What It's Like to Take Your Kids Snowboarding

Snowboard Expert Kristina Spencer offers a humorous approach to surviving the slopes with your kids.

A young girl jumps with her Burton snowboard.

Photo by Alex Mecl

Published on

The Day Begins

The night before your family snowboarding trip, you take some time to plan what your morning will be like. The chairlifts at the resort start running at 9 a.m.—you want to get in a full day of riding, so your goal is to wake the kids up early in the morning and arrive at the mountain in time to be all ready and waiting for the first chair. It's an hour-long drive to the mountain, so you aim to leave the house by 7 a.m., thinking you'll have a relaxing morning with plenty of time to spare.

In the morning, you wake the kids up at 6 a.m., hoping to get them some breakfast before you leave. However, that proves impossible since your teenagers are as prickly as porcupines when you go to wake them and your youngest can't find a matching set of mittens. By the time you get everyone in the car, it's past 7 a.m. and you are stopping at the drive-through to grab breakfast for the kids (and another coffee for yourself).

Arriving

Thankfully, you thought ahead and already purchased snowboards and boots for everyone, so you can bypass renting equipment at the resort. However, in the parking lot when everyone is getting their snow pants and jackets on, your seven-year-old announces she can't find one of her mittens, again.

Everyone stops what they are doing to rummage through the car and try to find the lost mitten but there's no hope; it must have been left at home. The only other set of gloves she has are not waterproof and will freeze her hands before she even gets started. Defeated, you head over to the retail shop to find new mittens.

If Mom Shops for a Mitten...

At the retail shop, you are able to find another set of waterproof mittens. They're even pink, which makes your daughter very happy. On the way to pay for them, you pass a rack with protective gear on it. Right in front is a set of child-sized wrist guards and a helmet, so you grab them along with the mittens. Then you remember that your leash broke last year and you need a replacement, so you quickly add one to your pile.

By the time you are done shopping, you’ve forgotten that you came into the shop just for a set of mittens! However, everything you bought will help improve the day’s riding experience, so you don't worry too much about it. Realizing it's almost time for lessons, you quickly help your daughter get all of her snowboard gear on and rush to the meeting place for the kids’ beginner snowboard lessons.

Time to Learn

The author's daughter sits in the snow with a snowboard.

Photo by Kristina Spencer 

Your husband made reservations for your daughter’s group lessons the night before, so all you have to do is drop her off with the instructor and enjoy a morning of solitary riding. There is no need to worry about sending your kid off with an instructor who looks like they aren't even out of high school — the instructor is a master at making snowboarding fun for young riders. And since the last thing you want to hear is, "Mommy, you're no fun," when you're snowboarding on the mountain, lessons seem like a good idea anyway. Teaching a kids’ lesson is a lot like herding cats, so you plan on giving the instructor a large tip as a thank you for surviving your child's enthusiasm.

Freedom!

After dropping your daughter off at her snowboarding lesson, you and the rest of your family are free to explore the mountain. You can't decide whether your teenagers are trying to scare you with their fearlessness or if they really are just that good on their snowboards. Trying to follow, you remind yourself that this is fun and you aren't going to faint when you hear, "Mom, watch this!" one more time. Your husband tags right along with them and tries not to be outdone, so you end up having a fun time snowboarding with the entire group.

Lunch Time

At lunchtime, you pick your daughter up from her lessons and meet up with the rest of the family at the lodge for a short break. Despite packing an enormous lunch, the french fries smell so good that soon there is a tray full of them at the table. The kids are so hungry that they eat like ravenous wolves, and you're lucky not to lose a finger when trying to sneak a fry onto your own plate.

The teenagers tell you that they found a great spot on the greens near the base—it has a jump where a photographer takes pictures as riders fly off it, and so they want everyone to come and try it. After stuffing some more snacks in your pockets and reminding your youngest to wipe the hot chocolate off her face, it's time to go back outside and see what this jump is like.

Photo Evidence

The jump on the greens is luckily on an easy slope where even your youngest daughter can show off her new skills. She amazes you with her ability to get off the chair lift without falling, and she can even get her bindings strapped on by herself. She stands up and follows her older brother and sister without too much trouble and soon everyone is at the jump near the photographer.

When it's your turn to go over the jump, you think, it's nothing I haven't done before in the terrain park, so it should be easy. However, somehow you catch an edge and wipe out. Sitting up, you turn to your family and they are doubled over in laughter. You can't blame them though, it was a pretty dramatic crash and it was all caught on camera. The family sticks together for the last few hours of the day and you all have a great time. It really is just as much fun as the pictures show.

Home Again

The day you spent snowboarding with the family was a great way to start the winter season. There are so many resorts that offer amazing deals for families to stay and ride, so you know that you are going to be looking into planning many more family snowboarding trips this winter. Maybe next time you'll take a private lesson so you can keep up with the kids again. As you finally make it home, you open the car door to get your sleeping daughter out and the mitten you were searching for in the morning falls out of the car.

If you ever need help navigating a similar day with your own kids, reach out to a Snowboard Expert here on Curated and we can get you and your kiddos all geared up!

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Written By
Kristina Spencer
Kristina Spencer
Snowboard Expert
In college I was a ski and snowboard instructor in Colorado, focusing mostly on little kids (aka 5-10 year old mini rippers or 3-4 year old tiny skiers). Sometimes I'd get those amazing lessons that would allow me to have a fun day of riding all over the mountain, but sadly those riders don't usuall...
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