For years, many people have believed in keeping their kids on skis until they’re around eight years old. And why? Well, there was never a proven reason why, with some saying it was unsafe for their bones, and others putting it down to strength and balance. Children were turning to snowboarding in their teens, but to see a child on a snowboard was still extremely rare, certainly unlike it is today. With more recent advances in snowboard technology and changes in ski hill environments, more and more children are learning to snowboard at a young age. Much of this we owe to one brand in particular; Burton, coming out with such slogans as “If you can stand you can ride” and “Easier than a tricycle with training wheels”. Since then, kids snowboarding has been progressing and evolving, year after year.
Designing and producing especially for kids, Burton now carry an entire range of saucer-like snowboards, perfect for your little rippers. When it comes to their feet, Burton again have you covered, with soft Velcro or boa boots. Apart from the specialised comfort and easy fastening, the best part about these boots is a little something called ‘Room To Grow’. When it comes to growing kids and snow gear, yes, things can get a little pricey. Room To Grow allows a whole size of additional growth, by simply removing the insole of the boot. Finally, once your child is old enough, mount a set of parent-friendly, one strep bindings, and send them on their way.
One of the most popular products in the Burton range is the Riglet board, designed to teach balance and confidence, from the living room to the slopes. The Riglet comes with a Riglet Reel, letting you pull them along at their own pace, and is rideable with or without bindings, allowing you to take baby steps at getting them used to being on a snowboard. The Riglet comes without edges so you can't catch, and is the ideal first snowboard for young children.
If you don’t see yourself as a confident teacher, that’s fine. Teaching kids isn’t always easy, and often best left to a professional. Hotham and Falls Creek have teamed up with the Burton Riglet Program for ages 3-6 (3-5 for Falls Creek), aimed at getting younger kids out on a snowboard and having fun. The park uses natural features, aiding young riders to develop balance, and progress towards a more confident ride. If you want to read more about the program, you can do so for Hotham here, and Falls Creek here.
If you’re eager to get your little groms on a snowboard and out onto the slopes, make sure to check out our range of kid’s gear, which you can do so here.