In honor of Mother’s Day this year we asked three of our wonderful Riglet Ambassador moms to share their snowboarding stories. Some shared how they maintained their active lifestyles before, during and after they welcomed their little Riglets into the world and others shared how snowboarding brought their families even closer together. Each story is a unique testament to the power of family activities, led by passionate moms, and the bonding nature of snowboarding as a family sport.
Annika Mang | @borntobeadventurous
#BurtonRigletMom to Etta, 5 and Julia, 3
I never thought that having children would slow us down or hold us back from adventuring. Sure, we might have the occasional outsider telling us that we should stop or change, but we knew we would disregard them. If I am being completely honest though those outsiders were right, life has changed, and it’s changed for the better! The adventures keep happening and our experiences with the kids are just that much fuller.
Snowboarding has always been a huge part of our lives; even before we had kids my husband and I spent many weekends basking in the bliss of shredding mountains together. We sought out powder days and when the snow wasn’t perfect, we would hit the park and find small jumps and boxes.
When I was pregnant, I kept snowboarding as much as I could. When I was six months pregnant, I remember putting my hand on my belly while snowboarding and knowing that one day, I would see my daughter snowboard alongside me. For just a second everything stopped, and I was happy to share that moment with her before she took her first breath of fresh air.
The imbalance I felt on the board from the shift in my body weight while pregnant was the beginning of a new way to experience an activity that I had loved for so long. It was only natural that we wanted to share this love of snowboarding with our two little girls Julia and Etta. When they were 1 and 2, they received their first Burton After School Special snowboards. Watching them step onto the boards for the first time was just as exciting as their first steps. That first day, we simply pulled them around our snowy neighborhood streets with the Riglet Reel. Soon after, when my husband was working during the week, I would take the girls to the local hill by myself. Our youngest would fall asleep in a carrier on my back while I helped our 3-year-old up and down the magic carpet lift. It was not always easy, but I was happy to spend the time with them snowboarding instead of being stuck inside.
On the weekends, we would drive to the mountains to shred as a family. Now that Etta is 5 years old and Julia is 3, they both like to have ample time to shred. Our 3-year-old lasts a couple of chair lift runs while our 5-year-old can snowboard all day with a smile on her face. She has even started hitting the occasional box and jump. While we love shredding as a family, my husband and I also like to get in some more challenging runs without the kids. This takes some juggling, but the kids seem to understand and admire our love of snowboarding. Our passion for snowboarding continues to grow as our family does; whether the girls are chasing my husband and me down the mountain, or we’re spending the day just the three of us, we all learn from each other and help to grow our family’s passion for this sport.
Days on the hill are more rewarding when we’re together and I look forward to many more shred sessions, whether we’re tackling a new challenge or being goofy and doing tail presses all the way down the mountain. For now, I am focusing on soaking up our sessions while the girls are little, as I know that someday soon, I will be the one chasing after them.
Christelle Rodas | @christelle_rm
#BurtonRigletMom to Emma, 7 and Sophie, 6
The day I told my husband that Emma had tried snowboarding, he said: “what on earth are you thinking?”. He knows me well, but I can be a little crazy with new ideas sometimes and this was no different. As the girls have grown up, I’ve had to find new ways to explore the outdoors in our beautiful state of Colorado, and this experience for Emma was just the beginning. At first, I had signed her up for a skiing lesson, but once she saw the Burton Riglet Park there was no turning back. Back then, I was a self-taught, beginner snowboarder and I knew I had a lot to learn! Starting with the vocabulary- rad, what is that?! Grom? I had no idea. Despite this, there I was back in October 2014, buying a Riglet board and bringing it home to pull the girls around the house and our driveway.
During our first “season”, if you can call it that, Emma was 3 and Sophie was 17 months. I spent most of those days walking up and down the hill with the girls in tow on the Riglet board because at that time we didn’t know anyone else that had children who snowboarded, and not being from a snowboarding family, I didn’t really know what I was doing. The girls seemed to really enjoy it though, there was no pressure and we just took it easy.
