By Mountain Mama \ January 29 2013 \ 3 Comments
It has been a great season so far...plenty of snow and skiing. One thing missing...Brennan hasn't been on his board very much. Oh oh....we had the obesssion last year and now this year we've been a little lax and frankly. . . lazy, I still can't handle him on the board....so back to Brighton we go!
We are all about lessons. So far, Bren has only had one snowboard lesson, that's why he's been skiing with me. However, we must not forget, he loves it. I've talked in the past about lessons. I don't care if you do them for 1 day, 2 days, 5 weeks...just do them. You will stress your kids out and yourself out with thinking you're a great teacher...leave it to the pros. Brighton is one of the few resorts that teaches snowboarding to kids under 5. It is a tough concept for the little fellas and their ankles are pretty weak, so most just tell you to wait...not Brighton as we learned last year..it is possible.
We are lucky to live in Utah and have the opportunity to have multi week lesssons. We return once a week with the same class and instructor every time. I realize that many of you are visitors; doesn't matter. If you are visiting for mulitple days, request the same instructor. It helps build trust with the kids. Just like their school teachers, they need to trust that person. Heck, so do you as parents. These people are taking your child up on a chairlift and are responsible for them during that day. Even if you only enroll them the first day of your visit, a lesson is the way to go. If your child does better with a female or male, tell them at ski school. That is important to their learning process.
For our purposes, we enrolled Brennan with a class and were lucky enough to get an instructor we had worked with once this winter. Our instructor, Sky had Bren and his class of 2 others. Yea! He worked the "tough love" with Brennan. I suggested that as Bren's personality is to be "cute" when he feels like it-a little push is good. After all, you know your child. I skied around a bit and went to check on Bren. Found out, Sky has taken him off alone. As Bren puts it, "the other kids kept falling down, not me". OK big boy!
I left them for awhile and then met up to ride the lift and get some video. Sky taught me a few things about snowboarding. When skiing, we cruise back and forth with our bodies. We have 2 skis to keep our balance and we use our whole body. With boarding...not so much. It is about balance. He taught Bren to hold his pants. What? He said Bren needs his body straight, not looking around and wiggling otherwise he falls and gets off balance. We got off the lift so I could witness this pants thing. Sure enough, Bren was holding the sides of his pants. It forces him to keep his body straight without his arms flailing all around. I'll be darned, he was linking his turns and going down without throwing off his balance!! Check the video out...it was great advice!
Things I've learned in the past about boarding as a little guy or gal:
1. Their muscles aren't quite developed in their ankles, so don't expect miracles. They will tire quickly after a couple hours.
2. Patience is a virtue, they will become frustrated.
3. Burton makes great little boards for the fellas and if you're going to travel around, I'd buy one as it is hard to find one to rent at many places. Burton also makes a perfect reel to pull them along while teaching called the Riglet Reel.
4. They need to want to do it, otherwise it is challenging.
5. Get a great instructor you gel with and hold onto that guy or gal!
6. At the end of lessons, ask questions...what can you do when skiing with your child? What works? What doesn't? How to get on/off the chairlift (I still don't like this). How many lessons does your child need to feel comfortable? Make sure you have some questions, this is what you're paying for...for your child to learn, but you to.
I can't finish the blog without giving a shout out to Brighton. If you like laid back, super awesome relaxed...there's nowhere else like it. They are always reinventing themselves with cool ideas/activities.
My favorite things about Brighton:
1. Friendly ski school to work with.
2. Easy to park
3. They have a brown bag area...you can bring your own food and not spend a fortune!
4. Great intermediate/beginner terrain (expert as well but I don't go there)
5. Family snow nights: Monday nights you can take a family of 5 for $95 lift tickets and a pizza for night skiing!
6. Friday night bonfires: Night skiing and hanging out for free smores by the bonfire.
7. Brighton Ski Team: My little Miss Emiy has joined and just had her first race! She did awesome. I will be addressing that in a future blog as to when to push your child ahead, are they ready, are you ready?
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