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Questions regarding my 5 yr old girl

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

Hi,

 

My daughter just turned 5, and I'm pondering her equipment for this season (because I am a dork, I will over think this).

She is about 35lbs, and skied a bit last year, 6 sessions of "hot cocco club" at the local hill, about 2hr each. She was a bit timid physically last year (not just skiing), but is more aggressive this year. Not aggressive, mind you, just MORE aggressive physically than last year. She is a very good listener, and was trying very hard to carve her skis last year (class was trying to teach kids to carve and skip the whole wedge thing, had some success to from what I could tell with the more physically advanced kids). It was fun watching her think hard about edging her skis, although she did get a bit frustrated at times. I think this year she might do pretty well.

 

Last year she was on 80's (which I still have). I also have a pair of 90's that a friend gave us. Both are 5m sidecut skis. I was thinking of putting her on the 90's, as those go to the bottom of her chin, but now I'm thinking perhaps it would be better to just use the 80's one more year (obviously, about 10cm below chin) given her beginner status. Any comments?

 

As far as boots, I got her some brand new Technica RJ Supers at the local swap. I'm fairly comfortable with the sizing (18.0, she could perhaps go down to a 17.5), but worried about the flex (internet search says 45). Now I'm concerned that perhaps I should search for a softer boot (like, the softest I can find, given her petite build). I don't even know how the Technicas compare to other kids boots (anybody know?), but I have the feeling they aren't the softest. Perhaps I should try and see if the dalbello girls model would flex better... The Full Tilts sound great, but I'm weary of spending that much money this year... if she does well and enjoys it then next year perhaps.


 

Any insights would be appreciated.

Thanks!

post #2 of 28

Somehow I doubt the flex will make any difference to a 5yo girl.  As long as the boots are comfortable, she'll do fine.  Is your daughter in Kindergarten this school year?  A lot of developmental changes physically and otherwise at that age.  If she is willing to try the 90's, probably worth doing IMHO.

 

Hope you are giving your daughter time for free skiing where form is not important.  Even a run or two is well worth it.

 

Where do you usually ski?

 

 

My daughter was 4 when she started.  Also petite.  She is a pretty good listener and was not a worrier at that age.  Did fine on first trip to Alta at age 7 several years ago.  Once I starting buying her skis (used), they were usually long to start with (forehead).  Since our home mountain is small, she would do fine.  Got two seasons that way.  Usually got the next pair in March just before our annual late season trip to Alta.

 

For me, the big equipment question from my daughter was about poles.  I didn't let her use poles for ski school until she was 7.  But when she was tall enough to use the shortest poles available as part of a season lease, I did let her use them when free skiing.

post #3 of 28

Hi MC,

 

Dont worry about the boot flex,...as long as they fit, they will work fine.

 

As for skis, I would suggest go the 90s.  The skis need to glide,and they provide stability.  The 80s at 10cm below the chin, wont help the situation.  Short helps, but really short doesnt.

post #4 of 28

Yay, a typical EpicSki post- you are over-thinking her equipment way too much, especially the boots part (this is for adults to worry about).  Up to the chin ski sizing is good for kids.  80 may be too short.  Also, this is beginning of the season, she will add 5-10 cm in no time.  

post #5 of 28

As a parent of petite ski girls, I can relate.  My general rule for beginner ski length is no taller than the chin.  Both your options qualify there.  In the early years, my kids had skis more like shoulder height.  The next rule I formulated was: no lower than the sternum.

 

When you think about what extra ski length provides, it's usually float and stability at speed.  At this level, I submit that these are non-issues.  I'd rather choose a ski that'll be a bit slower and a bit easier to turn, that's less likely to get crossed up, etc.

 

Now there is one consequence of short skis.  A while back I was skiing with my older daughter when she decided to veer off the groomed into some softer, wetter snow.  Her wedge widened way out (kids are flexible) at the same time that she slowed way down.  She tucked her chin and did a nice, slow, forward roll over her helmet.  No problem.

post #6 of 28

Is there anything stopping you from starting her on the 80s and then move her up to the 90s after she gets a few days under her belt and starts to go faster?

post #7 of 28

sorry if i come out rude but how about just letting her ski?
 

I mean, boot flex ski length side radius?? she is not a racer (at least not yet) leave those factors to the ones who have to worry about them. She is so young that her motor skills aren't fully developed yet so lot's of things could change really fast, including her body.  What she really needs is a pair of wood sticks that will let her ski and a pair of boots that fit good that's it.
 

