Industry statistics say that one quarter of parents who head to the hills in the winter do so with snowboards – and they want their children to learn to ride so they can enjoy the slopes in similar fashion.
This trend appears to be growing, prompting the introduction of kids-only, snowboards-only learning centers at resorts around the nation.
Squaw Valley-Alpine Meadows is the latest resort in the West to install a Burton Riglet Park on both of its mountains. The learning centers are designed specifically for children ages 3 through 7, with a terrain-based form of instruction and kid-friendly equipment.
The training area at Squaw sits right behind the Squaw Kids building, while the Alpine Meadows area is adjacent to the main lodge.
Instruction has been further parsed into 3-4 year olds – the so-called Rivets – and 5-7 years olds as the Grommets.
Burton contends that in 1996, 14 percent of snowboarders had kids. Nearly a quarter of a century later, in 2018, that number has risen to 25 percent. The assumption from those figures is that snowboarders tend to want other snowboarders in their families.
“We have been continuously building and improving our programs over the years, and adding the Riglet Park to our beginner area is icing on the cake,” said Tyler King at Squaw. “The growing trend of 3- and 4-year-olds learning to snowboard is industry-wide and we are excited to be a part of it.”
Older kids in the Grommets program can take full-day lessons all week, or half-day lessons on Saturday. Younger kids in Rivets have full- and half-day lessons available all week, with first-timers specials on Saturdays.
Other Western resorts with Riglet Parks include Keystone and Purgatory in Colorado; Park City Mountain (Canyons side) in Utah; and, Jackson Hole in Wyoming. More than a dozen Burton parks are in the upper Midwest and Northeast.