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First snowboard for beginner kids?

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 



My kids (ages 8-11) decided they want to try snowboarding this year, so I will be enrolling them into an 8-week program at MSLM.

Since they have never snowboarded before, and may decide they don't like it after all (and go back to skiing next season), I wouldn't want to spend a lot at this point and would probably buy used.


With that in mind, can you please give me general recommendations for selecting equipment (boards, boots, etc.)?

My main objective is for them to have fun (eating snow is not), get some basic skills and, if they like it decide to continue, I can get them other stuff next year (probably will have to, they grow...)



- Board size, based on rider height/weight/ability?

- Board shape?

- Camber/rocker/flat/hybrid?


And in particular, what to avoid?


Thank you!

Edited by alexo - 11/4/13 at 2:02pm
post #2 of 6

Just rent.


board size is based on rider height and weight (though places will typically size the board to about chin level)


Directional board is fine to start with.... because they'll likely won't be riding switch yet.


the rental boards will be typically camber.


If they stay with snowboarding... once their growth spurt is over, then you can go buy a full setup.


They will be eating snow, so get wrist guards.  Injury to the wrists is very common for beginner boarders.  I'm also a proponent of wearing a helmet.

post #3 of 6

Hi alexo,


MSLM's 8 week program has a rentals add-on for $180. I'd recommend going this route if you're not sure what to get. Unlike skiing, where rental gear generally sucks, snowboarding rental gear is adequate, and in some cases better than buying since you can switch gear as you progress. 


Unfortunately the snowshow just passed you by, which had a gear swap. The MSLM gear swap happened this past weekend. If you can hold off a year, those are great places to pick up used snowboards/bindings. Some stuff to watch out for on used gear: delamination (where the layers of wood separate from the sides or base), minimal or no edge, gouges in base or topsheet... most used boards will have some amount of some of these issues. budget $50-100 for repairs per used board if it's your first time buying. Avoid toy boards. If it's sold at Canadian Tire, it's not OK. 


I'd go for new boots, and ensure they're snug all around without crushing the toes. You'll probably need to replace these every year for the kids until their feet stop growing. 


I'm going to emphasize tanscrazydaisy's point: ensure they're wearing wristguards and helmets. I'd also suggest crash pants. Imagine if someone shoved their arm down your throat and pushed all the way through the other end; that's what it feels like to land on your tailbone on MSLM ice. 


If the kids are just doing the 8 sessions and that's it for the year, the rental package is probably your best option (since you'll get the right fit this way, and the rental guys can pick the best board week-over-week). 

post #4 of 6

The key thing to avoid is gear that is out of tune. If you're going to buy used, make sure that the boards are waxed and the edges sharpened. A junk board well tuned will outperform most anything not tuned. Get your best deal for gear that fits and then take care of it until you trade up the next season. By season 2 your kids will know what they want. Here's a link for snowboard sizing help.


Most rentals these days are very beginner friendly. The flex is very soft and the edge bevels are set high to make catching an edge less likely. It's far easier to start out on these boards and then upgrade to an "intermediate" board after they get the hang of it (which can be anywhere from the second day to the second season). Recommend start on rentals first.


Also recommend bring ski gear along just in case.... (some people are "done" riding their first few times before the lift ticket is up - it's ok to give it a rest)

post #5 of 6

it's more common after a tune, to actually detune the edges.  Works for the park and works for beginners.  a quick detune of the edges (which sounds counter productive, but you're just doing it to the nose and tail) helps reduce the noobs from catching the edges, and a subsequent faceplant or falling heelside.

post #6 of 6

I was more referring to the kids attempting to ride the mountain with gobs of lift grease and rail crud on their bases and edges that could best be described as "furry" rather than detuned.

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