Should I Let my Kids Learn to Snowboard?
— Posted by Jon on March 9, 2012
YES..BUT MAYBE I SHOULD DEBUNK A FEW MYTHS FIRST!
Snowboarders do occasionally take showers, maybe only once a week but it's a start right? Some snowboarders have even gone to college and I have even heard whispers of some snowboarders holding down professional jobs. There are many myths that snowboarders are non-conforming misfits out for themselves with no consideration for others. This may have been true twenty years ago, but it is no longer this way. Your kid should definitely learn to snowboard and so should you and your friends. Innovations in snowboard equipment has made it a lot easier and safer. You might not be the next olympic champion but I guarantee you will have a lot of fun and maybe pick up a sport that you can enjoy for the rest of your life!
The advantage of taking snowboard lessons is that it has a much shorter learning curve than skiing, but the first two days can be quite challenging. However, with a trained instructor you can make those first few days fun as well. I relate learning to snowboard to learning to ride a bicycle. You have those first few days where the bike is wobbly and your training wheels are helping you stay upright and you may even have the occasional fall, but you get back up on that bike and try again. Once you learn to snowboard and are able to turn left and right, you can take a long break and pick it up again quite easily. Just like "riding a bike".
If you are planning on learning on how to snowboard I strongly suggest that you give it a full two to three days of lessons to get over that learning hump. Then the whole mountain is your oyster! Some people pick up snowbaording quicker than others, but giving yourself time really is the way to go. During the many seasons that I have worked in the snowsports industry, I have seen a great deal of teaching techniques and one thing I find very frustrating is when friends teach friends. I overhear "just do this it's easy" and the person is teaching the wrong thing and is totally clueless! We call it the blind leading the blind. I've seen husbands trying to teach their wives without any success and I can only imagine the silent ride home in the car! When it comes to teaching, leave it to the professionals and step away from the snowboarder. Your wife, your friends, your loved ones will thank you.
I hear people say "some snowboarders are out of control." Yes this is true, but so are some skiers. If your child takes a lesson, they will be introduced to the skier's responsiblity code and learn how to share the mountain safely with others. They will learn which terrain is suitable for their skill level and how to navigate the mountain succesfully.
If you are still feeling skeptical about letting your kids learn to snowboard, let me share a few success stories from long term participants of Park City Mountain Resort's snowboard school.
"My fear of learning to snowboard has turned into a fear of not making it out to hit the slopes – thanks to world-class coaching by Park City Mountain Resort snowboard school. Even an hour of their guidance does wonders for my progress – in form and in confidence!" - Molly
"I'll be coming back to PCMR for lessons for ONE reason...in ONE word...that's MARTIN!!! I could find mountains and snow elsewhere, but I could never find another instructor like MARTIN! He exudes knowledge, patience, kindness and sheer positive energy! I will be planning my next trip around HIS schedule!"
"We go back to PCMR for lessons because they make it fun and we (myself and my 2 boys 11 and 3) actually get better with every lesson we take! And since we always get the same instructor, he knows where we started from!! Could not say enough good things about you guys!"