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Bond with your kids over Big Air

Posted by Heather Burke  January 26, 2010 01:27 PM

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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.

It’s 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 Aspen’s 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 there’s roller derby on snow as racers rush over knolls, jumps and banked turns bumping each other during the snowboarder cross (Maine’s 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 – but it’s 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 “don’t try this at home.” Just because you’re chillin’ with your homies watching halfpipe doesn’t mean you have given up your parenting responsibilities.


 Snowboarder cross is a crazy crash course event featured at Aspen’s X Games.

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

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Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.

Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at and


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