Want your Little Ripper to start snowboarding but not sure where to start? We can help.
First of all, there isn't a magic number when it comes down to how old your kid should be to begin snowboarding. That decision comes down to a few key factors... if your child can walk, how keen you both are, and if there is equipment available that fits them.
While we can certainly help you find the best kit for your kid, we recommend leaving the teaching to the pros. Even if it's one lesson or a series of lessons, it is important to teach proper snowboarding techniques right from the get go. If you're local to the Medicine Hat area there is a fantastic snowboarding school out at Hidden Valley.
What do I look for when purchasing equipment?
Great question. It is always best to come speak with one of our sales experts in store, but when that isn't an option, we hope this guide will help. Here is an overview of what you need to get your kid started in the wonderful world of shreddin' the pow.
Kid specific boards typically range from 80cm in length to 130cm with the former generally fitting a toddler around the age of 2 to the latter fitting a tween. But the right board for your kid does not depend on age. Rather, it is a combination of their weight, foot size and riding style that needs to be considered to find the right board for your Little Ripper. Since beginners won't have a designated riding style just yet, an all-round snowboard is best.
Here is an overview of the best boards for kids...
Burton Chicklet and Chopper Snowboards
The Chopper and Chicklet snowboard series is perfect for boys and girls who want to start snowboarding and quickly learn the basics. With the retractable Riglet Reel, you can tow your kid around until they get comfortable with the movement and balancing on a snowboard. The catch-free edge technology on these snowboards makes it easier for kids to learn, and once they master the basics they'll be able to ride these boards as hard as they like. We have attached bindings to our Chicklet snowboards because they were designed specifically for it. If you're interested in a Chopper snowboard, the Grom bindings are what we recommend.
Rome Minishred Snowboards
The Minishred snowboard from Rome is built with the best camber design for helping kids learn how to shred for real. Their exclusive NoHang-Ups Rocker camber has 3D rocker in the nose and tail that helps kids ease into turns, while it also has a flat-camber mid-section with full edge-to-snow contact that lets them feel and progress real carves. Similar to the Burton series, the Minishred features catch free edge technology making it easier for kids to learn. A few of our Minishred snowboards come with bindings attached as they were designed specifically for these boards.
Burton Family Tree Role Model Snowboard
Considered the ultimate all-terrain board for kids, the Burton Family Tree Role Model features a slightly tapered shape that’s equally at home flying through powder or the air.
Designed from the ground up for young rippers looking for an all-terrain alternative to twin shapes, this board is equally at home carving up groomers as floating and slashing through deep snow stashes. Its Balanced Freeride Geometry delivers twin-feeling stability and turning prowess on the trail, while the slight taper and directional camber boosts float and agility in deeper and steeper conditions. Kids that call the whole mountain their playground can count on the Family Tree to unlock a new level of high-performance expression. We have paired this Role Model with a set of high-performance bindings, making this the perfect snowboard package for kids who like to rip.
Burton After School Special Snowboard Package
The Burton After School Special makes learning a cinch with super soft, parent-friendly bindings and a saucer-like snowboard that teaches balance and board control. With the fully adjustable bindings pre-mounted in a beginner-friendly stance, simply grab the package and go. It doesn't get any easier than this.
Ride Machete Jr.
Machete JR. is a scaled-down version of the best-selling Machete snowboard with tweaks to make it perform for a smaller rider, but Machete pushes Machete JR to be an incredible snowboard for younger riders. He demands excellence in the form of a Twin Rocker that allows him to ride equally as well forward and backwards whileurethane Slimewalls® help keep damage to a minimum. Will Machete JR one day become a greater snowboard than his father? Probably not. He will probably end up at a state school on a marching band piccolo scholarship majoring in FineArt just to piss Machete off. Machete should realize he is pushing too hard and Machete JR might grow to resent him and eventually come to see snowboarding as a chore instead of a source of outdoor fun. BACK OFF DAD!
SNOWBOARD BOOTS AND BINDINGS
Believe it or not, it is possible that your kid can get several years out of one pair of snowboard boots and bindings. Thanks to the Grow with Grom series from Burton, you can buy boots that have a room-to-grow footbed which is an extra insole with a removable foam piece in the toe.
As for bindings, the Burton Grom or Rome Minishred bindings feature a separate heel strap that doesn't wrap around the full heel, allowing you to adjust them as your kid grows so you don't have to purchase new bindings year after year.
We recommend purchasing your boots and bindings together to make sure the bindings fit the boots. It is also good practice to make sure your child can easily release and attach the bindings while wearing gloves.
Beginner snowboarders will spend a lot of time sitting in wet snow, so quality insulated outerwear is important. Just like their boots and bindings, Burton Kids Outerwear features a room to grow system, with a removable seam that allows the sleeves to lengthen once the seam has been removed.
Quiksilver and Roxy Kids Outerwear features a similar system, but uses a snap instead. This means you can re-shorten the sleeves if the jacket is to be passed on to a smaller Little Ripper down the line. Check out our Kids Outerwear section for everything you need to keep your Little Ripper warm and dry.
Last but not least, for the ultimate peace of mind, you can purchase an MDX Harness that comes with a backpack and a retractable leash to keep your kid secured to you or the instructor.
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