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What length GS ski for J3 girl?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

My daughter is a second year J3 and 14 years old. She is 158cm/62inches/5ft1 tall and weights 99 pounds. She has only been ski racing a year and is not very experienced on GS skis(we live in London so GS training is limited to school holiday camps.) Following a bad recommendation we brought her 176 elan GS skis which she has skiied on for about 2 weeks in total. They have not worked for her at all, she finds them very hard to ski on, doesnt like the skis and cant really carve them even on easy slopes (she can carve her slaloms perfectly on most pistes.) Her slalom skis are 144cm atom junior SL RD Race 12 and work very well for her. She is not very aggressive and is not very experienced. Her coach has said the brand doesnt work for her and they are far to big. Would she be better off on atomic as her slalom skis work for her or another brand? Her coach also said fischer and head could work as well as atomic. What lenght do you think she would be best on 158, 165 or 171? Or any other lenghts or brands?Thanks for the help.


post #2 of 10

There are some things that can come in to play here.  

First can be the length, at 99 lbs, I'd say she may be okay on a 165, but other things may be factoring in as well, like the tune, ........

Hopefully someone who's more knowledgable about race skis can chime in.



post #3 of 10

My daughter was a second year J3 last season and measures about 5' and weighed just under 120lbs.


Based on what I've seen over the years, for a timid relatively new racer who is average or lighter in weight, something that measures to about her height would work well (say 155-160 cm). Another important thing to consider is the stiffness of the skis. Because your daughter is a bit on the lighter side, you may want to consider something less stiff in that length. Head and Fischer (and Atomic I think) are known to have a stiffer flex. Her Elans would probably work for her if they were not so huge (her SG should be at about that length). Dynastar will also offer the softer stiffness. As smaller bodies, my daughters (I have two) love their Nordicas, which is middle of the line.


As for her SL, low to mid 140s would work for her. Length for SL is more of a personal preference. SL racers at the two ends of the skill scale might prefer something a bit shorter. If she likes them, stick with the Atomics that she has.

post #4 of 10


I don't have a lot of exerince with junior race skis and getting junior racers on the right ski.  I went through the "hunting for the right length" for my daughter who is also a J3 just recently.  A couple "rules of thumb" I picked up are:


  1. Don't feel you have to follow any rules of thumb
  2. The SL and GS should be within 15cm of each other
  3. Inexperienced does better on shorter
  4. Find out what someone close to her size/ability is on that is doing well and use that as a reference point
  5. Listen to the coach
  6. Don't listen to the coach
  7. SL should come up to the chin(ish)
  8. GS should be slightly taller than she is
  9. Rossi and Dynastar are the same ski and softer than the rest
  10. Atomic is stiffer
  11. Fischer in in the middle for flex
  12. If the ski is too short, she won't be as fast as potentially possible, but will develop better technique
  13. It's more important for her to have fun than anything else


Though your daughter is on the lighter side for a J3 (chart starts at 90#), my daughter isn't on the chart (she is now up to 75#) as a J3.  She will be on a Fischer SL 137 and GS 150.  She just this past week hit 4'10" or 145cm.  She has some race training and is a pretty good skier, but has never been on a ski longer than a 130.


I favored the shorter side for SL as she has done much training in SL and the ski she's going to is 7cm longer and a bit stiffer than anything she's been on so far.


For your daughter, I would lean towards the 160 gs.  It woud probably do her well to be on a ski that is on the shorter side for gs for her but will be a great confidence booster to her after being on a 176.  


Slap the person that told you to put her on a 176cm GS ski last year.



post #5 of 10

My 2 cents is to go with a 165cm softer flexing ski like a Rossi/Dynastar or a Volkl. I'd stay away from Atomic, Fischer, or Nordicas at this point. 176 is, as you now know, too much for a child of that size.

post #6 of 10

Look at this site http://www.ussa.org/magnoliaPublic/ussa/en/sports/alpine/rules.html . Try to get a size that will work for 2 years. The ski should be to the top of her head, or just over, based on how well she can control a ski. Stay with a soft flex ski, add OGASAKA to your list.

post #7 of 10

Mine was a 1st year 3 last year, about 5'1'' 105 and both very strong and a very good racer.  She chose 165 Heads over 172s.

post #8 of 10

Go to a spring/summer race camp, and try out several -- both brand and length.

post #9 of 10

I think a J3 has minimum sizes of 155 cm fore slalom and 175 cm for GS, but confirm this.  I know 175 is a lotta ski for a girl that age.  Check with her coaches.

post #10 of 10


Originally Posted by handhdad View Post

I think a J3 has minimum sizes of 155 cm fore slalom and 175 cm for GS, but confirm this.  I know 175 is a lotta ski for a girl that age.  Check with her coaches.

Those are rules for J2 and above, and, more specifically, for FIS. For other governing bodies, this may be different.


For the record, USSA imposes NO rules on ski length or radius for J3 and younger.



I seem to remember a > 120 cm rule from when I was racing as a J4 and J5, but that could just be my imagination, or it may have changed.




FIS, on the other hand, only imposes a minimum length for children (J4s and J3s): > 130 cm for both GS and SL, > 175 for Super G for J3s.



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