For Christmas, Felix and Max both wanted snowboards. While the request seemed simple enough, flashbacks of learning how to ride were replaying in my mind (not to date myself, but when I was learning how to ride, a good pair snowboard boots = a good pair of Sorels). I remembered how every day, for the week of lessons I was in, I felt like I had been run over by a truck as I fell, tumbled, cartwheeled, and flopped all over the ski hill. However, my boys were set on the idea of snowboarding and as I watched them try to stand and surf down the neighbourhood sledding hill on their foam sleds (which would slip out from under them and send them tumbling down), I thought actual snowboards had to be a safer option. The only problem was finding a snowboard small enough for a 2 year old and a 4 year old.When it comes to kid’s sports equipment I firmly believe in buying used if you can. They grow out of things so fast. I did a search on Kijiji but I couldn’t find any used boards that would be small enough for my guys. So I took both boys to Ski Cellar to see if we could find anything that fit them and turns out they do make boards that small. Max ended up with an 80cm Burton After School Special and Felix got a second hand 100cm Burton Chopper complete with bindings. The trick to knowing if the board is the right size for them or not is to have them stand behind the board, feet flat on the ground: if the tip of the board is between their chin and their nose, it will fit them.
The coolest board EVER, but sadly too big for Max.
Look how cute toddler snowboards are. Max’s 80cm one is the size of a skateboard.
Armed with boards and bindings we also bought two Burton Riglet systems. The Riglet system is where Burton has really made learning to ride easy for little ones. It is a retractable cord that can attach to either end of the board. There is a small handle on it that you can use to tow your kids around and get them used to riding. This means that you can tow them around on your carpet inside, or outside in your backyard, getting them used to the sensation of being on a board that is moving and learning how to balance. Then you can progress to small hills and work your way up. Once they are actually tackling some runs together, it can also be used to tow them on the flats. Brilliant, right? It was one of those, “I wish they had these back in my day” kind of moments.
The Burton Riglet System
Alright, enough about equipment. Fast forward to February, and Felix is now loving his snowboard lessons at COP (you have to be at least 4 years old so Max wasn’t eligible). Max, on the other hand, gets to ride for free while Felix is in lessons because he is under 3 years old. Free snowboarding! That is unheard of! That makes one happy toddler and one very happy Mom!
Click here if you want to see a short video of Max snowboarding on the bunny hill.