Bottom line I will go with the slightly longer skis and let her out grow them. Find a good pair of boots maybe a tad bigger (ask the boot experts here) and enjoy the season!
 

beercheer.gif

post #8 of 28
Thread Starter 

Thanks!

 

I could certainly start this season on the 80's and switch to the 90's later.

I'll keep the boots.

 

The feedback has confirmed that I am, in fact, crazy.  Thanks for putting up with my questions.

 

Now for more practical questions:

 

1)  Should I use a 1deg or .75 deg base bevel on her skis?

2)  What do you recommend for a floro wax that works well at the low speeds she is likely to encounter?

 

;)

post #9 of 28

not sure if serious  th_dunno-1[1].gif
but def a 1 degree base (so that the skis won't be hooky)  and 1 side (she won't be getting any extreme angles just yet)
the cheapest all temp wax you can find (to keep the base moist)

post #10 of 28
Thread Starter 

Not serious.  Joking.  Up late with my 9 week old, so perhaps my sense of humor is off.  :)

post #11 of 28

it's just hard to "read" the tone, no worries smile.gif

post #12 of 28

Apart from not getting over hung up on equipment be careful about getting hung up on technique as well. Primarily your daughter should be having fun skiing around. Her imature joints don't have the strength of ours. She will naturally lean back a little to accommodate both this and the disproportionate weight of her head creating in a higher centre of gravity than in an adult. I like to see very young skiers learning to manipulate the skis in all sorts of ways. Skidding, pivoting, going straight etc. all need to be mastered. If she's being directed towards carving exclusively at this stage, she may think she's doing wrong doing these things. I really don't see why she wouldn't learn a wedge. The carving stuff can come later. Carving after all is technically quite simple. with good core skills in place she'll soon learn when she's ready and physically more able.

 

When my kids were small my main concern was that they were comfortable and warm. I agree with Skidude about length and endorse not worrying about flex etc. These concerns are for another time when she's considerably older. Our children's personalities show themselves in skiing like in anything else. My youngest was very timid as a little girl. We never pushed her too hard but just encouraged and let her enjoy what she did. At 23 she is a lovely skier and the rest of the family cosider her the most technically proficient. She skis anything. It just took her a little longer to get there. 

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

Apart from not getting over hung up on equipment be careful about getting hung up on technique as well. Primarily your daughter should be having fun skiing around. Her imature joints don't have the strength of ours. She will naturally lean back a little to accommodate both this and the disproportionate weight of her head creating in a higher centre of gravity than in an adult. I like to see very young skiers learning to manipulate the skis in all sorts of ways. Skidding, pivoting, going straight etc. all need to be mastered. If she's being directed towards carving exclusively at this stage, she may think she's doing wrong doing these things. I really don't see why she wouldn't learn a wedge. The carving stuff can come later. Carving after all is technically quite simple. with good core skills in place she'll soon learn when she's ready and physically more able.

 

When my kids were small my main concern was that they were comfortable and warm. I agree with Skidude about length and endorse not worrying about flex etc. These concerns are for another time when she's considerably older. Our children's personalities show themselves in skiing like in anything else. My youngest was very timid as a little girl. We never pushed her too hard but just encouraged and let her enjoy what she did. At 23 she is a lovely skier and the rest of the family cosider her the most technically proficient. She skis anything. It just took her a little longer to get there. 

At the Massanutten ski school, and many others in the southeast (all small hills), as a parent I've observed that the progression is from "pizza" to "french fries" as rapidly as possible.  Since the OP's daughter was in a series of classes, I can see her doing French Fries by the end.  The Mnut progression is Red (never ever), Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Black.  Pretty sure by Yellow the kids are being taught French Fries exclusively.  (My daughter is 12 now so it's been a while.)  As I remember, most 5-6 year olds make it to Yellow by their third or fourth full day at ski school, which may be during a ski week or spread over several ski weekends.  Those who are regulars stay in Yellow for a while.  By age 7 they are strong enough to progress to Green and Blue depending on how often they get on the slopes.

post #14 of 28

I understood he was saying that the wedge was bypassed altogether. I agree entirely with progressing rapidly and 'French Fries' and carving are not the same thing. Developing a parallell relationship of skis in the turn, great, carving at 5 could exclude some fundamental skills and produce the one trick ponies I see all over the mountains these days.

post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Adie View Post

I understood he was saying that the wedge was bypassed altogether. I agree entirely with progressing rapidly and 'French Fries' and carving are not the same thing. Developing a parallell relationship of skis in the turn, great, carving at 5 could exclude some fundamental skills and produce the one trick ponies I see all over the mountains these days.

