My 9 year-old intermediate daughter has outgrown her 118cm Head "Nice One" skis and needs new boards for the upcoming season here in the Sierras. I'm eager for input on the following two questions:
1) Rocker: will rocker help or hinder a child this age in the process of acquiring advanced technique? I'd be particularly interested if any of you parents or instructors out there had observations to share.
2) Any model recommendations on 129-135cm skis that are presently a good deal (< $150)?
I'm currently looking at getting a solid, wood-core ski that will "grow with her" as she moves on to more advanced technique and terrain.
Here are the two I like best so far:
K2 Missy Skis 129cm - 100-75-96mm sidecut, currently $129
These are twin-tips with K2's "All Mountain" rocker (i.e. marketing rocker up front).
Dynastar 6Th Sense, 135cm, 104x72x98 sidecut, currently $150
Twin tips w/ conventional camber.
She likes to play around & jump on small snow features in the terrain park, and will follow me into the trees on "jump trails" alongside intermediate runs.
This leads to the crux of this post: given what's on the market for kids this age, would getting a slightly rockered ski like the Missy help my daughter build confidence on soft snow & powder days?
Would there be a tradeoff? Would the rocker profile hinder her in learning to to carve properly?
About my daughter:
54" (135cm) tall, 69lbs, size 23.5 boot. Athletic & strong: she's a competitive swimmer.
She is confident on most groomed, intermediate terrain, and can navigate moguls confidently, but tends to be methodical, preferring to master technique on known slopes before moving up to something that will challenge her more.
She's making parallel turns on blue terrain, working towards mastery of carving, linking, and timing turns in the fall line with poles.
Over the past 5 seasons, she has skied 14+ days a year with 3+ days of professional instruction. We now live just an hour from Sierra at Tahoe, where we have season passes, so if the snow is there, she'll likely be skiing 30+ days this year.
Her previous Heads were typical kids skis: foam & plastic, with a decent sidecut (117cm, 101-65-89mm)
I have a 4.5 DIN Head Literail rail-system binding that I'm going to mount on the new ski, which should help keep her on this ski for 2+ seasons, and will also make handing these skis down to her 6 year old sister a snap.