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ygrene

Snowboarding for a 5 year old

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Bubs has expressed an interest in starting up snowboarding this season. I've been looking at various resorts that offer ski schools for groms and was wondering what have other people's experiences have been? Any recommendations?

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Haha, yeh I was reading that some people put their kids on skis first in order to build up their leg muscles and switch over to a board later.

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Not sure if that makes sense. Not clear to me that skiing skills transfer very well to snowboarding.

 

If the kid is interested in boarding, why not just start with boarding lessons?

Unless the kid is also interested in skiing, of course.

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Agree with MO. If the kid's into boarding, the sooner they learn the better. The only reason I can think about starting them on skis first is that its a bit easier to get going and so less likely to result in petted lips and declarations od "DAD!! I HAAAAATE this!!"

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Easier to rent ski equipment for kids than snowboard I think. Wanted to get my 5 yr old some snowboard grom boots and board, but they are all in the States. Then they only use it for a year and have to get new gear which cost a bit in the long run.

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We're planning on renting first and seeing how we go. I'll leave it up to her whether its one plank or two. Hopefully, I'll have a riding partner in 10 years time.

 

Optimally I'm looking for a ski resort that is generally on the quieter side and has a roped off kid's learning area. Right now I'm considering Happo. The last time I rode there was over 10 years ago so I'm not really in the know about what its like now. Is it still massively popular?

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You may have trouble finding a school that will take a five year old for snowboarding lessons. They usually accept them from seven.

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For a 5 year old I'd be putting them on skis first. Pretty sure that at most schools if you want a lesson for boarding at that age it will have to be a private lesson.

Nothing wrong with trying them on a board but kids at that age usually just struggle to get going on a board unless they are given a lot of help.

If they start out on skis then there is a much higher chance of being able to come down the beginners slope by themselves after a lesson with a good instructor on their first day compared to how they would progress on a board.

I would also not recommend Happo as the beginners slope there is not as good as the Iimori(Goryu) Slope or Tsugaike(lower half of the gondola).

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We're planning on renting first and seeing how we go. I'll leave it up to her whether its one plank or two. Hopefully, I'll have a riding partner in 10 years time.

 

Optimally I'm looking for a ski resort that is generally on the quieter side and has a roped off kid's learning area. Right now I'm considering Happo. The last time I rode there was over 10 years ago so I'm not really in the know about what its like now. Is it still massively popular?

 

Did you say Hakuba?

 

If anywhere ok, I suggest Iwappara in Yuzawa. If I had kids or beginners, that's where I'd go.

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Was in Saka over xmas new years and the bunny slopes were ok can't help with the lessons though not sure the mountain info centre would be able to help.

dont put him on skis

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Sakka isn't usually too bad as far as crowds go but there is a problem with the fall line and steepness of the slope at the top section of Sakka for absolute beginners.

The lifts at Sakka also don't compare to detachable double chair at Iimori(Goryu) which is better for learning for learning.

I really like Happo for skiing or boarding but it's terrain doesn't really suit beginner and lower level skiiers/boarders.

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Cortina worked nicely a year and a half ago for me, my boy (just turned 5 at the time) and my parents. Staying at the hotel was a good option too. Simple, safe, with a good selection of food in the buffet. Everyone was happy and I even managed to sneak off for a run or two on my own. I guess it can be crowded on powder days though.

You'll have a great time with kids if you don't expect much. I'd say starting em on skis is may be easier since it's more like walking and they can get a feel for it on the flat before even taking a lift, but I'm a skier so I'm biased.

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The buffet at Cortina is well nice! You can pay more for worse food in Hakuba Central very easily.

 

Unless you insist on Burton, you can get a board/binding/boots kit for a five year old for about 25000, though that is about the youngest age they do. In terms of price, I could see you getting stung for that for 5-6 days rental. If its a name brand like Rossi, you'd get 15000 back on Yahoo Auctions easily, even after a season or two of use.

 

Unless they skateboard already, I reckon the progression will be slower with kids on a board than on skis. On skis, the leash thing that attaches to the boots, called the "(something) Pilot", I don't remember, lets you pull them across flats or even uphill and doesn't put them in the back seat when skiing like the body leashes do.

