Skiing or Snowboarding – Which one will it be?

July 7, 2015


Not sure whether you should get your child started with skiing or whether they should start off the bat with snowboarding?


Parents come across this decision all the time — and this is one choice that can drastically affect the sports in which your kid becomes involved.


The Toronto Ski and Snow Show is coming up in just a few months time, and you’re going to want to know what gear to snag for the 2015/2016 winter season.


Registration will be beginning soon for plenty of ski and snowboarding schools in Toronto’s GTA – and if you’re aiming to hit the early bird specials, you’ll have to decide soon which sport to enroll your little snowbunny into.


It can be a tough call when deciding to enrol your children into either skiing or snowboarding. You want a sport that they will enjoy and be passionate about – but also  you want them to learn skills can translate well to other aspects of life. We give you the low down on what we think:

Kid. Snowboarding. Box. Slide. Shredding. Child. Little. Learning. Teaching. Park. Snowpark. Downhill


A lot of parents opt to start the young ones off with skiing because the front face stance is more familiar and requires less balance than the side-stance of a snowboard.
Skiing involves a slow progression from beginner to advanced levels. The initial form of gliding down a bunny hill is not hard for a young child to pick up – with the aid of a pizza stance of course. It is much easier to start facing forward in a familiar standing position, than it is to learn a whole new stance which involves unpracticed muscle coordination.

Pizza Stance. Kid. Skiing. Downhill. Ski. Evolve. Snowcamps. Learn to Ski

For children under the age of six, a general rule of thumb is to start them off with skis instead of snowboarding.


As for how young is too young — Mark Raymond makes this remark in his article “At What Age Can a Child Learn to Ski or Snowboard?”: “Ideally everyone would start at age three, because at that age, kids are fearless”.


An idea for parents who plan to get their little ones out on skis, is to lay the groundwork a season early.


What we mean by this, is take your child out on skis a whole season before you want them to start learning the sport. Simply hold them tightly between your legs while you do the starting, stopping, and steering. This way they will gain a familiarity with their surroundings, while becoming accustomed to the new feeling of floating on snow. When you take them out the following season, they will better be able to focus their attention on learning new coordination skills — insteading of becoming enthralled by all the new sites and sensations which they are experiencing.



Crawl. Walk. Snowboard. Evolve. Snowkids. Snowboarding. Shredding. Kid. Child. Young. Little. Learn. Teach

If you decide to start your child out snowboarding, it is not a bad idea to enrol them in a gymnastics class the summer beforehand. Snowboarding requires a lot more balance and coordination than skiing does. Gymnastic, dance, or other balance sports can help a beginner snowboarder learn the ropes.


For children between the ages of 6 and 8, this is the optimal age to start snowboarding. This is the preferred age because by now your child’s motor skills and cognitive abilities are both developed to a high enough level for them to not only manoeuvre the board, but to do so in a strategic fashion.


Mark Raymond also mentions in his article that “kids have trouble getting the mechanics of standing sideways down before age 5”  If starting snowboarding younger than the age of six, one-on-one attention, opposed to a group class, is highly recommended.


So then why do we see so many little ones boarding these days?


The reason for this, is not necessarily that this sport is either more fun or easier to learn than skiing is. It is simply a trending sport, which has been growing at an unbelievable pace.


Snowboarding is certainly a trending phenomenon, and we’re seeing younger and younger shredders on the slopes every year.
Burton Snowboards was right in there when this sport started gaining traction. They got the ball rolling and started targeting a parents of young ones by using advertising slogans such as “If you can stand you can ride” and “Easier than a tricycle with training wheels”.


We expect this sport to continue to grow, with more and more seasoned boarders gliding down the slopes with each new year.


Paisley Flowers. SnowKids. Skiing. Snowboarding. Young. Little. Downhill
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