Teaching Kids to Snowboard and Ski
Skiing and snowboarding are fun activities to learn at any age. However, the younger you start, the easier it’ll be to learn and grasp the sports in the long run. At MyProScooter we want to do our best to help you teach your kids how to ski and snowboard. It’ll take a bit of a learning process, but it’s well worth the results that you’ll see in only a few weeks.
Many Olympians started skiing and snowboarding at a young age. While you might not be looking to enter your kid into the Olympics, you can see how training from their youth can make them pros in only a few years. Not only that, but you can both have an unforgettable amount of fun every time you go out!
1. Choose one or the other
The first bit of advice is simple; Choose either skiing or snowboarding. Don’t try to teach your kid how to do both or they’ll end up confused. The best-case scenario will still result in twice the amount of training. Learning anything new is challenging, but it’s especially difficult if you mix up rules from either activity.
Give them the opportunity to try out both skiing and snowboard, then ask them which one they want to become great at. You could even find a professional in either sport to give them an icon to look up to!
2. Start slow, but not too slow
When you first start teaching them how to ride skis or a snowboard, they’re going to need a lot of time to learn everything. It’s never an overnight learning experience for anyone. Take it slow and go at their own pace. They’ll eventually start feeling it out for themselves, and that’s when you know it’s time to advance.
However, if they start to be afraid of trying something new, do your best to show them how they can safely and easily achieve the task. For example, moving a little faster might appear scary, but if they see you doing it without a problem, they’ll be much more inclined to accept a challenge.
3. Mastering balance
Balance is the single most important ingredient in snowboarding and skiing. For this reason, kids shouldn’t be taught too young. If they’re still mastering the balance of walking, skis and a snowboard are out of the question. That being said, almost any kid can eventually get the balance part down quickly.
Stand them still in one spot, then slowly hold their shoulders while guiding them forward. This will give them the sensation of what it’s actually like, but you can catch them if they fall. Most people believe that balancing on skis or a snowboard is actually easier than riding a bike!
4. Learn their style and work with it
It can be easy for us adults to think that we should correct every mistake of a beginner. Look closely and you might see that what appears as a mistake is actually a unique personal progression. For example, some people ride a snowboard ‘regular’, while others prefer a ‘goofy’ stance. Despite the names, both regular and goofy are acceptable styles.
It’s often very challenging to switch up a style, similar to writing with the hand that you usually don’t. The goofy stance is having the right foot forward, whereas regular stance is having the left foot forward. Pay close attention to see which style your kid prefers and then work with it!
5. Don’t force the process
We all know how stubborn kids can be if they’re told to do something they don’t want to, even if it’s helpful. Don’t force skiing or snowboarding on your kid too fast, or they’re going to hate both of them.
Remember to follow their pace, style, and most importantly, have a good time! Nothing can ruin good skiing or snowboard experience like not wanting to actually do it. Low motivation will make them regret ever trying, which can follow them into adulthood.
6. Practice on varying gradients and slopes
Once they start mastering balance, their unique style, and the other steps, it’s time to help them go down a slope. Don’t start out with the steepest slope ever, though. You should consider very, very low gradients to get them used to the process. Moving quickly can be intimidating, even to adults.
Find slow slopes and move up over the course of a few weeks or months depending on how often you can take them to the snow. Some kids are real go-getters, accepting challenges that are far out of reach. Try to make sure that they’re experienced enough to take the slope on, even if they believe they are well-qualified.
7. Stunts and tricks come last
Watching the pros will surely inspire young children to go skiing and snowboard, but they’re not quite ready for flips and other tricks. Many of the professionals that you see on TV didn’t even attempt a true trick for a couple of months or years, much less successfully land one.
Try to show your kid the fun side of snowboarding or skiing down slopes without needing ramps and grinding rails. Once you know that they’re ready, repeat the steps from 1 through 7 to ensure that they’re truly prepared. Balance, style, awareness, and a willingness to learn are all it takes to have fun teaching your kids to go skiing and snowboarding. Good luck!