Looking to get your kids started standing sideways on a snowboard but don’t know where to start? Look no further, as we have the perfect solution to help your little ones build confidence and get comfortable on a snowboard before they even strap into bindings! The Handlebar is not only an amazing tool for building confidence and excitement in kids but it also an incredible way for kids to hop onto to a snowboard, grab onto the bar and feel the amazing feeling on sliding on snow.
The Handlebar from Burton is a learning tool that is specifically designed to help kids have fun faster by learning balance and gaining confidence on a snowboard—all while standing sideways. Similar to bicycle training wheels, parents can easily add The Handlebar to a child’s snowboard and then simply remove it when it’s no longer needed. Because of its flexibility and low-cost, The Handlebar has become a go-to learning solution for snowboarding families around the world.
A Brief History of The Handlebar from Burton
Burton fundamentally believes in making snowboarding accessible to everyone and has dedicated significant resources to youth snowboarding since the beginning. Over the years, Burton has produced all sorts of learning tools for children, but The Handlebar is the unique result of internal research and development based on feedback from Burton employees, partner resorts and ambassadors who were teaching kids to snowboard. These parents and instructors agreed that the if we could create a learning tool that kids could stand on and play without any gear or interaction we could make the sport more accessible. A few iterations later, The Handlebar as we know it was born and has helped to break down another barrier to entry for young kids to snowboard faster and easier.
An Overview of the Burton Handlebar
Our best learning tool yet, The Handlebar allows kids to easily try snowboarding, no matter the season or the footwear. This grab bar promotes proper body positioning and attaches to a snowboard using the standard binding mounting holes. A primary benefit of The Handlebar is that it is extremely versatile—it can be used on any Burton youth snowboard sizes 80cm to 110cm, indoors or outdoors, any time of the year—but there are several additional benefits that parents should consider.
Benefits of The Handlebar
The Handlebar was designed to provide years of fun for kids of all ages and incorporates some industry-leading functionality that delivers excellent utility for the cost.
- Adjustable height. Adjust the height of the Handlebar to fit a range of kids sizes by depressing the metal push-buttons on either side and sliding the crossbar up and down to the desired height.
- Padded grab bar. The crossbar is padded to keep little hands warm and soften bumpy rides.
- Low weight construction. The entire unit comes in at less than two pounds (4 kilograms), providing young riders a realistic experience without extra bulk.
- Lots of compatibility. The Handlebar can be mounted on any youth snowboard sized 80cm-110cm so there’s plenty of room to grow and progress.
- No Bindings needed. The Handlebar is used without bindings, so if your kid can stand, they can start snowboarding.
- Low cost. At around $100 USD, The Handlebar is an inexpensive addition to the kit.
How to Mount The Handlebar
To mount The Handlebar to a snowboard, simply line up the binding insert slots on the base pads of the bar and use the included screws to set the bar in place; then hand-tighten the screws. Once the bar is mounted to the board, adjust the height of the crossbar. Have your kid stand on the board with their arms at a 90-degree angle and set the height to meet their hands; this angle provides stability and allows them to establish an athletic stance.
Note: Do not use power tools when mounting The Handlebar.
Getting Started with The Handlebar from Burton
The Handlebar is an accessible training tool, allowing kids to hop on a snowboard, grab onto the bar, and start riding. But following a few key steps will ensure that kids build the confidence they need to succeed in the future.
1) Start Kids on The Handlebar Inside If you want to get your kiddos feeling confident while staying warm, before you even take them on the snow, start them with The Handlebar indoors. Attach The Handlebar to your kid’s snowboard and have them practice standing, leaning, and crouching while holding onto the bar.
2) Increase the Speed Using the Burton Riglet Reel, pull your kid around while they hang on to The Handlebar. Slowly increase the speed as your kid gets more comfortable with the feeling of sliding. For more ways to build skills, try building an indoor Riglet Park.
3) Take it to the Snow Once kids are feeling good and having fun, it is time to take it to the snow. Start in the backyard or a local park and practice standing in place and then being pulled around. Kids should immediately notice the difference in how the board moves underneath their feet. For more ways to build skills, try building an outdoor Riglet park.
4) Add in Some Downhill Once kids are comfortable sliding on snow on flat ground, find a small slope and help them ride down it. As they progress and build confidence, add in obstacles to increase the difficulty and keep them engaged. Once you have a true Handlebar expert on your hands, have them practice riding switch as well.
5) Remove The Handlebar Now that your kiddos are off and sliding, it’s time to shred! To graduate them to the next level, remove the bar and add bindings. Now, they should have some basics to try and take their riding to the magic carpet, rope tow, sledding hill, or chairlift. For best results we recommend signing up for a kids snowboarding lesson at your local resort.
Get some awesome photos or video of your little one using the Handlebar? Share the inspiration by posting to Instagram and tagging @Burton; we love to seeing your family’s progression.