Aah, that makes sense now.  Perhaps the OP will clarify how technical he is about terminology.  Those who aren't as knowledgeable as an instructor sometimes use the term "carve" more in terms of having skis parallel than an actual "carved" turn.  I learned on straight skis, where getting past the stem-christie to a true parallel turn was a major jump.  Only had two seasons living near a ski hill so never made it back then.  For me, the evolution to shaped skis made it much easier to become an advanced skier in recent years when I had time and money to ski more often.  Took a while to learn what was meant by a "carved" turn.

 

Also wonder where they normally ski.

post #16 of 28

You could well be correct marznc. I hadn't considered confusion about the terminology. I too learned on straight skis and while I embrace everything about shaped skis, i do wonder if sometimes in the quest for carving and 'looking like a good skier' some people miss out in their learning and fail to have a broad skill base. The learning process was long in the old days but we all learned to sideslip, do hockey stops etc. etc., all things that are still very important for rounded technique in my opinion and can still of course be learned but skiers reject instruction far too early. Just read some of the anti instructor hostility on here. Bewildering!

post #17 of 28

That's the good thing about having kids in a good ski school early on.  My daughter was learning to side slip and do hockey stops pretty early.  There are a few short spots on the intermediate runs that are steeper, so perfect for the instructors to teach techniques that are needed to ski harder and steeper terrain.  The advantage of her learning at a tiny place is that I could often watch her group from the chair lift.  Or go off and ski a few runs, then find her group and shadow them for a bit.  Only a couple possible places to look.

post #18 of 28
Thread Starter 
I should probably have said parallel, not carving, although its amazing what a kid can do when they learn to pressure the edge a bit on a r5 ski. The ski area is Hyland Hills in MN.

There may be a bit of over emphasis on parallel skis for small kids just starting. They are teaching with a teather system with the teathers around each ankle and the parents holding the other end. First day of class is inside only, wearing skis around and doing exercises related tomom steering and edging.

But I do emphasize the fun with her. I think i will start her out on the 80s again this year. Really i just want her to be able to control her speed on a green run.
post #19 of 28

I'd want to add another datapoint to the length argument.  Last season we had quite a bit of time to experiment with hardpack conditions, and I noticed that my 6-yo daughter was sideslipping a lot.  She is a fairly good skier for her age, so that was not quite normal.  She also has the luxury of having a quiver of hand-me-down skis from her older sister, so I put her on longer skis and the sideslipping was mostly gone.  So I actually think that skis that are too short are not a good thing- they don't give you enough edge hold on hard pack (and kids don't have the weight adults have to push that edge in) and they get bogged down in softer snow a lot easier.  Yes, shorter skis are easier to turn, but that turn is usually the wrong kind of turn.  Xela is right hough- it is a lot safer to fall with shorter skis.   And, of course, a proper base bevel is absolutely, absolutely essential.  Swix tools- accept no substitutes, as your kids deserve the best.   Now, if you excuse a little bragging by a parent, here is my daughter last season:

 

post #20 of 28

Kids are predisposed to learning and assimilate information very easily but not necessarily in the same way we do. When my eldest daughter was about 4 or 5 and could get around a little bit on her skis, I would just say to her go over there or come back to me or she would just follow me. The skis would pivot nicley, sometimes in quite a parallell relationship but it wasn't really important. She figured it out and got around. The refinement can take place later. Situational skiing really develops them at this age. When you ski with her, find some rollers or litlle jumps, ski into the woods. Explore and she'll develop a whole range of skills to cope.

 

One misconception, however, is that children have no fear. Of course they do. They have a lot more and a lot less rational than most adults. What they don't do is anticipate danger. Sometimes the apparently more timid ones are just a bit better tuned in with their anticipation!

post #21 of 28

Love the photo Alexn. It's good to be proud and she looks great.

post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlife crisis View Post

I should probably have said parallel, not carving, although its amazing what a kid can do when they learn to pressure the edge a bit on a r5 ski. The ski area is Hyland Hills in MN.
There may be a bit of over emphasis on parallel skis for small kids just starting. They are teaching with a teather system with the teathers around each ankle and the parents holding the other end. First day of class is inside only, wearing skis around and doing exercises related tomom steering and edging.
But I do emphasize the fun with her. I think i will start her out on the 80s again this year. Really i just want her to be able to control her speed on a green run.

