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Ep. 94 Teaching Toddlers to Snowboard with Dr. Ashley Toporowski

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Teaching toddlers to snowboard can start at home…literally. Dr. Ashley talks us through all the steps and gear needed to help her daughter fall in love with snowboarding, all before the age of 2-years-old!

Dr. Ashley Toporowski is a dentist in Saskatchewan, Canada, and a mom to two kiddos! She shares all her dental wisdom on her IG page, so she can help many more caregivers and children. Her family loves to get outside through snowboarding, hiking, biking, and fishing.

She started teaching her daughter around 15-months-old. Dove deeper around 17-months-old. 

Snowboarding Gear [can buy, rent, or look into secondhand]: 

  • Burton Snowboard (size 80, “after school special” – comes with bindings)
  • Burton Snowboard Boots (smallest size is 7) – can also use regular boots, but it feels very different. Added thick wool socks!
  • Burton Riglet Reel (so helpful for learning!…attaches to board as a rope to assist)
  • Helmet (Anon) and Goggles Outerwear (Check out our 3 Layer Rule at:
  • MDXOne (optional) – adult backpack harness for ringlet reel, so you can board with them!

Stages for Learning: 

  1. Pull them with the riglet reel indoors – pull on carpet, allowing them to get used to the stance. Can add gear when comfortable
  2. Add incline indoors (with riglet reel) – use balance or wobble board turned upside down to make a rainbow shape (cushions on either side)
  3. Pull on flat surface outdoors – the backyard works great!
  4. Go down gradual hill (with riglet reel) – pull them up, get them ready, then slowly let them down
  5. Let them try! – have adult at bottom; start when you find you don’t need to assist much with riglet reel anymore
  6. Learn how to stop and use edges to control speed – once they have great balance, you can teach more control. The backpack harness is helpful for this, to be behind them and teach them when to lift toes and when to turn and slow down
  7. Once you’re both ready, you can get on your board too!!

Other Advice: 

  • Keep it short and sweet –max 1 hour on board (or what seems suitable for your family), then warm up, and can try another 15-20 minutes, if desired
  • Lessons can start private at age 3, usually, and group at age 5. Ski lessons often earlier!

Follow Dr. Ashley on IG: @drashleytop


Thank you to Keen Footwear for sponsoring today’s podcast! Check out

Today’s Host: @adriannaadventures & @laurenrodycheberle from @kidswhoexplore
Production: @kpmediaproductions. Music: @michaelferraro_music