The Best Snowboards For Kids
Kids’ attention spans and interest in things change and differ day-by-day, and you, as a parent, need to be prepared and encouraging all the time. And kids love snowboarding, whether it’s just for fun with friends in some terrain park or it’s traversing the powder-covered slopes. Kids can learn to snowboard at a very young age, but it’s entirely up to you and your kids as to when and how they learn to snowboard. Snowboarding is fun and what could be more fun and cooler for your kids than learning to snowboard? And you should, by all means, let your young kids have a go at snowboarding because as we said, it’s fun. and This is why we made this snowboards for kids guide.
We ask why some people used to say kids should not snowboard. It’s true, teaching young children (under 5 especially) can be really tough because it’s completely hands-on at first whilst they get acquainted with the board and how to use it. Additionally, muscle development in the feet and legs of young children mean you’d have to take a different approach altogether. It’s a completely hands-on approach for the kids – it’s going to be slow for the first few sessions, but if you can make those initial sessions count, you can see improvements coming fairly quickly. The most important thing is to make sure your kids actually want to harness their skills in snowboarding.
Young children generally learn differently to adults, when it comes to snowboarding, and they take things slowly, which means it takes a while to grasp the basics at the beginning. But, none of these concerns can stop the kids from having fun, while learning at the same time. And this goes for all sports, not just snowboarding.
Another great way to pick the right snowboard rather than wandering through an insane line of best kids’ snowboards is to take a look at what most people are buying. It’s true some people go for fancier models with those crazy cool graphics, over people on a budget, but for the most part, best sellers are there for a reason. To help you get going on your little quest to finding the best snowboard for your kids, we put together a list of a few of the best picks on the market.
- Nitro Marcus Kleveland
- Kid's version of a pro board
- Nitro Ripper
- Solid board sized down for a kid
- Echos 110cm
- Solid choice for just getting started
5 Best Snowboards For Kids
Nitro Marcus Kleveland
It’s a complete package that doesn’t compromise on quality and performance, thanks to its Zero Camber profile which gives young riders the edge hold to progress further. The medium-stiff flex of the board makes it slightly receptive to bending, but it excels at maintaining stability at high speeds. The Premium Extruded FH base is a plus.
Additionally, it is extremely lightweight and durable, making it easy for an intermediate rider to maneuver and control. The twin shape ensures it can be ridden either way perfectly well. Plus, the Extruded FH base is easy to repair.
Echos 110cm Freeride
The twin-tip freestyle shape and design with sharp, pointed edges for easy steering and control. The large slip in adjustable bindings makes sure no special boots are required while snowboarding.
Emsco Group 1069 Freeride
The step-in, adjustable bindings, makes this board easy to use and maneuver, especially for the first timer snowboarders. It’s an ideal choice for those looking to polish their snowboarding skills.
Ideal for the newbies who like to try their hands on snowboarding, this fun little snowboard easily fits in your rucksack without adding any extra bulk, plus it comes with pre-mounted fully adjustable bindings for a hassle-free experience on the slopes. It effortlessly binds your boots with your ski making up for hours of fun on the slopes.
Here Is What We Looked At when Choosing Our List
Let’s face it; we all want what best for our kids. Before they venture out to the slopes, it’s important to have them equipped with all the right gear. In addition to clothing and boots, they will also need a good snowboard intended specifically for kids snowboarding. But finding the best snowboards for kids is easier said than done. One of the most important factors that determine the best snowboard for your child is to evaluate his/her skill level and the kinds of riding he/she will be doing.
Types of Snowboards
The number of snowboards available these days can be overwhelming if you aren’t sure about what exactly you want. To choose a board that perfectly fits your riding style and personal preferences, it helps you learn a few things about different types of boards and how their shapes and sizes affect the way they ride.
They are specially designed to traverse the whole mountain and get you through the thicks and thins the resort has to offer. The versatile decks can handle a huge variety of terrain and perform effortlessly regardless of the snow condition and setting. They offer great stability and control to charge hard, making it a perfect choice of boards for the beginners, especially kids.
Freestyle boards are a great choice for go-getters, especially for the riders who are really focused on making a bag full of tricks. They are extremely lightweight, ideal for grinding rails and street boarding, however, they’re not quite good when it comes to maneuvering on the hard snow. Due to its weight, it’s easy to throw around, allowing your kids to push their limits and landing tricks in either direction.
