Social Connection of Snow, Burton & How to Reach Young Riders

Boulder, Colorado’s Leisure Trends Group recently conducted a survey of “Active Americans” and found that social motivations are the dominant drivers of first-time participation in skiing and snowboarding.

According to the survey, more than 70 percent of skiers and snowboarders joined friends or family the first time they tried snowsports, compared to only 3 percent who went by themselves.

Leisure Trends also reports that highly engaged participants were more likely to have skied or snowboarded with family the first time than were low-engagement participants, and high-engagement participants started skiing or snowboarding at a younger age than their low-engagement counterparts.

Of particular interest to professional instructors, Leisure Trends said skiers and snowboarders who took lessons were twice as likely to consider skiing or snowboarding a central part of their lives as those who have never taken lessons. People who take lessons also own more ski and snowboard equipment than those who don’t take lessons.
 
In closing, Leisure Trends suggested that to get more people involved it's important to do the following:
1. Connect them with others through “bring a friend programs,” sponsorship of local clubs, family packages, and the like.
2. Help them acquire skill, preferably in a setting that fosters social connection.

And finally, don’t forget about the fun factor. “The top drivers of participation in a variety of outdoor activities are fun and spending time with friends/family,” said Jim Kelley, the chief operating officer and vice president of analytics for Leisure Trends Group. “If people are having fun, they will feel like they are getting a better value for their money, continue to participate, and want to share the fun with others.”

Read the full report here.

Burton Opens Riglet Park at Jay Peak
Burton Snowboards is certainly doing its part to help professional instructors get more people into snowboarding at an early age. 

With Jay Peak Resort in Vermont, Burton recently celebrated the grand opening of a new youth-focused snowboarding park, the Burton Playtime Riglet Park, which is designed specifically for children as young as three to learn how to snowboard.

The Burton Playtime Riglet Park, situated amidst Jay Peak Resort’s New Mountain Learning Center, features interactive stations based on Disney·Pixar’s Toy Story. Kids have the chance to learn balance, weight transfer, edging, and freestyle basics by maneuvering over, under, around, and through sculpted terrain and a cast of kid-sized, wood carvings of Toy Story characters, including Woody, Buzz, Rex, Jessie, the little green army men, and the aliens.
 
“Burton is stoked to partner with Jay Peak to bring Disney·Pixar Toy Story-themed elements and products to our newest Burton Riglet Park,” said Jeff Boliba, VP of Global Resorts for Burton Snowboards. “It’s a must-see destination for families and kids who want to learn how to snowboard this winter.”

Loon Also Reaches Young Riders with Riglet Park
In other news, a story about how the riglet park at New Hampshire's Loon Mountain is getting more kids involved in snowboarding at an early age was featured on OutdoorHub.com. The park, which sports a Paul Bunyan theme, is part of Loon’s massive commitment to terrain parks overall, and is paired with a Lil’ Stash park for bigger kids, as well as a 425-foot superpipe with 18-foot high walls. Read the full story here.

Photo (above) courtesy of Burton Snowboards

- Peter Kray

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