KIDZGEAR: What Kids Want Now
In SNOWBOARD Gear (2009/10)
BY Jackie Williams
The snow is falling, the kids are getting out of school – it’s time for some fun in the snow! As you get out the snow gear, naturally you’ll notice how much the kids have grown and what they have won’t fit much longer or is just outdated. Most likely, they’ve been snowboarding for a while now and are ready to upgrade into something new performance wise. What you may see as practical and a good value appears to them as so uncool. Sometimes it seems like you just can’t win. I feel your pain.
That’s why I asked a group of kids ages 8-12 what they would want for snowboarding –what snowboards, colors, brands, you name it! My recommendations will help you save time and frustration and everyone will be stoked to go riding – with big smiles on their faces. First off, they want Burton. Burton anything. Fortunately, the brand is one of the top companies in the world of snowboarding. When you buy Burton, you’re getting a quality product and junior will be happy with whatever you choose.
Check out the Burton Smalls for girls or boys. The board is flexible and responsive and a blast to ride for kids who like to rip. The purchase of this snowboard gets you a "Free Lift Ticket and Lesson." This is a great deal. Even if your grom knows how to ride, lessons aren’t just for beginners anymore; instructors will show them the ropes on the park or tougher terrain.
Depending on their height and your budget, Lib Tech is a great snowboard manufacturer and very eco-friendly. Both Lib Tech and GNU have awesome boards. I like how GNU advertises their Danny Kass Mini BTX: "For Parents That Actually Care About Their Kids". The banana model is perfect for beginners and very versatile.
Kids’ feet grow way too fast. No matter what the brand, they’ll have to actually try on the boot to see if it’s comfortable. Don’t bother with shoe laces anymore; buy a pair of snowboard boots with “speed laces”. Look for the dial or wire-like laces on the boots. It’ll save you and your son or daughter so much time. Once they’re in, they’re in. No more laces coming loose or undone. I always recommend Flow’s bindings. They are fast and easy to get back into; I even get comments on how fast I get going compared to someone in the typical binding.
Going back to GNU’s comment on caring about your kids, have you gotten them a helmet yet? Ski resorts are working towards a mandatory helmet policy and I see that coming soon. To make things easier on both of you, make sure to get head gear with audio hookups. Triple8 has the popular Old School snow helmet with audio. This is the one the kids have been raving about. Get one.
So let’s see, we’ve got boards covered, bindings, boots, helmets… Let’s talk about outerwear. Orange, green and blue are the colors right now. Dark colors are out, colorful in. If you have a daughter that wears junior sizes, Nikita’s outerwear is pretty fresh with hot designs and lots of features. Otherwise, Columbia has a great selection of different styles and colors to keep your boys and girls nice and toasty. Of course, Burton does, too. Hestra has been around for almost 70 years. While they market their gloves to skiers, don’t overlook them for you snowboarders. The Primaloft Jr. Mitt is waterproof, soft and comfy, while the Czone Gauntlet Jr. is also fully waterproof, with snow lock and Hestra Handcuffs to keep them on securely. Don’t forget to make sure your kids’ feet are covered. Thorlos has kids snow socks in bright fun colors that are specially padded, keep your toes warm and no blisters.
Oakley goggles are all the rage. The XS O Frame goggles are built for a youth fit and vented to cut down on fog. I also like Dragon’s goggles. They have a cool look and lots of colors to choose from.
So there you go! You’ve got your son and daughter covered for snowboarding head to toe. They’ll be happy with their new gear in the brands and styles they like. You’ll be happy you found the stuff and that they’re wearing a helmet! Have fun, enjoy the powder and being with your family.
......Jackie Williams writes frequently about snowboarding, including snowboard, gear, and apparel reviews as well as travel, event coverage and team rider interviews. Check out more of her work at JackieWilliamsFreelance.com or on websites such as Snowboarding.com, SnowboardSecrets.com, WomenSportReport.com, and PracticalTravelGear.com."
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