These are best for backcountry rides. It’s just a regular snowboard that splits into two halves to become skis, allowing you to climb on unchartered backcountry slopes, and you can ride downhill by reconnecting the two halves. A split board comes in handy as your kids progress to higher levels.
An all-mountain snowboard that reaches chest height is the best bet for beginners, because they are easily maneuverable, while a longer snowboard floats easily in powder. Most new riders like to take it slowly, so they tend to make short, quick turns which can also be facilitated with a shorter board. But you can always upgrade the equipment as your child grows or as he/she gains the skills necessary for next level gear. Remember, this is just the beginning. Finding the best snowboarding gear for your child, especially a snowboard totally depends on what skills they want to master on the board.
Kids’ Snowboards vs. Youth Snowboards – What to Look For?
Although it’s easier to buy a kid’s snowboard than buying youth snowboards, there are fewer options in kids’ snowboards and the ones that are available are less specific. So you need to assess your kids’ needs and consider a few factors before making the decision.
Finding the perfect size board for your child is the most important aspect of a kid’s snowboard. Kids’ snowboards usually vary from 90 to 145 cm in length, and choosing the right length depending on your kid’s size and skills, is the key. Refer to the chart below to determine the right size based on your kid’s health and weight:
- For a child 40 inches tall and 30-40 pounds in weight, a board of 80-90 cm in length would be recommended.
- For a child 45 inches tall and 40-50 pounds in weight, a 90-100 cm board would be recommended.
- For a child 50 inches tall and 50-60 pounds in weight, a board ranging from 100-110 cm would be recommended.
- For a child 55 inches tall and 60-80 pounds in weight, a board of 110-125 cm in length would be recommended.
- For a child 60 inches tall and 80-100 pounds in weight, a board ranging from 125-135 cm would be recommended.
- For a child 65 inches tall and over 100 pounds in weight, a board ranging from 140-150 cm would be recommended.
Remember, these recommended lengths are just general guidelines. You still have to factor in your kid’s preference and ability before making the purchase.
Finding the best snowboards for kids doesn’t depend on just the right size, but what they actually want to do on the board. As your child progresses further to an advanced level, let’s say towards a more specific style like freestyle, opt for a freestyle snowboard, because they are more flexible and easier to maneuver. If your child goes mostly for jumps, rails, and half-pipes, go for a park/pipe snowboard.
Width is just another factor that should be considered when selecting the right snowboard for your child. The board should be roughly as wide as their boots. Of course finding the right width snowboard for your kids can be a bit tricky but it’s not impossible. The boots should barely hang over the front and back edges – you obviously don’t want the toes to hang off the edge, and at the same time, don’t want them to come up short on the edges either. Different manufacturers and brands vary in shapes and sizes, so make sure you consider all the required features before making the decision.
Equally as important as the rest of the factors is the board flex, which affects how easy it is to turn and maneuver. For a beginner who’s new to the sport, soft flex boards would be an ideal choice for better control and maneuverability. Stiff boards, on the other hand, provides optimal grip while taking stiff turns. Stiff flex gives more stability at high speeds on steep slopes, but these are not the things you want to factor in early on, especially for your kids. For a beginner, we’d recommend a 3 or 4 flex rating (out of 10).
The material of the base plays a significant part in keeping the credibility of the board in check. There are basically two different types of PE bases used in snowboards – Extruded Base and Sintered Base. Extruded is relatively a cheaper alternative to Sintered base which makes it ideal for entry-level boards thus making it suitable for beginners. Sintered bases, on the other hand, are comparatively faster, lighter and stronger, so used mostly in high-end boards.
It’s a common assumption to buy with room to grow when looking for snowboards for kids. It isn’t completely wrong, though. It’s equally important to consider that urge to get a snowboard that will last at least 10 years. Because part of your kid’s training to snowboard is to getting the board of the right size, which makes it easier to maneuver and learn the basics. Buy a board too long for your kid, snowboarding gets boring and discouraging. When the setup matches your kid’s riding style and his/her weapon of choice, that’s when the fun begins.
