Toddlers tackle a terrain park - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Toddlers tackle a terrain park

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Saturday, Burton Snowboard's flagship store transformed into a winter training ground to kick-off the winter season.

Carpeted obstacles and a bit of trucked in snow offered the perfect chance for Underhill toddler Brooks Irvin-Witham to get a taste of snowboarding.

One parent, Amy Irvin-Witham, said, "This is not his first time on snow, this is his first time on a snowboard, he is 18 months old. When you live in Vermont you definitely need to have winter sport and our winter sport, for our family, happens to be snowboarding."

Instructors from Jay Peak and Smugglers Notch helped guide young students through the mini-park with the help of kid-friendly boards, and a Riglet reel attached to the nose.

Jeff Boliba of Burton Snowboards explains, "What it allows us to do is quickly get a kid - two feet strapped in, hold their hand, and we can tow them right around. It gives kids an introduction to sliding sideways, it allws them to have fun right away."

Many mountain-learning programs steer the youngest students toward skiing until they're a bit older, because the falling leaf can be much trickier than the snowplow.

"Back in the day that was totally true, now, we're breaking down barriers and helping kids snowboard really fast." said Boliba.

Saturday's event featured plenty to do even for those who didn't want to strap-in. Some got fitted for gear, while others simply enjoyed tossing a few snowballs before the first flakes of the season fly. Brooks interest didn't wane though.

"If you see the big smile on his face, obviously he's pretty stoked on the snowboard. By introducing him really early he will hopefully appreciate the sport and we can do that as a family in a couple of years, we won't have to have all the extra help." said Irvin-Witham.

Until then, his parents say he'll start getting lessons so that he can join the rest of his family when they hit the slopes.

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