Photo courtesy of Dave Norona
If you’re an outdoor adrenalin junkie, then chances are your kids will see how much fun you are having and want to follow in your footsteps. Sports give kids an opportunity to learn something new, create their own independence at a young age in a safe environment and burn off all that extra energy that they possess.
There are a number of awesome sports that children can and will enjoy at a young age. Although it can be a bit of a challenge to hold them back and not get too serious too fast, there are a number of great programs that they can join. Here are just a few tips to make it fun.
• Skiing/Snowboarding on Grouse Mountain. I still remember the Christmas I received ski lessons on Grouse Mountain when I was 10-years-old. I wasn’t too pumped on that present at the time, however, after my first lesson I was hooked and begged my parents to drive me to Grouse every weekend until I could do it myself.
Grouse has been teaching skiing for more than 40 years and has one of the best ski/snowboard instruction programs in Western Canada. The Ski-Wee program starts them off at three-years-old and there is something for everyone from that age up, including private, drop-in or skills improvement lessons. Grouse also has one of the best views overlooking the city, high-speed chair access and easy terrain for children to learn. Check out any of their programs at grousemountain.com
• Cypress Cross Country Jackrabbit Program. There is only one place to cross-country ski in the Lower Mainland and fortunately for us the Cypress cross-country venue is also one of the best areas in Canada. Cross-country skiing is a great way to get your kids out onto the snow in a safe and enjoyable way. The Jackrabbit Program has been organized by Cross Country B.C. since 1981 and offers programs for kids of all ages and skill levels, giving them an opportunity to improve their fitness, develop positive self-esteem and have a lot of fun.
The program starts in mid January and offers children ages four to 15 the perfect opportunity to hone their skills, get fit and have a ton of fun with others their age. Who knows, they may even become an Olympic gold medallist like Beckie Scott who started off in the Jackrabbit Program. Check out cypressmountain.com or jackrabbits.ca for more information.
There are a ton of other activities to get involved in as well. Snowshoeing, indoor climbing and tubing are a few other cool sports that kids will love and you can join in with them to create the ultimate experience.
The best part about all these sports is that the equipment in the last five years has come a long way. This new equipment is specifically designed for kids and makes them feel like they have the right gear for their sport. You don’t need to own this gear as all the local hills rent high-end equipment for them to use while they are growing like crazy.
Giro Jr. 9 Helmet
Description: Keep your young ripper protected with Giro’s Junior 9 helmet. Super light, comfortable EPS liner and simple vent plugs that snap into place on those cold days skiing or snowboarding.
Where to find it: www.giro.com
Salomon Pro Team Junior XC Skate Boot
Description: Give your junior skier the best XC Skate boot on the planet with Salomon’s Pro Team Boot. Super warm and comfortable and the ergonomic ankle cuff gives awesome support which improves gliding stability.
Where to find it: www.sigges.com
Burton Chicklet Snowboard
Description: The well-designed, lightweight Burton Chicklet Snowboard gives younger girls everything they need to find their perfect run in the powder or the park. True twin shape, Negative Core Profile provides softer flex, Lightspeed Vision Base for a fast ride.
Where to find it: www.burton.com
Salomon Kitten Jr. Girls Skis
Description: The Salomon Kitten twintip ski is a freestyle and all-mountain ski made just for the little ladies. Its easy-to-handle sidecut and forgiving flex is perfect for the bumps or deep powder.
Where to find it: www.salomonski.com