Author Topic: Recommendation for Kids Skis  (Read 848 times)

Svend

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Re: Recommendation for Kids Skis
« on: March 31, 2011, 07:35:40 am »
We have just recently been through that age with our daughters, and our nephew is now 7 years old as well, so a bit of experience under the belt.? Unfortunately, most skis for kids are foam core and are not made to last.? The upside of that is that they are light and easy to handle.? Having said that, and being the Chief Ski Tuner in the family, I can say that there does seem to be a difference in quality between brands.? We've had skis from Head, Fischer, Elan and K2.? Surprisingly, the K2 skis seemed to be best -- the bases stayed dead-flat, resisted scratching and gouging, held the wax well, and the top sheets held up well too.? Fischer and Elan were also very good.? The Head skis all had problems with base flatness -- all became edge-high very quickly after only a couple of hot-waxes (bases warped from the heat?), and the PTEX would gouge easily.?

Some general advice:

-- Don't buy too long!!! Thinking you're doing your pocketbook a favour by having them last a season or two more is false economy.? Unless they are already good skiers, skis that are too long will only hold them back, as they will struggle to control them, they won't have fun and may get turned off the sport (this happened to my 7 y-o nephew this year -- his skis were too long, he was always in the back seat by fear instinct, and we never saw a smile on his face -- his skiing ability actually regressed from last year).? Stay short, and they will have way more fun.

-- Pay a bit extra and get a Railflex binding, so you can adjust for yearly changes in boot size without redrilling; gives them extra stand height, too, which is good.

-- Put on a 1 degree base bevel and 0 degree side bevel, unless you have lots of ice, then maybe a 1 degree side.? Keep them sharp, as they will need grip on hard snow and steeper stuff, just like Dad.? When my younger daughter was 10, she skied with a friend and her family at Mt. Tremblant for a few days, and it was icy -- the whole family was falling all over the place, but our daughter had nary a single skid or fall.? She thanked me afterward for keeping her skis sharp.?

-- Detune the tips and tails to make turn initiation and release easier.?

-- Keep them well waxed -- there's nothing more annoying to a kid who can't keep up to their pals because there is no wax on their skis...."Hey! Wait for me!" is not something you want your child to be shouting on the ski hill.? This happened many times with our kid's friends, and they were just frustrated, watching our kids glide across the flats, while they were poling and skating like crazy to keep up.

-- Make sure you get good boots! They don't have to be fancy, racy or even new.? But the flex and cuff height has to be suited to their height, weight, strength and skiing ability.? This is just as important as for us grown ups.? Using my nephew again as an example -- he is a really tall kid for his age, but this year his boots were waaay too short in the cuff, and did not push him forward where he needed to be, and gave him no ankle support.? As a result, and combined with the too-long skis, he skied bolt upright, no knee bend, and his skis were always out of control.? Not good.? Despite expensive lessons, he had a terrible season, and skied worse than last year.

-- If you buy at a ski swap, take a small straight-edge or carpenters square with you, so you can check for base flatness in the shop.? You don't want to have to pay for a base grind right after buying a great bargain, and edge-high or base-high skis can be difficult to handle for a junior.

Hope this helps, but let me know if you have any more questions.

Cheers,

Svend

PS -- skiing with my kids is one of my greatest pleasures in life.? I love it! It is so much fun, and always has been since day-one.? If they are having fun, and whooping and squealing all day, then I'm a very happy guy.? Knowing they are on the right gear, that lets them do what they want and have fun wherever on the hill they want to go, and not have to worry or fight the gear, is one less stress for me and for them, and makes all the up-front effort worthwhile.? Bottom line:  you want good gear that will help them learn and to have the most fun possible, but not to prevent learning and be a frustration and annoyance.  It is important to take the time to get it right.  Enjoy!!!




« Last Edit: March 31, 2011, 08:30:36 am by Svend »