Skiing and Snowboarding With Kids
Teaching our kids to ski and snowboard is one of the things we believe is a “must do”. Manners, integrity, a healthy lifestyle, a love of the outdoors – those are some of the key values we work to teach our kids. Skiing/snowboarding falls within both healthy lifestyle and love of the outdoors. It is also a great way to combine these values with family time – as kids and adults can do this activity together from quite a young age.
Mid Atlantic Skiing, Not Exactly A Mecca
Admittedly, (considering that we live in Pennsylvania) we aren’t located in US Skiing Mecca (out west, of course), but we are lucky enough to have opportunities for skiing a few months each year within a one hour drive – and pretty great skiing only a long day drive away (New Hampshire/Vermont/Maine). It’s not Colorado Powder, but it ‘s pretty darn great, especially if you hit it during a big snowfall.
We prepare for our winter mountain sports time for months in advance, as we take a week long trip to New England on a ski in/ski out resort vacation each year. The kids look forward to this as soon as summer ends and school begins. The preparations include evaluating our ski equipment needs (snowboards, boots, bindings, skis, poles) and our clothing/warm weather gear needs. You would think this would be easier each year – as we get the hang of it. As adults, we don’t need new gear each year. The kids are a totally different story.
Stocking Up on Equipment for Skiing
I’ve mentioned ski swaps for getting kid’s ski/snowboard equipment – this year it was a total win! We grabbed a great snowboard for Ryder (with bindings) at a great price. The bindings are top of the line youth Burton Bindings and the board is in great condition (not a scratch on the bottom or side). We’re still looking for snowboard boots, but we’re excited for the find. I always keep an eye out at the ski swaps for the boots, but buying online is also a great source when you know what you are looking for. Evo happens to be running a sale at the moment, click here to check it out – ->evo | Winter Clearance – Huge Markdowns!
Other online shopping resources abound, but I often find my best winter coat/gear purchases at the local consignment stores. I found a child’s Patagonia snow suit last year – barely worn! You have to know the right time of the year to hit the stores, and you also need to have an idea of what store has the best winter gear selection. This varies by location so you’ll need to do a bit of homework. I’ve gotten winter boots, jackets, and snow pants in our local consignment store. The money isn’t the primary issue, we want the high performance gear and don’t want to be buying new each year (since they outgrow it so quickly). It’s important that the kids are warm and wearing quality performance gear when they might be spending the day outside in sub-freezing temperatures. I’d rather buy used Patagonia, Mountain Hardware, Outdoor Research (that new would be $200 or more for a kids outfit) than new non-performance clothing. Yes, I’m a outdoor clothing brand snob, you found me out! I’m just unwilling to spend the money year after year on new kids clothing that will only last one season.
Disclosure: the Evo link is an affiliate program link, if you buy something from Evo after clicking that link, I get rewarded. I shop there myself (just bought a new pair of skis this season), and would link to them anyway (their customer service is awesome), but just wanted you to know!