Our second season started in the slopes of France, and when we came back home, we spent most of our days at a place called Ruby Hill. This season I saw that Emma was learning so quickly that I knew I needed to try to put her in a lesson. After that, we spent some time on the slopes with an amazing friend and talented snowboarder. The girls got even more excited than normal when we snowboarded with them, and it made my day truly amazing. At the end of the season, we took a family trip up to Steamboat and were proud to show my husband how far we’d come.
The girls’ third season, 2016-2017 was when Emma learned how to get off the chair lift, link turns and stop on easy slopes. Then fate struck, and we received an email from the Burton Riglet asking us to be ambassadors! It felt unreal, but also so rewarding after all of the time and effort I had put in. From the ambassador program, the girls got all new gear and the quality of it made a huge difference. Sophie began sending it full speed and was learning toe to heel edge control.
By the time our fourth season rolled around this past year, 2017-2018, snowboarding was now something that we could call a family activity of ours. We all enjoyed it, being on the snow, traveling and exploring different resorts, and most importantly, pushing ourselves more and more to learn. We found our snowboarding community thanks to Burton Riglet and I was so honored that parents were now emailing me questions. My biggest goal through all of this was to show that kids can begin snowboarding at a young age, even if you yourself are a beginner snowboarder! You can all learn together and while not every day will be easy, you will always remember the fun, the progress, the snowball fights, the wonderful views and best of all, being together.
Through snowboarding we’ve traveled all around the world and had some amazing experiences; France, Switzerland, Colorado for the US Open, and even to New York City for a “Dream Big Princess” campaign by Disney and the Girls Up Foundation. Showcasing our hard work to become snowboarders together and having been recognized by Disney for this felt so validating. The Girls Up Foundation is about empowering women and girls to push themselves and that is exactly what the girls and I had been doing through snowboarding. It was a wonderful feeling for me as a mother, I was proud, honored and loved. As we end our fifth season, we’ve now reached 100 days on snow since 2014 and I can’t wait to see what’s next for us!
Caitlin Kanayan | @caitlinkanayan
#BurtonRigletMom to Ryder, 7 and Trulee, 4
My parents started my brother and me on skis when we were really young, and it wasn’t until I was around 10 years old that I started snowboarding at our little, local resort, Snow Valley. To this day, I clearly remember my first set up. It was a lime green and black JP Walker pro series and I was totally obsessed with it. Back then, my 10 year-old-self thought this was the coolest thing ever and my brother was assigned the job of teaching his annoying little sister how to snowboard. He brought me up to the top of the mountain and said something like, “welp, later kook,” and then went to find his friends. I eventually figured out how to make my way down and I was hooked.
We would go up every Friday with friends for night riding. A few years later, my mom got a job as a ski instructor which meant we got season passes for $1 and I got to go to work with her on the weekends and snow days. She had to be there an hour before the resort opened so I’d hang out until the lifts opened and then I’d ride all day until they closed. There was a whole group of us whose parents worked at the mountain and it was a rad way to spend the winters.
My favorite part of being a mom is including my kids in all the things I love. I live for everything outdoors and when winter comes around, I’ve got snowboarding on the brain. We started our son, Ryder, on a board when he was 3. We got him the Burton Riglet board and brought him to the same little resort I learned at. He took to it so quickly and the smile and squeals coming out of that kid just killed me- there really is nothing better. That winter, we rode as much as we could, and Ryder really progressed. The following winter we had Trulee in tow. My husband and I took turns carrying her in a backpack and chasing Ryder down the mountain. We put her on Ryder’s board towards the end of the season and towed her around. Again, the squeals and smiles just killed me and that same week we bought her a board of her own.
Teaching kids to snowboard can be tough. Our riding days started to look a whole lot different when the kids came along, but they are so fulfilling now. Experiencing life alongside your kids is just an amazing thing. Adventures don’t have to stop- they just take a little longer now and require a lot more snacks and pee breaks, but they’re so much better! I’m thankful that the amazing people at Burton have created such a great kid’s line for the littlest of riders so you can get your kids going at a young age and create that lifelong love for snowboarding. I want to encourage all mamas out there to get outside and adventure with your kids, I learn something new from mine every time.
From the Burton Riglet family to yours, we wish you all a very happy and adventure-filled Mother’s Day!
Tag us during your Mother’s Day outings this year with #BurtonRigletMom for a chance to be featured on our Instagram.