mom_and_nico_shredThis post centers around the incredible day my son and I had with Ross Powers and the Burton Snowboard Riglet Park crew.  Ross is a legend in the world of snowboarding and is truly considered snowboarding’s first child prodigy.  At age 9 Ross competed in his first US Open while his fourth grade class cheered him on.
After that first competition on the national stage Ross was officially on the scene and people in the snowboarding community took notice.  His list of accomplishments is long and impressive: the first ever Olympic medal for the United States in snowboarding at the Nagano games, 2002 Olympic gold medalist in half pipe, numerous XGame podiums and world championships under his belt.  Who better to introduce my son to the sport right?

My son and I showed up at Canyons Resort in our home town of Park City, Utah for the second stop on the Burton Riglet Tour.  My son knows the lay of the land at Canyons because I was the Director of Public Relations there for five years so he and his sister have skied there since the season they each learned to walk.

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The Riglet Park Tour is a great way to introduce kids to snowboarding in a controlled and comfortable environment.  Burton has created a mobile product demo and mini snowboard park custom tailored to kids as young as three.  My boy turned two on December  19, 2010 and I felt that he had the skiing thing down and it was time to show him how to board.  Now, I am a skier not a boarder as is my husband. A two year old on the other hand and an active two year old who has natural athletic ability is sure to love it right?  Well he did.  It was unbelievable watching him on the snow with a board that was as tall as he was and boots that went so high up his legs that it was tough to bend his knees.  He adored it and is hooked and now spends much of his days at home yelling “snowboarding!” and positions himself to jump and spin off the couch, a very different position than his skiing “hucking cliffs” move that he regularly throws off the furniture

Burton brings snowboarding to the littlest people with the Riglet Tour.  There is gear for the little ones and a fantastic feature known as the Riglet Reel.  Think a retractable dog leash attached to the nose of the board.  Instructors, or Ross Powers as my son was lucky enough to have as his instructor, can tow kids onto features and around obstacles to show them just how cool snowboarding is.  The Riglet alleviates the sore back normally associated with skiing or boarding with your tiny snow enthusiasts.  Mom and dad don’t end up in traction after a day on the hill.  Always a bonus.  Thank you Burton.

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The equipment is so small and so damn cute it is mind blowing.  My son insisted on carrying his own board through the base area on our way to the mini shred park and was wearing his leather cafe racer motorcross jacket (cause mom left his snow jacket in the car…..it was a super warm day so no issues). Needless to say he stopped traffic.  People where in awe of him and his whole look and he had not even gotten on the snow yet.  Proud mom already.  We walked over to the Riglet Park and he was nearly ready to burst with excitement.  Ross helped him on with his board and took control of the Riglet leading him through the park.  The smile on my kids face was almost as huge as my own. The cute factor was insane but better yet for me was the way Ross interacted with my son, he has a natural paternal vibe with the kids.  It was a fantastic day and a great intro to a new sport for my boy.

The boxes and rails were inches off the snow, just enough to make the short people feel accomplished as they hit them and moms and dads proud while they watched.  The expression on my son’s face was so deadly serious.  He was concentrating so hard on his snowboarding it made me think that starting for the Yankees might not be his destiny but snowboarding is.