or Connect
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Rent or Buy Gear For 7 yr old starting a racing development program next year
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Rent or Buy Gear For 7 yr old starting a racing development program next year

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey Gang - quick question.  I have a 7 year old who just learned how to ski and is totally obsessed.  He's at an intermediate level currently.  (He does blues no prob, can prob do blacks....we'll see this weekend.)  Anyway, we found a racing program for next year that starts kids at his age, and he's pumped.  Anyway, do we need to buy him decent gear, or is a season rental enough?  If we need to buy him gear, I want to jump on it while the March sales are happening.  But he's only...seven, so....hmmm.

 

Would love any advice. 

post #2 of 14


Kids grow so fast...  we did season rentals every year (4yrs to about 12yrs old) until my son got pretty good. Then started buying used gear that lasted a couple of years.

The season rentals were just basic but at that size/age served their purpose.

Where are you located?

post #3 of 14
Many shops have trade in programs where they give you a % discount the next year. Our local shop did a 50% trade in allowance which worked out great for my guys ss they were growing.
post #4 of 14

  I know here some shops have a lease program that is not a bad price.  My oldest son is 12 and I have had him grow out of boots during the season. My youngest is 7 and just starting out.  I have always purchased everything at ski swaps but if he was more serious about skiing I would look into leasing.  Skis you can almost always get a few years out of skis, its just boots are a headache at least for me.


Edited by utahsaint - 3/5/15 at 2:01pm
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Wow, these are seriously helpful responses.  We're based in Philly, and are probably going to do something at Blue Mountain in eastern PA.  There's a ski shop in Palmerton (right next to Blue Mountain) that will do a seasonal rental (the rental period is NOW through April 2016), and you can swap out sizes as needed.  That sounds like an amazing deal, but I wanted to make sure you guys weren't going to be caution me against rentals, or needing a specific type/brand of ski or boot.

 

Thanks again!!!

post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdraugelis View Post
 

Wow, these are seriously helpful responses.  We're based in Philly, and are probably going to do something at Blue Mountain in eastern PA.  There's a ski shop in Palmerton (right next to Blue Mountain) that will do a seasonal rental (the rental period is NOW through April 2016), and you can swap out sizes as needed.  That sounds like an amazing deal, but I wanted to make sure you guys weren't going to be caution me against rentals, or needing a specific type/brand of ski or boot.

 

Thanks again!!!

 

I personally think this would be better for finding what your kid can use.  It might cost a bit but I know growing up there where many times I had too stiff of boots or skis.  That sort of thing holds you back quite a ways and you usually can't tell as well when purchasing.  If you have someone serious about it maybe they will improve through the season and want something better.  Its the most flexible solution to be honest but might cost more.

post #7 of 14

My daughter races (now 6) and is currently in her 2nd season of racing. Her physical size development is beyond her years (size of an average 8-9 year old) and is comfortable skiing literally anywhere on the mountain with nice speed and rhythm.  

 

I'd say it depends on how serious she/you are about the sport/activity.  That being said, you'd be amazed as to how quickly the race kids develop skill wise.  After a couple years all our 6 year old kids are comfortable flying down those black diamond mogul runs in the trees....with most of them looking for jumps and air while they are doing it.  No problems taking the kids down some double blacks as well.

 

We opted to buy everything so we could get her exactly what we wanted for her equipment wise.  Right now she's really racing for fun, but has the real deal race equipment (full sandwich construction, vertical sidewall race skis, race boots, obligatory POC race helmet, etc.)  Not many places have race gear for rent, and the amount of time she spends on her skis (and the amount of time I end up spending tuning them) made the purchase a no brainer.  When she grows out of her gear, it is easily sold off to the next group of kids coming through the club.  I've been noticing a lot of the kids migrating to race equipment already as the typical kid skis are just not holding up to what the kids need their skis to do for them.  

 

Not sure where you are from, but in Canada our kids are mandated to have helmets with hard ears......regular soft ear helmets are not allowed for training or any sort of racing (fun race or otherwise).  

 

To add, here local swaps hosted by the race clubs can turn out fantastic deals on equipment.  Often there will also be a ski shop around town that is connected to the club that offers race pricing as well.

post #8 of 14

We did used skis at that age, just keep the bindings and swap out the skis. We bought new kids' boots, mostly (couple of lightly used). Rationale: Kids' feet don't grow that rapidly at that age, one pair will last one season. And you can turn around and resell the used and boots skis for 3/4 of what you paid for them. At a point, they don't keep depreciating, kinda like old cars. So you end up making a little over rentals. But also agree with hbear, swaps or posts on bulletin boards of the club you'll affiliate with are even cheaper. Don't like rent in general, same as Ricardo 220 years ago. 

post #9 of 14

Remember, in most cases lease gear is glorified rental equipment, it's main purpose is that it makes it back at the end of the season so it can be used the following year...and the following year... Plus there is a significant difference between most lease gear and kids race gear. Any region that has good race programs also tend to have good swaps, ask the other parents . Also talk to the other parents about gear their kids grew out of, many are happy to get the gear out of their garage while collecting a few bucks along the way. 

