RIDE Lowride Snowboard
The RIDE Lowride is the perfect snowboard to teach your kids the fundamentals of riding, turning and stopping
by John Clark | 19 February 2014
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If you’ve been watching the 2014 Olympics, you know that for the first time in history America failed to medal in the one event that’s as American as apple pie – an event that we invented, and an event that we’ve dominated in the last three Olympics. The sport to which I’m referring: the men’s snowboarding halfpipe. This failure to medal means one thing and one thing alone: it’s time to rise up and reclaim our place atop the podium, and the journey starts with you, the parents. Get your kids a board, get them on the slopes, and get them prepped for 2022 men’s halfpipe dominance.
When my 4 year old son saw the event, it was the first and only event he watched, and it was followed by him pleading to let him get his own board. I love snowboarding, so it didn’t take much convincing for me to give in to his demands. But as with any outdoor activity, your kids’ success depends on the quality of their gear. And this is where a lot of parents go wrong. When you’re shopping for kids snowboarding gear, don’t run to a big box store and pick up a cheap board. If you really want your kids to learn how to navigate the slopes, shop like you’re shopping for an adult. Get him a quality board, bindings, boots, and don’t forget the helmet.
I’m a huge fan of RIDE snowboards – it’s the brand that I personally ride – so it only made sense that I looked to RIDE for my kids’ gear. They’ve been producing quality snowboards since 1992, and today they offer everything you need for the perfect setup, including boards, boots, bindings and gear. Best of all, because everything’s coming from the same place, everything’s compatible, so the bindings work perfectly with the board, the boots work perfectly with the bindings, etc.
For kids, RIDE offers three options for children’s snowboards: the Lil’Buck for teens, and the Lowride and Blush for the smallest of riders up to early teens. My son is four, so I chose to go with the RIDE Lowride in a size 90. It’s an all mountain freestyle board, meaning it’s a board that can pretty much do it all, and it’s really the perfect board to learn on and gain the fundamentals of riding, turning and stopping. Inside, the Lowride features RIDE’s Gummy Core to provide ultra soft flex in the board and make turns far easier than with a stiffer board. Put its design and construction together, and the RIDE Lowride is the perfect board to introduce your kids to snowboarding and to give them the easiest and quickest path to learning how to snowboard properly (and enjoy doing it).
Once you’ve got the board, it’s time for the bindings. As already noted, RIDE offers their own set of bindings, so you don’t have to wonder whether or not the bindings are compatible with your board. For my son’s setup, we went with RIDE’s Micro Bindings, which are also an all mountain binding. While there are a lot of binding options on the market, the Micro Binding uses a simple ratchet system that makes entry and exit a breeze – another key in making your time out on the mountain more enjoyable. Incorporated with the ratchet system is a BaseLine-V strap system and a Wedgie footbed that guarantees minimal to no movement once strapped in. While bindings may not seem important, if your kids’ boots are wobbling, their ankles aren’t protected, they won’t be able to turn properly, and in all probability, injuries are going to happen. Get the Micro Bindings, tighten them up and enjoy watching your guy or gal shred without worry.
The final piece of the board setup is the boot, and like any boot or shoe you would buy for yourself, you want a boot that is comfortable and supportive. RIDE’s Norris Boa Boots are both of those things – extremely comfortable without any pressing points to cause pain while heading down the hill, and also exceptionally supportive to stabilize the ankles. Even better, however, is that RIDE took their design a step further by integrating the Kids Boa lacing system. Once your boarder has his foot in the boot, you push the knob in and twist until tight, and to take the boot off, pull the knob and all the tension is released for easy exit. There’s no laces to yank on, no questioning whether or not the boots are tight enough and no time spent loosening the boot to get it off. It makes getting ready to hit the slopes a super quick and painless process.
And while all of the above make the perfect setup for snowboarding, I can’t stress enough that you should never send your child out the door without a properly fitting helmet (and I’m not talking about throwing on that unused bike helmet you have laying around). Invest a little bit extra and get a helmet specifically designed to fit your mini-shredder’s noggin while out on the snow. My son wears the Greenhorn Helmet, a helmet designed specifically for his little dome but with all the protection you’d expect in an adult helmet. It has an ABS hardshell for complete protection and a RideDial fit system to ensure a correct fit. There’s also venting, detachable ear pads and a soft liner for added comfort, meaning the Greenhorn is as comfortable as it is safe.
So whether your child has Olympic aspirations of regaining halfpipe dominance or you just want a new partner out on the mountain, RIDE Snowboards has the perfect gear to get them shredding. Great Olympians start with great parents, so get your kid a board, get them ripping the slopes, and let’s bring those halfpipe medals back to the USA.