A big part of a snowboard’s identity comes from its profile. All snowboards were used to be made of traditional camber until a couple of years back, but with the recent influx of technological innovation, new ways have come to the picture that reconfigures a board’s natural bend to better suit the needs of a rider. There are just too many players in the picture these days with each manufacturer having its own board profile. Though every profile rides a little differently, they fit into four basic categories:
- Camber Boards
They offer the most control and stability, making it very effective for riders who perform a lot of jumps and hard carving. It’s the easiest shape to catch your edges on. It might be an older technology, but it’s still the favorite of many riders looking for better stability and maximum response. It’s also an ideal choice for the beginners looking to test their snowboarding skills.
- Rocker Boards
They are exactly the opposite of cambers and curved upwards the nose and tail, but the angle and the point at which it starts varies from brand to brand. The upturned makes for a more playful ride and offers extra float in powder. Although, they aren’t as fast and don’t hold an edge like cambered boards, they are more maneuverable.
- Hybrid Boards
Hybrid boards combine the elements of both camber and rocker boards to create something for an all-rounder. The shape offers the stability of a camber and all the benefits of a rocker. They are usually directional boards with camber and rocker mixed together but placed in different areas. The options are virtually endless. Though they provide benefits of both the boards, they don’t have the same uncompromised performances of camber and rocker on an extreme level.
- Flat Boards
Flat boards place themselves somewhere in between the hybrid and traditional camber designs in terms of forgiveness, control, and balancing. The design itself keeps your effective edge in contact with the snow at all times, providing more surface area to float on, while offering you added stability.
It can be pretty confusing at times when you’re deciding what kind of profile you’d actually want in your kid’s board. We will recommend you assessing your kid’s riding needs and personal preferences before making the decision. Once you have figured everything out, it should be really easier for you to decide which profile will suit your kid’s style of riding. After all, providing your child with the best will give them the best experience and opportunity to progress.
How Much Should You Spend?
This is the basic question a lot of parents including you want to get to right away? So you must be wondering why did we shove this little sub-section at the bottom rather than putting it at the top. Because if you’re getting through, starting from your kids’ basic needs and preferences to choosing boards by size, style, and flex, then you should have noticed that the cost is the least of your concern. You don’t have to spend a fortune to buy a snowboard for your child. After all, it would be unwise to spend hundreds of dollars on something that you’d eventually replace in a few years.
For the first-time boarders, it’s not necessary to buy the most expensive board. Go for the least expensive instead because it will be geared more towards the beginner. Most good quality boards will cost you somewhere between $100 to $150, but that’s entirely up to you, and anything below that probably isn’t worth it. You can always get a good deal on the equipment at an off-season sale if you wish to save some bucks on your kid’s board purchase, but without compromising the quality and safety standards of the board. After all, you need the best for you kids, something that’s going to get them a long way and keep them safe.
Q: At what age can my kid learn to snowboard?
Deciding what the right age is for your kid to learn snowboarding is a decision only you can make as a family. The fact is there’s no specific age for kids to start learning how to snowboard; it entirely depends on your child. Snowboarding requires a bit more physical strength and stamina, and an average kid doesn’t have adequate enough muscle strength to move or control the board. However, even a six-year-old can beat the odds, if there’s proper motivation. Remember, every child is different and unique.
Q: Which is the easiest to learn – skiing or snowboarding?
It depends on how you see it and how far you’re willing to go for it. Skiing is kind of easy to pick up, but it takes longer to master. You can have at least fun on your first day out and skiing doesn’t have those painful break-ins as snowboarding does. Snowboarding, on the other hand, provides good fun, cruising blues, and decent break-ins on the very first day, and you get reasonably expert in snowboarding in a few days.
Q: As a beginner, what’s the hardest thing about snowboarding?
Beginners can be of all ages, and willing to take any shape and size. Regardless of situations and conditions, to be able to master the skills of snowboarding, your kid must be properly motivated and interested in learning the process bit by bit. When taking snowboarding lessons, there’s always some room for error and you’re likely to progress each time you hit the snow. You can descend down the most basic slope, crash and fall a few times, and still get up to take more.
Q: How do I choose the right snowboard?
Buying a kid’s snowboard is easier than buying an adult snowboard. There are very few snowboards on the market that are targeted specifically for younger children, and the ones that are available are less specific. Take into consideration a few factors before making your purchase like the size of the board, style, width, flex, base material, and your budget. Beginners should start with a smaller snowboard for better control and stability. When it comes to price, cheaper snowboards for kids are your best bet as they are easier to maneuver. The width of a board is equally important and it must fit your boot size to reduce toe and heel drag.
