If you follow Burton Riglet on Instagram, you’ll have seen a few pictures of an adorable little girl named Maisie, who has a love of sideways sports. From snowboarding to wakeboarding this little girl can rip and she’s only 2 years old! Behind every adventurous child is a parent who encourages and nurtures that behavior. Read our spotlight on snowboard Mom, Kristi Subia to learn more about her experience parenting such an adventurous child.
Maisie’s First Snowboarding Experience
I first took Maisie snowboarding when she was 13 months old (as soon as she learned to walk!) This is her second season. Her first experience went really well! I took her to the snow just for a visit the week before so she could experience it without a board first. The first time I took her snowboarding I just went to a snow park so I could play around with her on flat ground. She has the Burton Chicklet, which we used without bindings for the first time just so she could work on balance. I also used the Riglet Reel to pull her around. She was only able to stand up while being pulled for about a few seconds at a time since she had just learned to walk.
Maisie’s First Snowboard Lesson
Maisie took her first snowboard lesson this year. I have been pretty successful teaching her myself, however, I took her to Dodge Ridge. I put her in a 2 hours private lesson and she did surprisingly well! Even though it was raining and cold, her instructor knew how to keep her entertained (balloons, hula hoops, etc.) the entire session! I would definitely recommend it.
What Makes a Great Experience for Maisie?
Warm weather is the biggest thing that helps her. I find that on warm days she wears less gear and is able to move around more. Another thing that has helped her tremendously is her MDXOne snowboarding harness. It’s basically a little backpack that straps on with handles and a leash. This harness has allowed us to take her up the chair lift for the very first time this season. It’s also great for having reinforcers handy – like candy!!! to keep her going.
Rituals Before Snowboarding
Snowboarding days are always lots of fun. We live pretty close to our local resort (China Peak) so we don’t have to wake up extra early or anything. I like to have everything packed the night before, and I let Maisie sleep in her thermals so all we do is get up and go.
Snowboarding now as a Parent
We’ve definitely been snowboarding a lot less ourselves since we started taking Maisie. We pretty much take her one weekend then go without her the next so we can get some good turns in. When we take her up we also take turns taking a few laps ourselves so everyone gets to ride.
Advice for parents of new snowboarders
Teaching your kid to snowboard is a lot of work, but totally worth it. Gone are the days of riding from opening to closing. The smaller the child, the less time you can plan on spending in the snow. You have to take into account nap time, snack time, and diaper changes. Try to keep trips short and fun! We always take lots of stuff (besides her snowboard) for her to do, (snacks, sand toys, etc.) Another thing I’ve always done with Maisie is to keep pushing her, but not too hard. If she falls and gets scared I let her take a break. I do, however, make her go back up that same day. This has helped her to learn to become fearless. She’s never scared, even when she falls.
Maisie has progressed a ton this season! Unfortunately, she broke her leg one of our snowboarding trips so she was out for about a month. Even with her cast she was still jumping on the trampoline and practicing her balance on her Spooner Board.
Other Sideways Activities
Skating is something Mase has played around with from a very young age since all we had to do was set her on the board and push her. It was easy for her to ride around with me on my long board and for her to scoot on her butt on her Penny board. Now that she’s a bit older, we are trying to teach her to push herself with one foot on the board. We’ve been practicing this on the carpet so it’s not as slippery for her.
Maisie has always loved the water and is a very good swimmer. I think that’s why surfing is probably Maisie’s favorite summer board sport. She loves being rocked back and forth on the board by the waves. We don’t take her out very far, but we push her on small white water waves so she gets the feeling of surfing. She has a soft top surfboard which is very buoyant (and very safe!) She likes to ride around on her belly mostly, but we also help her to stand up and ride.