And so the winter sports begin! My crew finally took a crack at snowboarding, and it was a huge success! Chris and the three kids each took a lesson and carved some snow on Mammoth Mountain over New Years weekend. We had the most wonderful experience…and well, everyone loved it! Not only did they gain some skills, they worked hard, had fun and perhaps…stretched their comfort zone.
Watching my kids explore and engage in new experiences, is one of my favorite parts of travel. Seeing these kids in the snow that day, exploring snowboarding…well, it made me so happy!
As we were in the midst of a holiday with extended family, we reserved one day for the slopes…and it was a magical introduction to boarding for all three of my kids…and the husband too!
Adult Group Lessons
What an awesome memory my 15 year old now has…taking her first snowboarding lesson with her daddy. Chris has skied his entire life. When all three kids said they wanted to try snowboarding, he could not resist joining in the fun. And what a perfect time to take a lesson….with our girl.
When I was investigating lessons…and booking them, I will admit, I was frustrated. Mammoth Mountain has “set times” for children and adult classes, and …they do not match up the way I would like. However…it worked out! Chris and Lexi took the Group Adult Lesson at 11:00 am. It was easy to drop them off and then run back to the cabin to get the other two. By the time we parked and got out on the snow, it was the perfect time (in their lesson) to see these two practicing what they had learned.
And this girl of mine…she is going to excel at this sport! I was amazed at how quickly she caught on. Doesn’t she just look like a natural with her GoPro© mounted on her helmet?
What worked really well for these two, was taking the 11:00 am lesson, and then having 3 hours to enjoy the runs. Both of them enjoyed having the time to practice what they had learned…and enjoy snowboarding with my sister, who also was boarding while her boys took lessons with my other munchkins.
Three hours of practice on the slopes was plenty of time for them after a lesson…I’m glad we did not do the earlier lesson and give them a full day of snowboarding!…they were exhausted from just this.
Kids Group Lessons
My 11 and 12 year olds were able to take their lesson together, along with their two cousins, ages 7 and 8. They were in the group for ages 8-12, and the instructors were super cool about allowing my younger nephew to be in the same class as his brother and cousins. I am pretty certain that these four kids will always remember their first snowboarding lesson together.
Angie did fabulous in her class. We are so proud of her! She had a wonderful time and seemed to really find her groove…and she gained more confidence as the day went on.
Brendan, well…he rocked it. Yes, they all 3 did amazing…but this boy. Lord help me…he is going to be wild on the slopes. He is a natural…just like his Daddy. I totally see him spending his winters on the mountain.
By the end of the day, this kid was flying down the mountain like a rocket!
The four kids did their lessons from 1:15-3:15, which gave them 45 minutes to do a beginners practice run and then Angie and Brendan took Chair 17 up and joined the other three on the big run.
The First Run & Chair 17
This lift is conveniently located right next to the Group Lesson area at Canyon Lodge. We loved that it wasn’t overly crowded…it was perfect for showing the kids how to hop on and off of the lift. Special thanks to my sis, Jeanine, for taking care of my Angie! She gave her a “bonus” private lesson coming down the mountain and totally watched out for my girl.
She even grabbed on to Angie…by the pants!…and buddy-boarded…ALL the way down the run!
By 4:00, my crew was exhausted!
They actually started to just drop on the snow…one…by one…
Snowboarding Lessons at Mammoth Mountain
In preparation for our trip, I contacted Mammoth Mountain Ski Area to gather all the deets…as none of us had ever snowboarded before. I was pleasantly surprised at how helpful everyone was…every time I called. Yes, it was more than once! I received tons of helpful info, which made my job of planning much easier.
Mammoth is a destination ski resort area, which means it can be pricey. It is a fabulous town to visit…and a popular one as well. If you are going to make the trip, plan ahead so that you can enjoy every penny spent. A few things to keep in mind when planning this trip:
- If taking lessons you will need to pay for the lesson, a lift ticket and gear rental (unless you have your own gear).
- A half day lesson is actually only two hours long, but it is a great length for kids.
- If you have beginner snowboarders, or skiers, a fabulous option is the “Beginner Lift Ticket.” I was told that not everyone knows about this option, so you have to ask for it. You can purchase this for $35 for adults and $28 for children at Eagle Lodge. It gives you limited, but long, runs for practicing. It will not get you on all the lifts/runs…but it is way more economical for beginners (adult full-day tickets are as high as $159!!!)
- Mammoth Mountain is big. You will need to decide which lodge you want to utilize as your base for adventure. We chose to take lessons at Canyon Lodge and that worked great…way easier for beginners to navigate than Main Lodge. Next time we would like to try Eagle Lodge, as we hear that is great for kids, especially with it’s nice LONG runs.
- We called a few days prior and reserved our lessons and gear over the phone. This ensured us that we could get what we wanted. When making reservations you will need to know the height, weight and shoe size for each person in your party…if you are renting gear.
- Snowboarders are required to have/should have: a lesson ticket (if taking a class), lift ticket, helmet, eye protection, gloves, boots and a board.
- The best trick and most useful tip that we can share is this….if renting your gear from the Lodge, you can pick it up the day before your lesson, between 2 and 3:30. This was huge for us! With 5 kids and an adult, all renting gear, it was so helpful to pick up the gear and have it fitted the day before. This allowed us to get all the prep done beforehand. The rental department even showed the kids how to put on…and tighten their boots, as well as help each one adjust their helmets. Planning ahead and doing this the day before, helped to make the day of lessons run so much smoother! We literally arrived 30 minutes prior to lessons with zero stressors.
What A Wonderful Gift!
We were super blessed to have Grandpa and Grams gift the kids with snowboard lessons for Christmas! Thank you mom and dad!!!
If you have a traveling family in your life, consider blessing them with gifts of adventure. Snowboarding lessons were an amazing present. Really, anything that amounts to the gift of time, is a treasured present. We have come to love and appreciate the experiences over the stuff.