What Is The Best Age To Start Snowboarding?

What Is The Best Age To Start Snowboarding

Starting snowboarding can be a tricky thing to get right. To give a child the best head start when learning how to snowboard, it’s best to start them at a young age. This gives them plenty of time to build up the necessary muscles required to be a confident snowboarder, but also the courage required to push themselves. While it ultimately depends on the individual child, this guide will give you the pros and cons associated with starting snowboarding at different ages.

Defining Goals

It’s important to consider the reason that a child is snowboarding. For people living in mountain communities, snowboarding can be a very important part of the lifestyle, and thus would be advantageous for them to be quite good at it. However, if snowboarding is more of a social sport, or an occasional week-long getaway, the development of their skills might not be as important. If the goal is to become a very talented snowboarder, there’s no reason not to start a child as young as three years old. However, if snowboarding plays a more casual role in a child’s life, it might be best to wait. 

Ages 3-5

Starting snowboarding between ages three and five can have mixed results. It’s important not to expect too much at this age. Children this young don’t quite have the motor skills or requisite muscles to truly develop as snowboarders. At this age, it’s more important for children to get a feel for moving down a slope while attached to a board. Making proper turns will be quite difficult at this age, and except for in rare cases, an adult will have to support the child nearly the whole time. What’s most important about this stage, however, is developing confidence. Starting snowboarding at this age will give children a massive head start in being accustomed to a ski resort setting, moving quickly, and not being so afraid of falling down. 

Ages 6-11

In most cases, between ages 6 and 11 is the best age range for kids to start snowboarding. In fact, most experts consider age seven to be the best age for children to start learning. At this age, kids have developed enough balance and strength that are required to snowboard. It’s at this age that real progress is made. Kids can quickly absorb knowledge about the basics of snowboarding, such as how to manage their speed, turn, and maintain their balance at speed. Kids also have more of an adventurous spirit and might be more keen to push the limits of their own ability.

Ages 12 and Up

Starting snowboarding from age 12 and up can have mixed results. With these ages, the younger, the better. Snowboarding is a sport that can take quite a while to get used to, and it takes time to build the muscles that are required to progress. The older a person gets, the more difficult it can become to internalize their new snowboarding knowledge, although this isn’t always the case. Adults can also be less willing to put their bodies on the line and might be more risk-averse, which makes learning how to snowboard quite a bit longer. Ultimately, though, it’s up to the individual and how motivated they are to learn, but in general, starting snowboarding at a younger age is better.

For Future College Athletes

For some colleges, particularly those in the mountain west of the United States, snowboarding can be quite a serious athletic pursuit. As such, to make certain snowboarding teams, athletes have to be quite skilled in a specific division of the sport, such as freeride or freestyle. In this case, many of the athletes on the teams began snowboarding at a very young age. For parents hoping to give their children a chance at being competitive at snowboarding in college, it’s best to start them on a board as soon as possible. This will give them the best chance to develop not only their skill, but confidence as well. 

For Future Professional Athletes

Just like those parents hoping to have their child snowboard at a collegiate level, the best way for a child to become a professional snowboarder is to start as early as possible. This is due to some of the reasons mentioned above, such as developing confidence and skill, but also because becoming a professional snowboarder often takes a very long time. It can take quite a while to learn the requisite skills for being a professional snowboarder, so the more time a child has for this, the better. Many professional snowboarders start the learning process when they can barely even walk. 

Safety Concerns

As with starting a child out at any sport, there obviously are some safety concerns when considering when to start a child at snowboarding. Snowboarding can be quite a dangerous sport, so it’s important to acknowledge the risks involved when beginning snowboarding. The primary concern is to start children out on a learner-friendly slope where there won’t be any other skiers or snowboarders moving fast. This will minimize the chance of a collision which can cause injury. As young snowboarders develop, it’s vital that they don’t get put on more difficult slopes without knowing how to fully control their speed. It’s easy to lose control when snowboarding, which can be quite dangerous. It’s also vital that children always wear a helmet when snowboarding.


How do I get my kid started with snowboarding?

The best way to get a child started with snowboarding is to put them in lessons with a professional instructor. This individual will have the wealth of knowledge required to teach snowboarding, along with the communication skills that can help any age group succeed. Whether it’s a group lesson, or a one-on-one session with an instructor, professionals are by far the best way to learn snowboarding. If that’s not possible, it’s also fun to go out with your child yourself, though it may not be as effective when it comes to their learning.

How old should my child be to start snowboarding?

Many experts agree that the best age to start snowboarding is seven years old. At this age, children have developed enough dexterity, strength, and balance that are required to go snowboarding. However, this is just a suggestion. Many people start their kids snowboarding as young as three years old, which is perfectly fine as long as the child enjoys it. At the end of the day, it depends on each individual child and what they’re capable of.

Can I teach my child snowboarding?

You can absolutely teach your child how to snowboard. Of course, this depends on your own skill level and whether or not you can be an effective communicator and teacher. Children are taught how to snowboard all the time by parents, and it can be a fantastic bonding activity. It’s important to be very patient with your child, and to listen to their concerns. They should be pushed out of their comfort zone, but not too far.

How do I pick a snowboarding coach for my child?

Finding a great snowboarding coach is one of the best ways for a child to succeed at snowboarding. A good snowboard coach should be patient, knowledgeable, and good with kids. Learning how to snowboard can be a very frustrating experience, so it’s important that a coach is patient and communicative. They should also be enthusiastic and excited to help children with their learning. And, of course, a coach needs to be an extremely capable snowboarder themselves.