Top 10 Questions Parents Ask About Ski Equipment For Kids
Skiing is a fun family activity for all ages. But if you are just starting the sport, or are considering putting your child in skiing, you will have many questions. Here at Source For Sports, our ski professionals and experts have compiled the top 10 questions that parents ask when they are in the store looking for ski gear for kids.
1. Will these skis, ski poles, and ski equipment fit my child next year?
Never buy ski equipment to “grow into”. Skis and boots that are too big will hinder their performance and affect their safety on the ski hill. Skiing in equipment that is the wrong size is not fun and can ruin the entire skiing experience.
Many Source For Sports ski and snowboard stores offer a Junior Halfback Program. This allows your child to ski all season, then allows you to return the equipment for a discount on gear that fits them next ski season.
2. What size of skis does my child need?
Factors to take into account when sizing a child for skis are the experience of the skier, weight of the skier, and the terrain he or she will be skiing on.
If your child is a beginner skier or is very small and lightweight, the ski length should come to a point between their chin and bottom of their nose when they are standing straight. A child who is experienced and can ski with confidence should have a ski length from their nose to forehead.
TIP: If a ski is too short it will unbalance the child and affect their performance. Purchasing a ski that is too long is harder to control and increases their speed down the hill, which can be dangerous if they are inexperienced.
3. Are my child’s ski boots too small?
Because you cannot feel the child’s toes through the hard plastic of a ski boot, it is highly recommended to have one of our ski boot fitting specialists fit your child. Mondo sizing is specific to ski boot measurements and is sized as 19.5, 20.5, 21.5. etc, so you cannot simply compare by a child’s shoe size to a ski boot. A ski boot has 2 components: the shell and liner. To be properly fit, you need to remove the liner of the ski boot to determine how much room is in the boot. To shell fit a child, Source For Sports ski associates will pull the liner out of the boot, place the child’s foot into the shell with the toes to the front of the boot, and have the child bend at the knee. We make sure there is enough room for 2 fingers behind their heel within the ski boot. Initially your child will feel the end of the boot, but as the ski boot is buckled, and the foot is pulled back into position the liner will pack out and the ski boot will feel more comfortable.
TIP: A ski boot that is too big will not hold the foot in place and can be harder for your child to have control while skiing. A boot that is too tight will decrease blood flow, causing your child’s toes to be cold and uncomfortable.
4. Can I adjust ski bindings at home?
Most skis come with integrated ski bindings that are designed for specific ski brands for safety and performance on the hill. The DIN setting (Deutsches Institut fur Normung - German Institute for standardization) allows the ski binding to release when a certain amount of pressure is applied – you want the ski to release when you fall so that it won’t twisty your leg. The ski bindings need to be set at your child’s DIN, taking into account their height, weight, boot sole length and skiing experience. The correct setting is critical for skiing safety; a DIN number too low will have your child pop out of the ski too easily and a DIN number set too high won’t release if and when a tumble occurs.
5. Should my child have ski poles?
If your child has never skied before or is just new to the sport, do not introduce poles right away. All kids want poles, however introducing ski poles too early will hinder the child’s ability to learn how to turn and stop while skiing. Once a young skier can make a snow-plow turn with a parallel finish, poles can be introduced.
6. Can my child wear their hockey helmet for skiing?
Ski specific helmets are tested and certified to minimize head impacts that may occur on the hill. Parents must keep in mind that ski hills are heavily populated with skiers of all calibers, some who may lose control. You can wear a thin balaclava under the helmet, however do not wear a hat because it will affect the fit and safety performance of helmet. Most youth ski helmets have an adjustable dial in the back to allow the helmet to adjust slightly as the child grows, however, in all circumstances, if it doesn’t fit it doesn’t protect.
7. Does my child really need ski goggles?
Ski goggles are a good idea for accurate field of vision on the hill, as well as keeping your face warm and protected from the cold. Ski goggles are adjustable and will fit over ski helmets. Ski goggles are too small on your child’s face when the frame is uncomfortable and compromises their vision.
8. How do I get all this ski equipment to the hill?
It can be overwhelming getting the whole family’s ski equipment to the hill. A gear bag is a great investment to transport ski boots, helmet, goggles, gloves, neck warmers and extra socks. To carry the skis you can buy a ski specific bag, which can hold several pairs of skis depending on the model of bag.
9. Does my child’s ski equipment need to be waxed and sharpened?
All ski equipment needs to be waxed and sharpened throughout the season. The number of times your child is on the hill will determine how often the skis needs a tune up. For most leisure skiers a basic tune up is sufficient to sharpen the edges for grip and wax the base for glide. If you are planning a big ski trip, it is important to make sure everyone’s gear is tuned. Your Source For Sports professional can help you determine if your equipment needs a sharpen and wax.
TIP: If your skis aren’t waxed they will be sticky, especially in spring skiing temperatures.
10. What’s an “Edgie Wedgie""?
If your child is under the age of 6 and learning to ski, an Edgie Wedgie will be your best friend. It is a skiing aid that is a thick elastic band that attaches to the tips of the skis, keeping them in the snow plow position. When a child can keep their ski tips together they will have better balance and control. The Edgie Wedgie will help to speed up the learning process while providing a more enjoyable introduction to skiing.
Skiing is a great sport for the whole family to enjoy. Visit your local Source For Sports ski shop and be fit by the pros in ski equipment for you and your kids.
For expert advice on Ski, Snowboard, or everything Winter, come see us at your local Source for Sports winter sports store near you. We'll find the equipment that is right for your game, level of play, and budget. We Fit Your Game.
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