By Rich Rumfola
Holiday Valley’s winter playground for kids gets even better Saturday morning, as the resort is set to unveil an all-new “Riglet Park” for snowboarders and skiers, ages 3-5 years old.
The Riglet system was originally developed by Burton Snowboards to help take the strain out of a beginner lesson for the youngest snowsports riders and help them be successful.
The Riglet Reel itself is like a lawn mower pull-cord, which is mounted to the front of specially designed snowboards.
This allows the child to have both feet strapped into the board while an instructor guides the child through the Riglet Park, a creative learning environment that features gently sloping practice runs with banked turns and slight waves and rolls in the snow surface.
The boards themselves feature a higher base-edge bevel than other learning boards. This makes it harder for the child to catch an edge and all but eliminates hard falls while learning the new sport.
An exciting addition to The Outpost learning area near Creekside Lodge, the Burton Riglet Park will also serve as an introduction to the tiniest of park features, such as ground-level boxes and a teeter-totter to ride and slide over.
Traditionally, children below the age of six haven’t had the right fitting equipment or the strength and stamina to be able to take up snowboarding.
The Riglet system gives these kids the chance to get high-quality instruction on equipment and in terrain made just for their tiny bodies.
It’s actually quite amazing how quickly the little ones are able to find their balance and ride the snowboard – sometimes in the first five minutes of the lesson.
By riding and skiing down the slightly curving paths with banked turns in the Riglet Park, kids acquire turning skills without having to learn and apply a lot of the technical skills that might otherwise slow the learning curve.
Holiday Valley’s Riglet Park came about after much hard work by key members of the Terrain Park Crew, Snowsports School staff and Mountain Operations staff; including the expert grooming and shaping services of Jim Curtis and Ed Imhoff.
The Riglet Park will be available for use in lessons by children throughout the season.