either, the more fun you'll have during a day on the mtn. Being a low level learner at both could be discouraging to ambivalent kid. Having said that, whatever it takes to get your kid on the hill with you trumps all else. And the industry needs all it can get of either type customer. I enjoy the different perspective I get when on the hill with my nephew. We make him freeride a lot, and he gets my son in the park more than he might go by himself.
February 15, 2009
Member since 04/11/2006 🔗
555 posts
I agree with Jim. I'll also add that the child's background can make a difference. When my son and I first hit the snow (he was 13 and I was 41 and neither one of had ever skied before) he went right to snowboard and didn't have a problem picking it up during our first lesson. I attribute this to his years of skateboarding. I on the other hand spent most of the day smacking my face on the snow and from then on have been on twin planks exclusively.
February 28, 2009
Member since 12/29/2004 🔗
538 posts
My kid started on snowboard at 7 yrs.(13 now). I have some really cute pictures smile. He had tried skis before that but really just wanted to snowboard. If we lived on a mountain I can see cross-training, but hitting the mountain less then 20 days a year makes it hard to justify multiple sets of equipment. The way I look at it if he ever wants to try skis he will when he wants. I have offfered to rent skis and lessons every year but he has never taken me up on it. Once he was on snowboard he never wanted to try anything else.
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