Buy or rent? If your child is only going skiing a few times in a season, it probably better to rent. Children grow quickly and it is difficult to keep up with their growth and keep them properly fitted. If you live near a ski area and you are going to ski more than several times a season, look for a ski shop that has a long-term rental program.
Ski length is important: For beginners, the skis should reach between the child's chin and nose. For intermediates, skis should be at nose level. Most children's skis now have a side cut (the ski is narrower in the middle, wider at the ends). As with adults, sidecut skis for children should be 15 to 20 cm shorter than regular skis (Even World Cup racers are now using shorter skis with sidecuts).
Boots should be flexible. Too stiff a boot will make it difficult for your child to move. Some shops simply rotate their old adult boots into their youth rental stock, so look for junior models of boots when purchasing or renting. When at all possible get boots with front entry buckles: they offer the best support and allow mobility to help performance.
- Other suggested equipment: Helmet, goggles or glasses, waterproof gloves, ski pants, coat, long underwear, ski socks (one pair), neck gator and sunscreen. HELPFUL HINT: Label all belongings and attach all items when possible.
Want to discuss this article or have question answered? Join us in the forums!