Snowboarding’s Next Generation

I have started writing articles for as the Denver Snowboard Examiner.  Any articles  I write that can cross pollinate to will also be posted here.  Here’s the first.

When pulling into the parking lot at your local mountain, the typical “skiing” family has started to look much different.  Long gone are the days that parents and their little ones are all carrying their skis.  Now it is just as common the see mom, dad, and their toddler all carrying their snowboards to the hill.  A new generation is showing up and changing the industry at the same time.

As snowboarding started to grow in popularity throughout the nineties, it was typical to see snowboarders that were teenagers or in their early twenties.  These snowboarders are now the thirty somethings that are having children and passing down their love to ride.  It was once believed in the industry that children under the age of five did not have the body structure necessary to control a snowboard.   You still cannot put a child into snowboard school if they are under the age six at most mountains.  Parents have been personally teaching their toddlers to ride and have been proving that kids can control a snowboard at a very young age.  It doesn’t take long searching videos on YouTube to come across hundreds of clips showcasing kids snowboarding, some as young as two years old.  The talent seems to get better and younger each year.

In the past if you wanted to buy your child a snowboard, you option was to get a deck that was a smaller version of the adult snowboards.  They tended to be stiff and cambered shaped which did not cater to the size or ability of most children.  This is no longer true as companies have caught on to the fact the kids are riding at a younger age and expanding their skill level.  You now can find snowboards that are specifically made for toddlers and make the experience easier and better.  Burton Snowboards introduced the “Riglet” which changed the game for kids products.  Basically, the Riglet has a retractable leash that attaches to the deck.  You can use the leash to pull the rider forward, or walk behind using the leash to control their speed.  Other companies along with Burton such as K2, Lib Tech, Rome, and many others, also have come out with kids snowboards that are different shapes and sizes that are strictly focused on the child snowboarder.

Once viewed as a fad, snowboarding has had extreme growth throughout the past decade and will continue to do so with the new generation of riders growing in number.  There are new resources for parents that have also popped such as  FamilyShred is a website and brand that focuses on these new products for children and showcases the young talent emerging.  It’s good to see that snowboarding is alive and well.  It is also good to see that the industry is embracing it.  Now grab your little ones and go ride!

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