Did you know children as young as three can start to learn how snowboard? The American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI) and Burton are celebrating a 20-year partnership of growing the sport of snowboarding, and they continue to work together to increase the educational opportunities for young riders.
“There is a misconception that kids have to start skiing before they can snowboard,” says Scott Anfang, a snowboard team coach with AASI. “As a professional snowboarder, I wanted to get my daughter on the hill. With the developments in equipment, she was able to start riding at two, and loves it!”
As the overall number of snowboarders with children continues to increase, the ability for children to get on snowboards at an early age represents a key factor in keeping entire families riding.
“Over the last twenty years, many advances have been made that people don’t know about that can help young children decide what sport they want to learn first, skiing or snowboarding,” says Nicholas Herrin, AASI CEO. “For example, there’s been in advances in how instructors teach children’s lessons, there’s new equipment such as Burton’s Riglet board, designed just for children, and resorts are now building different features on the snow, such as limbo bars. Children can duck under limbo bars to learn about flexion and extension, fundamental body movements for snowboarding. The combination of these three things at the resort now make the perfect learning environment, so that the families that want to snowboard together, can.”
“I really wanted to get our kids snowboarding first, even though I had friends in the industry that did the opposite,” says John Damiano, a Burton Territory Manager. “You do not have to learn skiing to learn the fundamentals first. Snowboarding is an option at an early age.”
To help spread the message that kids can snowboard first this season, AASI and Burton are hosting a social media contest through Jan. 31, 2017. Use the hashtags #kidscansnowboard and #snowpros over social media, and one winner will win a lesson with a certified AASI instructor at a Burton Riglet Park, a free kid’s specific Burton Riglet Snowboard, and a pair of Burton Mini-Grom Snowboard Boots.
The kid’s specific Riglet Snowboard can be used on snow, carpet, or grass, for year round learning. A retractable cord lets instructors tow the child’s board so they can explore balance and movement.
“You can learn through play, and the Riglet board lets kids get to know the snow surface and equipment” explains AASI team member Chris Rogers. “Kids learn so quickly—it’s fun to watch them pick things up and progress as they fall in love with the sport.”
The contest will run over Facebook and Instagram from Friday Dec. 1, 2017 through Saturday, Jan. 31, 2018. To enter, update your status with #kidscansnowboard and #snowpros.
Contestants are encouraged to share their stories of learning to snowboard or images of kids on snow, and tag @thesnowpros and @butonriglet. You can find videos of kids learning to snowboard on the PSIA-AASI YouTube channel and the full contest rules at thesnowpros.org > Take a Lesson > kidscansnowboard.
PSIA-AASI is a nonprofit education association with a membership of more than 32,000 men and women dedicated to promoting snowsports through instruction. The association establishes certification standards for ski and snowboard instructors and develops education materials to be used as the core components of most ski and snowboard school training. The PSIA-AASI Team is a hand-selected team of 30 individuals that are the “best of the best” ski and snowboard instructors and help promote the organization’s educational programs.