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Bond with your kids over Big Air

simon_dumont.jpgSimon Dumont (pictured here at his home hill, Sunday River) will look to defend his big air title at the X Games   this week.

Itís not easy bonding with your teen these days. Finding a movie or music which appeals to both generations is a challenge. So, may I present the X Games as a fun family pastime?

This week is the 14th season of the Winter X Games, televised from Aspenís Buttermilk Mountain. From Jan. 28-31, you can watch everything from Shaun White flying like a tomato over the halfpipe, to Maine skier Simon Dumont defending his Big Air gold medal. Then thereís roller derby on snow as racers rush over knolls, jumps and banked turns bumping each other during the snowboarder cross (Maineís Seth Wescott rules this event) and skiercross. The mono skiercross - where amputee or paralyzed skiers compete on the same, crazy course - is inspiring.

Watching the X Games with my teens, I am amazed at how far skiing and snowboarding have evolved, and how far young athletes are willing to huck themselves off super pipes and jumps. For family fun, we try to name each trick according to the trendy vocabulary that has developed along with the tricky terrain. My daughter knows the difference between an alley-oop rodeo five and a 1080 switch McTwist. Of course, we find watching the big wipe outs at the X Games entertaining too, sorry Ė but itís human nature.

So grab some popcorn, a spot on the couch, and watch the exciting X Games with your peeps. You will all get amped to go skiing next weekend, and you are watching history in the making as young athletes push the sport to new levels. Then tell your kids ďdonít try this at home.Ē Just because youíre chilliní with your homies watching halfpipe doesnít mean you have given up your parenting responsibilities.

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 Snowboarder cross is a crazy crash course event featured at Aspenís X Games.

For more family ski articles from Heather Burke, go to www.familyskitrips.com Photos by Greg Burke.

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