Q: How do I determine my snowboard stance?
For beginners, regular means your left foot is forward and goofy means the right foot is forward. Regular and goofy are the terms used to describe how one would stand on a snowboard. It’s the first thing they usually ask at the first instance of snowboarding. It’s pretty simple actually – if you put your left foot forward while riding, you’re a regular, and if you ride with your right foot forward, you’re a goofy. It’s easy to tell which stance your kid has by strapping in riding.
Q: What are some of the easiest tricks to learn in snowboarding?
Easy or tough, it all depends on your skills and ability. You can start with the basics and you can always add on or expand on the basics just like any other sport. The biggest thing to remember is to never give up and keep trying as hard as you can. You can start with the basic ollies at the beginning and like that learn to make an 180, and then you take on the 360. It may take a bit longer than usual to master, but these are some basic tricks you’ll learn along the process.
Q: Is renting snowboard gear more convenient than buying?
Renting or leasing is a great option for kids, especially for beginners. If you’re not a regular snowboarder or just getting started on the board, consider renting or ask your nearest rental shop about a lease for snowboard gear. If you’re lucky, some shops will also allow you to trade in old gear for new as your kid progresses. The best part about leasing is you get state-of-the-art snowboard equipment. After all, you need the best for your kids.
Before your kids venture out in the open, it’s very important to have them wear the proper equipment including a helmet, goggles, and wrist guards. In addition to helmet and goggles, they will need warm clothes, proper snowboarding boots and protective eyewear specifically made for snowboarding. Safety always starts with the right equipment.
- Prepare before heading to the slopes and check the weather forecast beforehand. Wear an extra layer of warm clothes and always pack an extra set for each.
- Check your kid’s equipment every single day before sending him/her out in the open, and also teach them how to check their own gear. Most of the injuries occur due to poorly adjusted bindings, so adjust accordingly to ensure utmost safety on the slopes.
- Avoid using used equipment. If you don’t have the proper equipment for your kid, rent it from an authorized shop, and make sure everything fits in perfectly. Don’t compromise on the quality ever because your kid’s safety is the main priority here.
- Most bindings are strap-on types, which are compatible with almost any pair of boots. Make sure the straps are securely fastened to give your kids more control over their boards. Always get the right bindings for their boots and have them checked with some professional snowboarder or trainer.
- Check in advance the condition of the trails. Don’t snowboard on trails that are closed.
- Avoid practicing alone. Ask your instructor or any adult snowboarder to check in regularly.
- Likewise, on summer months having too many clothes can make kids sweat, so it’s advisable to keep them dresses in layers so that they can easily shed or put on extra clothes depending on the weather.
- The best way to prevent injuries while snowboarding is to make sure your children are in good shape. Make sure they stretch and warm up before they hit the slopes.
- Sign them up for snowboarding lessons if your kid has never boarded before. Even the best athletes can’t board on their own for the very first time.
- Make sure your kid is aware of his/her snowboarding limits and abilities. For a beginner, it’s advisable to stick to the beginner’s slopes. They can always take up to the next level as they progress.
- Make sure your kid has a trail map and is able to remember his/her instructor’s name.
- Map out a meeting place in case your kid got separated from the rest of the crew. A walkie talkie comes in extremely handy on the slopes.
- Advise your kids not to use headphones while boarding, as loud music can make them less attentive and increase the risk for accidents.
Starting off your kids early opens the world full of adventure, fun and unmatched scenery, unsurpassed, from any other sport or interest. It’s a great feeling to see your kid snowboarding for the first time and how they have turned their fondest childhood memories into a passionate experience. It gives immense pleasure to know your kids have grown up and snowboarding has become an important part of their adventurous lives.
Snowboarding is not rocket science and it’s definitely easier than learning organic chemistry. At the beginning, it takes some getting used to, but once you get past the initial learning process, the sky is the limit for you. The first few days snowboarding will be painful and exhausting, and it will try to push your limits to test your dedication and determination. Depending on your kid’s fitness level, experience on the board, and balance, it might take a few days to master smooth turns with falling, but after a while, you find yourself pretty much in the program and that’s where the fun begins. If everybody else can do it, so can you.