Advice for parents
Here are some tips on how to dress and equip your kids for the mountain:
- Snowboard: In general, an all-mountain snowboard is best for beginners. Choose a board that is the right length for your child’s size and ability. We recommend a board up to the chin or nose.
- Boots: As the connecting point to the snowboard, boots are a vital piece of equipment. Make sure they fit correctly, better a bit smaller and tighter than too big. Heel should not lift up.
- Bindings: Most snowboard bindings are of the strap-on variety, which are compatible with the greatest number of boots. Make sure boots fits properly in the binding.
- Helmet: Kids should wear a helmet when snowboarding. The nature of the sport is that riders fall. Even if they’re not catching big air in the park, chances are they’ll catch an edge and smack into the snow on a semi-regular basis while learning. Make sure the helmet fits well and they know to keep the chinstrap fastened and securely in place.
- Goggles or Sunglasses: The sun’s rays are considerably stronger at high altitudes, and when they bounce off the gleaming white snow, they can be a serious threat to the eyes. Kids should always where goggles when they are on the snow. Make sure they have the adequate UV protection.
- Gloves or mittens: Snowboarders have lots of hand-to-snow contact, so get well-insulated, waterproof/breathable mittens or gloves. Having an extra pair of gloves might come in handy on bad weather days or slushy snow.
- Thermal underwear: Either synthetic or merino wool base layers (make sure there is no cotton content) both do the trick. It should fit snugly against the skin to form a warm base layer that their outer layers can fit over easily.
- Thermal socks: Stay away from cotton socks and anklets. Snowboarding socks should extend to just above the calf and be made of a blend of wool and synthetic fibers.
- Snowboard pants: These should be the right size while allowing kids’ legs to move freely. Be sure to get them pants that are waterproof or water-resistant.
- Jacket: A snowboard jacket is roomier than a traditional ski jacket—both for style and function. Articulated arms (with extra room in the sleeves) allow riders a full range of motion. Longer, hip-length jackets help keep little backs and bottoms warm in the snow and on the chairlift, and keep snow from seeping in at the waist. All snowboard jackets should be waterproof or water-resistant.
- Neck warmer: Often overlooked, this handy item protects the neck, ears and lower face from wind and sunburn.
- Sunscreen: Even on cloudy days it’s possible to get a bad sunburn while snowboarding. Always rub sunscreen on exposed skin if kids plan to be outside for any length of time.
- Lip balm: Not fundamental but mountain air is dry and might affect your kid’s lips. Good to have in case you need it.
- Water and food: We all need to drink plenty of water when we are up the mountain. Kids can get fatigued and dehydrated easily, particularly at higher altitudes.