You’re told never to live through your children but I can’t snowboard at the moment and Teagan’s just learning so I’m getting my mountain fix through her. Back in the early 2000s, when I was learning to snowboard, there was no chance of being upstaged by a mini grom pulling a 360 whilst I was failing to link my turns.
None of us had kids and even if we did would we be teaching them how to board? The only children you saw on the slopes were there snakes of ski school kids cutting you up and forcing you back into the falling leaf. The percieved wisdom was that children needed to ski first and couldn’t learn to snowboard until they were at least eight.
I’m not really sure why people thought you needed to be older than eight years old. Some said it was bad for the child’s developing bones, that their muscles weren’t strong enough or that they didn’t have the balance. Now things have moved on. Snowboarders have children and boarding brands needed a new market to explore so what’s more profitable than children?
My husband Alex learnt to ski as a child and found learning to snowboard incredibly easy. I didn’t. We were both in our mid 20s and fairly fit but I struggled with edges, balance, turning, fear and confidence. He didn’t and it really annoyed me. I do wonder if we should teach Teagan to ski though. She finds it difficult to do controlled stops and often falls over laughing. On skis she could learn the pizza and chips method to control her speed (skis in a triangle to slow and stop, skis straight to go fast). This might give her snowboarding skills depth and allow her to choose her own path.
At the moment we both snowboard though so it makes sense that Teagan does too. With the advancements in boards, boots bindings and clothing for children it’s safe, warm and fun for her as well as hugely heartening and entertaining for me. I can’t wait to get back out on the board with her next year and I’ll happily be upstaged by a 3 year old with a grom pack.