5 tips for outfitting kids to snowboard and ski

Today's post comes from Adam Turner, Field Marketing Manager at Vail Resorts Retail (VRR) for the Tahoe region.

How do I outfit my child for skiing or snowboarding? This is one of the most frequently asked questions I receive, especially from parents who have children learning to ski or snowboard for the first time. You want them to have fun, but you also want them to be properly outfitted and comfortable. But most importantly, you want them to be safe. So today I'm coming to you with a few tips for outfitting your kids to snowboard and ski.

Junior Trade Program. The Junior Trade Program is one of my favorite programs. Simply buy your child new winter gear for their first time skiing or snowboarding, and then when they've outgrown it, bring the equipment back and receive 50% off the next ski or boot purchase. The program is available at Any Mountain, True North, Heavenly Sports, and Kirkwood Mountain Sports.  

Ski School Lessons. Don’t be that parent who thinks your child can only learn to ski or snowboard if you teach them, especially somewhere like Northstar California, where lessons are encouraged and you have access to world-class instructors. With a professional, you get expert, customized attention and instruction for your kid, while you get to hit the slopes yourself. Enjoy your time on the mountain without your kids, and when you do see them again, they will have learned enough to have that next level of enjoyment skiing or snowboarding that you can then take part in. And, your kids will thank you. 

Buy gear that's optimized for your growing children. It's no secret that kids can outgrow winter clothes and gear about as fast as you can buy them. But that's where something like Obermeyer comes in, featuring Obermeyer I-Grow & Extended Wear, creating an expandable kids ski and snowboard system to get the most out of the garment before its outgrown. The system has features like expandable sleeves and cuffs so you get much more wear than your typical kids ski gear.

Helmets. Simply put, wearing a helmet isn't an option anymore, especially for children. You can find several brands of kids helmets at True North in the Village at Northstar, including Smith, Giro, Salomon, POC, and more. Furthermore, consider a helmet with venting to reduce the sweaty head factor on those spring skiing days, and choose a specific color or design to easily identify your child on a busy slope.

Warmth. Warmth! It is imperative to your child's joy. But it's a fine line, as you neither want them too cold, nor uncomfortably sweaty. As such, winter children's gear like breathable jackets with insulation are a great option. Consider other things like one warm, breathable pair of socks (not 3), waterproof gloves, and neck gaiters. Additionally, toss a couple hand warmers into their pockets. And just like adults, layer the kids ski wear.  Consider layering them first with a base layer to wick the moisture off their skin, then an insulation layer to keep the warmth in, and lastly, Gore-Tex pants and a jacket that are waterproof. Kids tend to end up in the snow more than adults, whether it be part of their learning or the fact that playing in snow is just fun. As such, prepare your child by layering properly to keep them dry and warm. 

Adam Turner is a longtime local and active outdoor enthusiast, Adam’s passions include skiing, winter sports and the Tahoe Outdoors. Adam enjoys the technical side of the snow business always testing new products or mastering his quiver to ensure maximum enjoyment to every condition presented. Maintaining a consciousness about the environment, Adam has actively participated with the Vail Resorts Epic Promise Foundation efforts, engaged with the local biking and trail organizations and generally made clear efforts to engage in the development of Tahoe’s ever growing communities. If you can’t find Adam working diligently on the success of the Tahoe Vail Resorts, you might find him enjoying the many trails or slopes around Lake Tahoe often accompanied by fellow Tahoe enthusiasts!