By: Agy Ozdowski
March 4, 2013
SIA Research Intern Agy Ozdowski Shares Her Passion For Snowboarding With Her Son, Dominik
As a parent who has been driven by the love of snowboarding, I wanted to instill the same passion within my son. My vision was for him catch on at an early age, and if he enjoyed it as much as I did, we’d be able to venture and explore any peak together. I wouldn’t need daycare and in turn would be introducing him to not only a great recreation, but also inspiring him into the “snowboarding lifestyle”. The idea of being able to share my passion with the most important person in my world quickly became a priority.
While growing up, my parents took my brother and I skiing every winter, and we thrived and enjoyed every minute of it. I wanted to provide Dominik with that very same experience through safety, fun and learning. After doing some research, I gathered that resorts rarely offered group snowboarding lessons for kids younger than 5 due to their underdeveloped coordination at that age. I was pleased to learn that the majority of resorts offer free riding and skiing till the age of 5/6. This prompted my decision to begin teaching him myself. He made his first tracks at the age of 3 and to my surprise he began linking his first turns at age 4, in Park City, UT. To see him finally show me exactly what we had been working towards and practicing was one of the most satisfying feelings. As if all the effort, patience, time and money invested in him riding had finally paid off. I was ecstatic, providing me with even greater motivation to take him shredding as often as I possibly could.
Since then, Dominik has made his slides in some of the most renowned resorts. In Virginia/MD he has been to Snowshoe, Whitetail and Ski Liberty. Up North he has been to Killington, and Jay Peak VT, and out West to Park City and The Canyons, UT, Whistler BC, and most recently Jackson Hole, WY.
I purchased his first board at Profit, a local ski shop that was closing down. I walked out with board, boots, and bindings for close to $100. His first board was the Burton Chopper, specifically designed to give kids greater control and balance in their learning stages. Dominik is already on his second board, the Burton Youth Grom Chopper, upgraded ThirtyTwo boots and Burton Youth Mission bindings. Currently 6, Dominik has made some considerable improvements both in the park and the trial. He is comfortably riding blue trails, hitting side bumps, and even doing some box rails.
I admit, instructing him has been both incredibly rewarding and challenging. There have been a number of times when his frustrations have reached their limit. It’s usually during the first few runs of the season when he is reacquainting himself with his board again. Regardless, we do not give up! Instead we take a break, usually involving a cinnamon bun and some time to regroup. As soon as we are back out, it takes one good run, and I can’t get him off the slope. That alone puts a smile on my face, and makes it all worth it. My mission is to get in as much riding with him while he is still young, as the time will come when he will surpass my skill level and leave me in the dust! Even then, I will always feel accomplished that I enthused yet another soulful rider.