The last time I took my five-year-old skiing, it did not end well. I vividly recall her splayed out on the ground, covered in snow, red-faced and bawling after a long day of ski school. But what’s a powder-loving parent to do? Brooks Crosby, owner of indoor ski and snowboarding school Shredder, knows this pain all too well.
“So many parents think that they are going to spend all day skiing with their kids when they start out,” Brooks chuckles. “When in reality, it takes the whole day just to get up the mountain, lug around all the gear—never mind getting the gear on. Then it’s more like three runs down the mountain and hot chocolate. They’re done!”
Brooks speaks from experience. A lifelong skier and racer, he was eager to get his two daughters out on the slopes at an early age but was discouraged by how cumbersome it could be. It was then, during his time as owner of the Little Gym of Boulder, that the idea for an indoor ski gym was born. Brooks discovered that indoor skiing and snowboarding are enjoyed year-round all around the world, thanks to a unique combination of wax-coated turf and water. In 2012, Shredder’s first location opened in Boulder. Shortly after, Co-owner Max Brittenham joined the Shredder team, along with his sister, Rachel.
Shredder starts with the tiniest of skiers and snowboarders and teaches them independence—how to handle and put on their gear, how to maneuver side to side, and stand on an incline without falling. Then they move on to the more technical aspects of skiing and riding, all from the comfort of a safe indoor environment. The results speak for themselves.
“Lots of parents say that their children adjust quickly on the mountain and move through ski school much more easily,” says Brooks. “They’re out there together in no time.”
Shredder aims to remove many of the obstacles parents find in their quest to raise young skiers: proximity, cost and weather. Like any sport, repetition is essential to long-term success, and being able to ski year-round is a boon to children who would normally find themselves restricted to a handful of weekends a year. And if you’re slightly, uh, more mature than the ski school set? Private lessons are available for all ages. And thanks to the team at Shredder, it’s even easier for your budding skier to hit the slopes these days: There are now facilities in Boulder, Lafayette and Wheat Ridge.
“We want kids to become lifelong skiers,” says Brooks. “And for families to be able to enjoy this sport together. It is the best family sport in a way that you don’t find with say, soccer or gymnastics."
"You don’t usually play soccer all day, together as a family. With skiing, with snowboarding—you can.”
Brooks, again, is speaking from experience. On any given weekend in the mountains this winter, you might find him racing around accompanied by his two teenaged daughters.
“Oh, they love it now,” he smiles. “We’re out there together as much as we can.”
Three Locations to Shred
6655 Arapahoe Rd Suite J
Boulder, CO 80303
1729 Majestic Dr. Unit 1
Lafayette, CO 80026
4880 Van Gordon St.
Wheat Ridge, CO 80033