Burton's 'After School Special'

Blame video games, the Olympics or the issues of Transworld Snowboarding you leave around the house, but I bet your kid has been begging you and/or Santa Claus for a snowboard. You think to yourself, “Too bad it’s tough to find quality gear for young’uns, and even if it existed, what would it cost?”

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Burton’s $300 ‘After School Special’ package

The answer to both questions? Not any more and $300. Burton’s new After School Special package includes a board, bindings, boots, and a travel bag. And because there’s nothing like a lesson from a professional instructor at a quality resort, the package also includes a “Learn to Ride” lesson (Burton’s signature program) and a lift ticket at one of several select mountains around the U.S.

The board is a twin-tip and soft enough for even the lightest kids, according to the company. It’s also minimally responsive, according to Burton’s ratings, scoring a 1 in “feel” and “response” in a range of 1 to 10. That low number is a good thing because your child can get a feel for sliding sideways before the board over-responds to what they’re doing. The bindings are also designed for kids — they’re easy to adjust with small hands. And the boots feature a cool design Burton calls “Room to Grow,” which allows your new rider to stay in the same kicks even after they’ve gained a full size.

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After School Special bindings and boots

Pretty neat stuff if your child is ready to get rid of the red saucer sled and step it up a notch. With a lesson and lift ticket, 300 bucks ain’t bad at all, either.

-Stephen Krcmar first tried sliding sideways in the ’80s by removing the trucks and wheels from an old skateboard. That was in Westchester County. He now lives in Mammoth Lakes, Calif.

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