You’re going to the mountains for a holiday, but you’re debating: ski or ride for your child? Which will suit him best and guarantee fun and progress? Here is our advice to make the best choice according to your little one’s temper.
Ski or snowboard: fight the stereotypes
- Do you really have to start by learning ski?
There are still many stereotypes. The common recommendation is to teach your kids to ski in order to make snowboarding more approachable when the time comes. However, we’re talking about two very complementary board techniques. Skiing and snowboarding are very different. Having a skiing history allows to enjoy sledding sensations right away and have a better view of the ski area. However, the balance management is not the same in these two sports. As a summary, having skied before can make it easier to approach snowboarding, however it is not a requirement.
- Is snowboarding more prone to injuries?
The second cliche is that snowboarding involves a higher risk of fall and injury. Snowboarding has long been considered more dangerous than skiing. Nowadays, this belief has been dimmed and varies from one person to another. Skiing and snowboarding both have their typical injuries (arms and wrists for snowboarders, and legs and knees for skiers). Therefore, make sure you should get your kids the appropriate safety equipment! You can also get them a Weenect Kids GPS tracker in case of an emergency.
Make a choice according to your kid’s age
- If your little one practices with you
You can put a child on skis or on a snowboard as early as 2.5 or 3 years old. Nowadays, you can find great youth equipment for both skiing and snowboarding.
- If you prefer to sign your child up for classes
If you want your kid to take lessons, know that his age can be among the choice criteria. Indeed, ski schools welcome children from the age of 3. However, apart from certain exceptions, snowboarding classes are not open to children under 7 or 8, depending on the school. You can also find initiation classes that are offered as a supplement to ski lessons.
An introduction to winter sports
- Ski: a sport that is easy on beginners
If it is your child’s first attempt at a winter sport, ski is probably the easiest way to start. Indeed, it is more “natural”, because it allows to walk (which you can’t do with a snowboard).
- Getting into snowboarding requires motivation
In both skiing and snowboarding, the first hours consist in a lot of falling. But starting at snowboarding is more difficult than skiing. It can even end up being a turnoff for your children.
Once they’re accustomed to it…
- The progress curve is faster in snowboarding
It is easier to make fast progress in snowboarding than in skiing. Snowboarding is also a less technical sport that allows to go and explore the slopes early in the learning process.
- Snowboarding requires a good deal of balance
Snowboarding allows to improve balance. Riding sideways require more accuracy. A tiny mistake can lead to a fall a lot faster than on skis.
Listen to your kid’s taste
Let’s remember one thing: the most important thing is that your kid enjoys it! Whatever the sport, learning something that he has interest for will give him more motivation to face the difficult moments and the falls. Forcing him into a discipline that he is not into will surely have the reverse effect, and could ruin his holidays (and yours).
How about you? Would you choose skiing or riding? Share your experience in the comments!