1) Some kids have the ability (and strength) to progress very quickly at a very young age and some do not.  In the long run it doesn't matter so long as the kids are having fun.  If you daughter does progress quickly, just go to a longer ski.  Every kid I met that was into martial arts or soccer seems to progress quickly due to relative early leg strength and balance.

2) Some shops have a seasonal rental program where you just trade back the skis when you need to.  So if you go longer mid-season it is no issue.  I simply buy skis cheaply--and I do mean this--and often times sell them for my purchase price.  How?  A "new" kid's model a couple of years old has different tops than the new model...and that is about it.  These "new" olders models can be found for 70% off.  Great used skis are always found on ebay and elsewhere.  If you can tune them yourself you can save a bundle. 

3) Check out this post I started a couple of years ago:  http://www.epicski.com/t/92869/money-time-saving-tips-for-parents-with-small-children-who-ski

post #23 of 28

 

The way kids ski now by rolling onto the edge is amazing.  They carve a lot sooner than expected.  Unfortunately they forgo a few skills along the way which they need to learn later become great skiers.

 

That said, here is a picture of my son skiing at 16 months (after being told walking and running might not occur with him, health issues), note I'm still on straight skis (and skied this skis Jan '12) He is now 14.   Unfortunately not enough skiing despite the early start but he is solid on his skis.

 

One of the difficulties was find equipment to fit (helmets included).

post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlife crisis View Post

I should probably have said parallel, not carving, although its amazing what a kid can do when they learn to pressure the edge a bit on a r5 ski. The ski area is Hyland Hills in MN.
There may be a bit of over emphasis on parallel skis for small kids just starting. They are teaching with a teather system with the teathers around each ankle and the parents holding the other end. First day of class is inside only, wearing skis around and doing exercises related tomom steering and edging.
But I do emphasize the fun with her. I think i will start her out on the 80s again this year. Really i just want her to be able to control her speed on a green run.

Interesting.  Do you happen to know if the instructors teaching the kids are PSIA certified?

 

My daughter was a never-ever at 4.  The Mnut full-day ski school program was essentially a lesson in boots outside but no skis, snack break, lesson using magic carpet, lunch, up the beginner chair for last lesson.  Max of 4 kids for never-evers.  Her group of 4 were ages 4-6.  The oldest girl dropped out at lunch.  Skiing parents were not too happy.  Only time my daughter was unhappy was before they started sliding on skis.  I think she was bored.  After lunch, she and other two kids did just fine both riding the chairlift and skiing the long easy green.  I was quite impressed with what the instructor accomplished that first day.

 

For 4-5 year olds, sometimes use an "edgy-wedgy" to keep the tips together.  Lent me one that we used the next day.  By the next trip a month later she was strong enough to not need it.

 

Have you noticed that younger kids tend to ski straight and not make turns if they aren't following someone?  That's typical.  It's not that they can't make turns, it's that they don't think about doing them.  When you free ski with her, there are assorted games you can do to encourage turning.  That will naturally slow her down.  I learned Red/Yellow/Green Light from watching ski school lessons.

post #25 of 28
Thread Starter 

Yes, I'm almost positive they are PSIA cert, although I don't know which level (I-III).  The instructors are mom's that have been teaching this age range (3-5) for many years.

The started out on a short magic carpet, and were using the chair lift by the 3rd time on snow, IIRC.

 

I used to coach kids, and for a while I was doing the younger ones as well (probably 4-7), but that was 10 years ago, and I was doing kids that already knew how to ski (Pre USSA J-5 level prep program).  It's an interesting program they have at Hyland Hills, we are going to do it again this December and see how she does.  I had her in her boots and skis today on the rug, and it is obvious just standing there that she is much stronger and has better balance then last year.

 

I'm excited to get her out and have some fun on the snow this year.

post #26 of 28

Sounds like a very good program!  Have fun!

post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midlife crisis View Post

Not serious.  Joking.  Up late with my 9 week old, so perhaps my sense of humor is off.  :)


You DO want to be sure that the ski doesn't have any remaining spring warm wax on a really cold day.  Bases will ice up before they can get clicked on to them.  Don't ask me how I know this..redface.gif

 

 

Quote:
It's an interesting program they have at Hyland Hills,

Wow, there's a place I haven't been to in a long time, like 1981.  It was one chair and a bunch of little rope tows back then, but the lift tickets were like five bucks.

post #28 of 28
Thread Starter 

I spent most of the early 90's basicly living there (race training).  It's got three chairs now, they were all tripples, but they just swapped the middle for a quad.  Also a few rope tows.

175 vert feet of pure awsomeness!

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