Kids Ski Buying Guide

Selecting a perfect ski for your child is a pretty simple and easy task to do once you have the proper knowledge and know what exactly you are looking for.

Sizing

Sizing a child for kid’s skis is very simple and easy to do. Kids skis are very different from adult skis that have different skill levels, waist widths, and flexes. Nearly all kid’s skis with the exception of some high performance powder, or race skis are nearly identical.

The most determining factor when deciding what size ski your child should be in is their height. Since most children are height and weight proportionate any junior ski that falls between their eyebrows to their chin is acceptable.

If your child is a more experienced skier that is capable of linking parallel turns it is better to lean towards the longer side (up to their eyebrows). If you have a newer, less experienced skier who is still snowplowing, or still developing their skills a shorter ski (right about chin height) will be easier for them to learn with.

The easy way to size your child for skis would be to measure their height in centimeters. If your child is a stronger, more aggressive, or more experienced skier subtract 10 centimeters. If you skier is a newer, or less experienced skier that is still gaining the basic skills, subtract 20 centimeters.

Kid’s skis are fantastic learning tools and are strictly designed for children weighing less than 100lbs. for skis measuring 120 centimeters or shorter, and 150lbs for Kid’s skis measuring 150cm or shorter. Lightweight adults should not be skiing on Kid’s Skis. Junior skiers with very strong skills weighing more than 110lbs. should also be skiing in adult skis. Strong skiers will be able to pull the bindings out of the softly constructed Kid’s Skis.

Construction

Kid’s skis are designed to be soft, forgiving, economical, and easy to learn with. They typically have a soft, composite core that requires little mass or technique to make the ski bend, flex, and react when it should, when minimal pressure is applied to the ski.

Most Kid’s skis are made with a cap construction that makes the ski lighter weight and more forgiving. This method of building skis is the most economical, and perfect for the lightweight, newer skier.

Other more advanced kid’s skis may have vertical sidewalls, or wood cores. These types of skis are typically reserved for more aggressive, experienced skiers, or those that require a race ski. They are more demanding and require a much stronger skill set to properly bend and flex the ski to make it react when and how it should.

Rocker

Most kid’s skis now have Rocker included in the tip of the ski. Rocker is the slightly bent up or reverse camber shape that skis have. Think of the tip of the ski as being pre-flexed that allows the ski to engage into a turn a little quicker and easier as soon as the ski is tipped on edge. If your junior skier is still snowplowing, rocker in the tip will cause the ski grab the snow a little easier, requiring less effort to push out that snowplow.

Ski Rocker Diagram

Kids Skis With Bindings

Many Kid’s skis that you will find here on Skis.com have bindings that are included with the skis. This is always the recommended route to go, for simplicity and compatibility. Kid’s skis with bindings never need to have the bindings removed to be re-drilled for proper fitting of the boots. The bindings only needs to be slid into the appropriate place for that particular child’s boots, and have the ability to be moved when your child changes boots without compromising the integrity of the ski.

It is strongly encouraged that a certified binding technician always installs, adjusts and tests you junior skier’s bindings every season. Alpine ski binding are the most important piece of safety equipment to help prevent injury on the slopes. Certified binding technicians have the special tools required to ensure that the binding releases once a specific amount of pressure is applied to the binding.

Kids Skis Without Bindings

Many Kid’s Skis are available without bindings. These are called flat skis. They do not come with a binding and require that a binding must be purchased separately. The general guideline for purchasing a binding is to select a brake width that is equal to or greater than the waist width of the ski, but not greater than 15mm. Junior bindings are only compatible with most kid’s skis strictly due to the fact that they have shorter screws that will not puncture the base of the ski when installed.

Kids Twin Tip Skis

Lots of kids these days are interested in Twin Tip skis, and they should be. A Twin Tip ski has a turned up tail that mimics the tip shape of the ski that may be used for freestyle skiing if they want to, or just regular all mountain skiing. One thing to consider about twin tip skis is the fact they do ski a little bit shorter than they actually measure. The turned up tail is measured in the total length of the ski, but none of the tail comes in contact with the snow. It is recommended that you can increase the size of a Twin Tip ski by 5 centimeters compared to a traditional shaped ski. Some Junior Twin Tip skis have stronger flex patterns and wider waists that may come in very handy for stronger or more aggressive skiers.

Used Kids Skis

From time to time Skis.com offers a section of USED Kid’s Skis. Please keep in mind that they are in used condition, but have been inspected for any structural defects that would compromise the safety of the user. Our selection of USED Kid’s Skis are from name brand manufactures like K2, Rossignol, Volkl, or others. By selecting a size and gender you will be getting a USED ski in that size and gender. Due to the nature of revolving inventory we cannot honor any special requests of condition or manufacture.