Skip the I-70 traffic and long lift lines, these metro-area facilities develop kids’ skiing and snowboarding skills, without the need for Mom or Dad to drive into the mountains.
Snöbahn Indoor Ski and Snowboard Center
Sadler and Gina Merrill, the husband and wife team behind Snöbahn, credit European ski resorts as the design inspiration for their modernized ski school in Centennial. Located at the Streets of Southglenn, Snöbahn’s indoor slope is made of a nylon fiber carpet on a belt that works much like a treadmill. It’s as effective as learning on the mountain since just half an hour of skiing or snowboarding on the Snöbahn slope is equal to skiing 3,300 feet on a mountain seven times.
Skiers must be three years old for private lessons and four years old for group lessons. Snowboarding shredders must be at least five years old for group lessons. All gear is provided with purchase of a class or membership. Parents can ski too, or pass the time waiting for lessons to end in the lounge, which serves up wine, beer, and hot chocolate. Individual memberships range from $75 to $250, and intro classes start at $30.
Open since 2012, Shredder has four locations in the Denver metro area where kids can learn how to ski and snowboard close to home—a new Stapleton location opens in January. Shredder uses a course made of waxed turf material sprayed with water that provides skiers and snowboarders better control for turning and stopping. It simulates good powder days instead of icy slopes.
All gear is included with enrollment in a session, and Shredder’s ski and snowboard schools are broken down into three groups: Yeti School for parents and children ages 10 months to two and a half years, Little Shredders for ages two and a half to five, and Ski and Board School for kids ages three to 10 who want to dive into the technical aspects of skiing and snowboarding. Six-week classes start at $200, with 12-week and weekend classes available.
Progresh provides one instructor for every five students in their six-week classes, allowing for individualized instruction. Located in Thornton, Progresh’s curriculum is modified by each coach for every discipline and learning style. Kids can choose between beginner or freestyle classes in both skiing or snowboarding, with an option for preschoolers.
Progresh’s freestyle skiing and snowboarding classes utilize cross-training to teach kids how to perform tricks. Kiddos who are proficient and comfortable skiing or snowboarding down a mountain can begin learning tricks such as back and front flips. Kids—as young as seven years old—first learn the gymnastics skill used for tricks using a trampoline and airbags to flip into, then graduate to the indoor slope to master tricks. Memberships, drop-in hours, and classes are available.
Owner Susie Cole has been teaching indoor ski and snowboarding since the ‘70s, and brings her experience to this spot in Colorado Springs. In addition to sending athletes to the special olympics, Ski Maxx operates Ski Maxx Lift, a nonprofit program designed to help special needs children and adults learn to ski.
Ski Maxx offers 30-minute lessons that they say are equal to a full day of skiing for $45 per person. Families can buy a three or five lesson package for $120 and $185. All gear is provided free with purchase.