For beginners in Hakuba, yeah to areas mentioned at Tsugaike and Iimori. At Happo, you get adults racing down through Sakka to get back to the lift. There's no roping off or physical separation from the kind of riders you might like to avoid.

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Lots of wonderful advice in this thread. I'm thinking about Cortina or maybe Iwappara as someone mentioned it earlier. Definitely yokels riding out of control is something that concerns me so a quieter resort or a roped off area would be ideal. As for the rental costs, I think I'll just have to grin and bear it unless I can find a cheap children's board to invest in. The danger is that she'll hate and then I'll be stuck with a set of gear that will gather dust while taking up valuable closet space.

 

Mamabear, I've been reading up on those. That's a Burton Riglet I believe, if I do pick up a board for the little one, it'll probably be one of those.

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Check out the Chicklet.

Yep, if she hates it you'll have to bite the bullet and list it on ebay.

I had a quick look and there's none used listed....might be closer to your needs, but it's fairly new so unlikely.

 

If you get the leash you can drag her around the fast getting used to it, then she can progress to riding it herself...should last a couple of tears before you need to sell it off to some other awesome parent whose going above and beyond to teach their kids to love the snow at an early age.

 

Have to admit we've had a fair bit of outgrown gear bogging up our place, but I've been selling it off/giving it away lately.

If we keep what we use we could STILL open a hire shop! :lol:

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With my daughter, I just carried her up a small slope with a piggyback till she could do falling leaf on her heel edge. It was much easier than unstrapping. After that, we went on the lift and did the same down a course. It didn't take long. The first slope we used was the unofficial sledging area past the base building on the Iimori side of Goryu. Special kids areas with magic carpets etc. are good with skis but a waste of time with snowboards because of the unstrapping.

 

For kids Burton gear in Japan, you're looking at 40,000-45,000 yen for board boots and bindings. Its a lot to pay. The set we got is Salomon and I think it was 25,000 off Rakuten. Something like this.

 

http://item.rakuten.co.jp/ts-passo/s-03-332/

 

I'm not an instructor or anything, but for skiing, I found the Copilot leash really good. That's the gizmo I'd recommend most to other parents. Those hand warmer things and pocket fulls of whatever goodies your kids like can also help a lot.

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Lots of wonderful advice in this thread. I'm thinking about Cortina or maybe Iwappara as someone mentioned it earlier. Definitely yokels riding out of control is something that concerns me so a quieter resort or a roped off area would be ideal.

 

Weekdays at Iwappara are usually extremely quiet.

 

Hold on a sec, got photos...

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http://www.snowjapanforums.com/index.php/topic/22577-iwappara-yuzawa-niigata-24th-january-2013/

 

There's a few pics in there of the main very wide middle-lower area which is perfect for beginners.

I actually though it was quite 'busy' that day! :lol:

 

Season before

 

http://www.snowjapanforums.com/index.php/topic/21343-iwappara-yuzawa-niigata-6th-february-2012/

 

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Picked up one of those kids boards today in Jimbocho for 1.7 man with bindings. I figured if that's 3 days of rentals, what the hell. Now all we need are the riglet reel and boots and we're good to go.

 

Those hand warmer things and pocket fulls of whatever goodies your kids like can also help a lot.

 

I'll definitely be bringing those along!

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That's a good start for your child! Anyway, there are lots of great ski resorts in Western US and Canada that offers ski schools or lessons for your child. Just like Whistler in British Columbia or Aspen in Colorado.

Hope this woud help. Good luck and happy shredding this coming winter! ^_^

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Also in Yuzawa I might consider Muikamachi Ski Resort. I wrote this review on it last year. Lots of kids and really no one going that fast (except me ;) ) when I was there.

 

http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resort-reviews/detail/2042

 

Might also consider Yuzawa Nakazato. not sure if they have a magic carpet though. Also wrote a review for that one. Might not be as nice for the kid in some ways but it is wider. It was also more fun than Muikamachi for me and probably other intermediate/advanced riders.

 

http://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resort-reviews/detail/1961

 

I've never been to Iwappara so I can't compare the three. I would imagine they would all be much quieter than anywhere in Hakuba.

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