In the second of 2 parts about taking your kids to the mountains, I’m sharing some love for the MINT Snowboarding snowboard school in Morzine.
MINT Snowboarding is a snowboard school based in Morzine, Avoriaz, and can provide snowboard lessons for kids from the age of 3. They’ve won the “Best Snowboard School” at the World Snow Awards, twice, and are No.1 on Trip Advisor for things to do in Morzine thanks to their consistent awesomeness!
We had been coached by MINT on a snow camp before we had Lily, so already knew they were amazing. Now, at the age of 4, Lily is currently MINT Snowboarding founder Tammy’s biggest fan!
Tammy shared with us why she loves what she does: “Teaching kids to snowboard is ridiculously fun… there are no rules, other than to have fun! It’s all about creating games and letting your imagination run wild!”
Lily’s first “lesson” with Tammy was at the Big Bang Show at Tamworth Snowdome when she was just 3, where they were running the Burton Riglet sessions.
The Riglet sessions weren’t on this year, but Lily got to enjoy a taster session with Mint, designed for 4-8 year olds – and she even had the legendary Jenny Jones along to help!
Being in the Snowdome is such a different experience than being in the mountains, but the enthusiasm and encouragement from both Tammy and Jenny meant the kids all had a great time, whether they were new to snowboarding or had done it before.
The session was only an hour, but they were all doing tailslides and even little jumps by the end of it – and all left with grins on their face!
Lily was 3 when she first had her lessons out in Morzine with Mint. I was going to book her in for a couple of 1 hour sessions throughout the week as wasn’t sure how she would get on, but we somehow ended up booking her onto a group coaching session with one other little boy, for 4 sessions throughout the week.
I went with the flow, and said if she really didn’t get on with it, then I wouldn’t push her – she was still small and it was a whole new experience.
Well, I needn’t have worried – under the guidance of her instructor, Anna, Lily had the best time, and was buzzing about her lessons every day. She was so comfortable with her that she went straight off to her lessons each day, waving me off without even turning back.
It isn’t just Tammy and Anna, it is all the Mint instructors who can share their passion for the snow, and really sets them apart from other snow schools.
As Tammy said: “At MINT our instructors are passionate about snowboarding and sharing this with others. Kids lessons are designed and delivered to make sure that each little individual comes back buzzing having fully caught the snowboarding bug, no matter what their age and level.”
Seeing my little 3-year-old disappear off on the chairlift made me very nervous, but she was in the best hands, and was buzzing by the end of her lesson. I couldn’t believe it on the first day, when I saw her happily riding down the mountain – way better than I was on my first week, let alone first hour!
She looked so tiny, and was happily riding solo down the mountain, and still talks about her “snowboarding lessons” to this day, as well as how much she wants to go back with Anna and Tammy!
Mint Snowboarding teach them in such a fun way, with games and fun tricks, meaning they don’t realise they are learning – just playing in the snow.
They’ll have snowball fights, may stop for a break in the cafe, and play games along the way, but by the end they’ll be on their feet on the snow, with big grins across their faces – and that is what matters. She also slept so well each night – a mixture of the fun times and mountain air was definitely a win for a good night’s sleep!
With Mint you can do group lessons or private sessions, from children through to adults. Their instructors are always friendly, fun and know how to teach kids to enjoy the mountains, rather than have serious lessons, meaning they’ll be learning to snowboard without even realising it!
So what’s Tammy’s tips for getting your kids out on the snow?
- “Mitts not gloves
- Snacks in their pockets
- Don’t focus on getting them turning too soon. The focus is fun
- Don’t try to teach them yourself
- Go with the lesson recommendations of a snowboard school. Group lessons just don’t work for tiny tots, they need a lot of individual help age 6 & below!”
For the first part in our 2-part series on getting your family to the mountains, check out our review of Treeline Chalets here.