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Optimum age for a child to learn snowboarding?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
I was asked this question at the weekend. As a skier my obvious answer was snowboarding at any age is wrong wink

... but seriously, a lot of parents seem to send their children to ski lessons first and let them board later. Is this just tradition or is there any real reason behind this? Most boarders I know skied first, only one who was a surfer went straight into snowboarding. Someone suggested 10 years old was a good age to learn but couldn't say why. Can anyone give a better justified answer? Anyone else used only one plank from a young age?


Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Mon 15-12-08 13:48; edited 2 times in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
DB, most resorts won't touch a child under 8 for snowboarding. But my friends boy has been learning since 7 at MK snowdome
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
DB, most resorts won't touch a child under 8 for snowboarding. But my friends boy has been learning since 7 at MK snowdome
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DB, There is the issue of balance and young kids find it difficult on a board (htink about learing to ride a bike and needing stabilisers). Skiing is easier to learn for young ones due to their physical developmental stage.

I will let you know in a few years time about our little one but with mum and dad big on boarding we might find waiting to 8 a bit of a chore Toofy Grin
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Mouth, are you trying MiniMouth on skis this season or are you waiting another year ?
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DebbiDoesSnow, Oh this year. He has his helmet all ready!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I would think it depends hugely on the child. I think of it as akin to skateboarding. They need the strength, agility, balance and - most important of all - motivation. And a fairly high pain threshold. Any child in an environment where kids are skateboarding, who doesn't want to do it, probably wouldn't cope with snowboarding either. In our family we have one 6 year old who is coming on very well on a skateboard (and also seems to be a bit of a golfing prodigy - just v well coordinated kid) - but other older kids who can't cope.

I've seen kids looking no more than 6 or 7 looking pretty good on a snowboard (certainly way better than me!).

What matters is whether they want to. If they're nagging to have a go, go for it. If not, not.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
There's some vids on You tube of some kids as young as 4....


http://uk.youtube.com/v/piE6gf22L4E&feature=related



Shocked
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
My son was 5 and desperate to snowboard, but in Argentiere we were told he needed to be about 8 (dependent on physical size and strength) before any of the ski schools would accept him. He now skis proficiently (he's 9) and isn't so bothered about learning to board Very Happy
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Mouth, he will look so cute ! photos please snowHead
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snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
DebbiDoesSnow,Bien sur madamoiselle!
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Anniepen, I agree size, strength, guts (it hurts to start with) and all round fitness play a great part. But if the kids wants to have a go why not on a nursery slope. It all adds to the fun on the snow. It is hard to get a snowboard instructor if they are under 8. You will need to go to an Snowboard school rather than ESF.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
My son learnt when he was 10 - did a course at the Chill Factore in Manchester, then was OK for the snow. Didn't do any lessons when on holiday. At 10 he was strong enough and probably co-ordinated enough to pick it up and not get too tired
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
My kids are 5 & 7 and we went on our first family trip to the Alps at Easter (le Grand Bornand - excellent - but don't tell anyone - it's a secret!) and the local ski schools won't entertain teaching them boarding until they are 8! Booked them into 6x3hr afternoon ski lessons and took them boarding too (got a 110 Lamar and Burton boots for my boy off eBay) in the mornings - they came on in leaps & bounds in both disciplines and hopefully make the move to boarding this year (I'm biased - 15 year 'vet' and qualified snowboard instructor!). Its' not so much balance but motor control of the extremities that's a problem for the little 'uns - the subtle shift of weight from heel-toe and the core strength thats lacking to turn the board sideways to stop! I have taught three yr olds in Mammoth, Ca., but it was terrifying - they just straightline until they bail & wail! I ended up playing goalkeeper - one instructor setting off the kids at the top of the bunny slopes and me catching them at egular intervals, Peter Shilton-style on the way down!

If they WANT to do it it's half the battle! If they are old enough to ski/surf/skate; they are certainly old enough to board - they will lap it up from 3-13 and beyond (to 43 - like me!)
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
anytime after 7 yrs old is fine. its not good before then due to the hips having not yet formed / strengthened properly. my other half is a sports science gal and that's what she told me!
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Quote:

its not good before then due to the hips having not yet formed / strengthened properly.

I've often wondered about this, watching little kids on skis, especially when they do those awful giraffe splits. I wonder whether, if skiing had just been invented, and snowboarding around for years, we would be putting kids as young as 3 on skis?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Putting kids on skis at a much younger age than a snowboard is a worldwide conspiracy to deviate them from the total natural karma that would otherwise ensue.......................................

John.
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