 

As far what you should start the 7 year old on, there are some good combi skis from Head, Rossi/Dynastar, Fischer. These you should be about forehead in length. The options are a junior slalom ski, these will be about chin to nose height in length. They don't need a GS ski yet. Boots. size for this year, do NOT expect to get 2 seasons out of them. Make sure they can flex the boot and you really should not consider used. 

post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Remember, in most cases lease gear is glorified rental equipment, it's main purpose is that it makes it back at the end of the season so it can be used the following year...and the following year... Plus there is a significant difference between most lease gear and kids race gear. Any region that has good race programs also tend to have good swaps, ask the other parents . Also talk to the other parents about gear their kids grew out of, many are happy to get the gear out of their garage while collecting a few bucks along the way. 

 

As far what you should start the 7 year old on, there are some good combi skis from Head, Rossi/Dynastar, Fischer. These you should be about forehead in length. The options are a junior slalom ski, these will be about chin to nose height in length. They don't need a GS ski yet. Boots. size for this year, do NOT expect to get 2 seasons out of them. Make sure they can flex the boot and you really should not consider used. 

 

I have always gone with used and at ski swaps.  What is the reason not to consider used?  I often find that with my sons size I can buy at a swap for around $100 sometime a bit more or less.  If you spend time finding the right ones there are lots of great deals.  Think about it you can only get one season out of those boots, everyone else is swapping those as well.  So you end up with a boot which has 15 days on it for around $100.  Why not?

 

Agree though make sure they flex...

 

As for your other reasons not to lease, sorry I don't buy it.  Our lease programs here are all about getting on the latest equipment.  Some stores do not expect to use them the following year, and if they do its only a two year old ski.  They sale them at the end of the year for a great discount or they end up at a swap.  So if your point is to get newer equipment then it means buy it or lease it.  The equipment at the swap is always at least a year old.  Used is always at least a year old at swaps.

post #11 of 14

Phil's advise is good.  A phone call to his coach might yield some good advise too.

 

The combi skis are the way to go but he'll do fine on most anything the first year.

post #12 of 14

I believe unless you are going to ski swaps associated with race clubs, you are simply not going to find proper ski racing equipment.  Race gear is different and not commonly purchased for kids unless the kids actually ski race. I don't know of any shops near me where you can either rent or lease race gear......the market is just too small and too boutique to make it work for the shops.

 

Now whether your child needs race equipment is purely dependent on how serious you are looking to get into the sport.  But I can tell you at our club, every 7 year old and up has race equipment.  A function of how the skis are built and what the kids are asking their skis to do.   Typical skis designed for kids are cheaper, soft foam cores, flexible, more center mounted twin tips, etc. with what seems like more emphasis on the topsheet graphics than how they ski.  They don't hold up on icy/hard pack the races normally ski on and don't typically hold an edge well.  Nothing wrong with the gear, it just doesn't hold up to how the race kids ski as well as actual race skis.  When you check out the clubs around your area, just watch how the kids ski and you'd be amazed as to how well they are pressuring their skis, angulating, etc.  As such their demands on their equipment FAR exceed what typical non-race kids need at the same age.  

 

Personally, I'd be leaning more to contacting race clubs, see when they have their swaps, getting to know parents and seeing what they do as their kids grow out of their gear.  You don't have to break the bank to get decent race gear (you certainly can if you want to though.....).  It's less about "latest and greatest" at your child's age, and more about what is the best tool to do the job. The latest and newest K2 "sweetie pie, zombie killer, or whatever" will be vastly inferior to a solid used race ski for what the race kids are doing.  As mentioned you can find good deals on used race gear, just have to get to know the channels to do so (mentioned above).

 

The one thing that is an absolute MUST have is a helmet with hard ears.  You can always tell which are the race kids because they are the only ones on the hill with the hard ear helmets.


Edited by hbear - 3/6/15 at 9:14am
post #13 of 14

In addition to helmet type, you can also tell which kids are ski racers......as they'd be the ones absolutely tearing up the mountain ripping turns at speed that even the proficient adults are envious of.....

post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
 

Make sure they can flex the boot and you really should not consider used. 

 

Point A should be underscored. Our coaches say too many kids are in boots they can't flex.

 

Point B, not so sure for a 7 year old. I get the general idea and agree with it; liners mold to a specific foot. As parents we don't buy used street shoes for our kids, do we? But IME, that young the precise fit is less relevant than a) it's big enough in front to be warm and b) the flex is reasonable. By 9 or so, yep, you should be springing for new ones, or at least very lightly used if you're transitioning to adult lugs and don't want to break the bank. 

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Rent or Buy Gear For 7 yr old starting a racing development program next year