Snowboarding vs. Skiing for Kids?

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    By: ActivityTree

    Snowboarding vs. Skiing for Kids?

    A good and particularly timely question being that the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi Russia are set to begin on February 6. Top athletes from around the world will compete for the gold in both sports and may inspire your child to give one or both a try if they haven’t already. Let’s look at a comparison of the two based on a couple of different aspects: ease and safety.

    Is Snowboarding or Skiing Easier for Kids to Learn?

    This one will get arguments on both sides. Both require a decent amount of athletic ability and take time to become skilled at. However, it’s pretty widely accepted that for most beginners, the basic skill of skiing is easier to initially learn. This is likely because it requires the use of both legs, giving a more solid foundation for balance, and involves a forward motion that’s more in line with walking or jumping. Unless your child is a seasoned skateboarder or surfer, the balance required for snowboarding is much less natural and typically takes longer to master. On a sidenote, January is Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month.

    Is Snowboarding or Skiing Safer for Kids?

    Both have higher probability of injuries than, say, building a snowman. But to say one is safer than the other is difficult. It depends on quite a few factors, including those that are subjective and environmental. Aspects that effect safety for both sports:

    Speed: Skiers can typically travel faster speeds than snowboarders. Logic dictates that more serious injuries can occur at higher speeds, but that’s sadly not always the case. Slamming into a tree at any speed can cause serious injury, which leads us to our next safety factor…

    Terrain: Injuries are more likely to occur when participants over-estimate their abilities and elect to ski or board on terrains rated higher than their skill levels. If your children have surpassed the age that they still enjoy skiing together, you should remind them that it’s okay to challenge themselves within reason and ability. And, when attempting a higher grade slope, require that they are accompanied by a more skilled companion. In the unfortunate event your son or daughter gets injured, they won’t be alone and the other person can call for help.

    Equipment: Using appropriately-sized equipment is critical to performance and safety. And, it should go without saying that gear should be in proper working order.
    It’s never a bad idea to elect for gear to protect the areas of the body that are most vulnerable to injury during skiing and boarding: head, knees, elbows and wrists.  Helmets are a must for kids. Elbow and knee pads aren’t a terrible idea either and they are concealed under the outer layer of clothing, so kids can stay “cool,” of course.

    Conclusion

    If your child needs a confidence boost, opt for skiing for the simple reason that they’re likely to catch on to it faster and with less frustration. As far as safety, using some good old common sense can help reduce the occurrence of injuries whether your child is atop skis or snowboard.

    Related articles: Three Ways to Save on Skiing for Kids

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