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Race skis for 8 1/2 year old [for Revelstoke]

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone,
My daughter is 8 years old (April baby) and I am looking for a good pair of race skis for her. She started skiing when she was 4 and has been in the Nancy Greene program for 2 years. She was graded at a snowstar level 4 at the end of last season, if anyone knows what that means ( I think that is good for a 7 year old?) She has excelled immensely last season and I want to get the right pair of skis for her ability. She is quite good, winning 2 of the races here in Revelstoke but I don't want to get a ski that is too hard for her either. She was riding on 110cm Rossi fun girl skis for the last 2 seasons but they were very short for her at the end of the season and not a race specific ski. Any suggestions?
post #2 of 15

If she's at a snowstar level 4, she's doing well and would benefit from a real race ski. You could get her a multi event ski, but I've found my kids did better when starting out on a slalom race ski. Depending on her physique, you may want a lighter slalom ski (Rossi/Dynastar) or a stiffer one (Fischer/Head) or something in between (Volkl/Blizzard). Aim to get one that reaches somewhere between the tip of her nose and her eyebrows.  For a GS specific ski, you'll want one longer than that.

 

All that said, ask her coach for their opinion. They have direct knowledge of her ability and the demands that will be placed on her.

post #3 of 15
At that young age, take a look at Rossignol's multi event ski or Elan's RCX (multi event). I can vouch for the latter which is a great first 'real' race ski. My daughter which is now a U16 racer started on RCX:s. A short dedicated SL ski works fine too. Don't get to wound up about brands, they are pretty similar and all good.
post #4 of 15

Multi event ski (like the Rossi Hero FIS) is a good option.  Most of us here in Alberta opt for a Junior SL ski given how much SL the kids train/race at that age.

 

Toughest thing I find is the size of ski for kids at that age given some are proficient and strong enough to have wood core/metal layers in their skis, while others are not.

 

I believe Blizzard/Nordica has a true SL starting at 122cm, while Fisher's starts at 125, head at 126 and Rossi/Dynastar and Volkl starting theirs at around 130.  We don't see much Atomic here but I think they start theirs at around 125.

 

Most everything else except the Rossi Multi FIS is just a variation on the "fun girl" kids skis with different topsheet. (foam core, extruded base, cap construction, etc.)  Fisher makes a great RC4 Superior (not the "race" badged one) multievent ski at 120 (no metal, but otherwise true race construction) that was very successful for my daughter and many racers that were not quite ready for the metal variants yet.

 

Of course all that really maters is that the ski is appropriate in flex/length for your child.  Gearheads like us love to obsess over the construction details but I've also seen too many kids get put into those "true" race skis and being unable to control or properly load them up in the turn (does them no favors).

 

As a FYI my daughter is 53", 70lbs and a very strong skier with serious leg strength (very successful season and dominated the podium as the year progressed, would've been on the podium in the next 2 older age groups as well) Was skiing the Fischer RC4 Superior 120 for the past couple seasons and will be skiing a 125 Fischer SL next season.  Could possibly have gone 130, but I rather be on the shorter size for her at this point.  

post #5 of 15
Never get a foam core ski for racing. The "real" race skis all have wood core and can be loaded and skied properly on edge -- unlike most kids skis with race graphics. Even if the child in question doesn't have the skills yet, he/she will need equipment that allow learning a proper technique.
AFAIK metal starts showing up around 140-145 cm for SL and 155-160 cm for GS, depending on brand. Lenghts that normally are skied in U12, so a few years away. Was a while ago, but there were no metal in 125-130 cm SL:s when my daughter had those lengths.
Edited by Karlsson - 8/8/16 at 12:43pm
post #6 of 15
All the SL skis and starting sizes I listed above have metal laminates in them.
post #7 of 15
I have a Rossi Hero 139 in the basement. No metal. Also have the 146 & 150, first have a partial layer and the second a full layer. Also a 12/13 135 Elan SL - no metal. Fischer, Blizzi/Nordica and Völkl might be different.
post #8 of 15

Not that it matters given it probably doesn't impact you anymore but we are certainly seeing metal used in almost all SL skis for stronger/more proficient athletes at lower lengths. Multievent skis obviously tend not to have metal (nor do more user friendly "race" varients) but for a true SL ski even at the 122-125cm lengths....metal is there.

I'm right in the thick of it and based on what I saw and felt during race demos, talking to reps and what's posted online most all SL race skis DO come with metal at lengths as small as 122cm.

 

Rossi (Dynastar) FIS SL JR

http://www.rossignol.com/IV/LB/hero-fis-sl-pro-r20-pro--2016--RAFAX01--product--home-alpine.html

Partial metal starting at 126cm.  The Hero FIS Multievent does not.

Universally known to be on the softer side (hence only partial metal to start). 

 

Atomic FIS Redster JR SL

https://shop.atomic.com/en-ca/products/redster-fis-sl-jr-ltj-xtl-7-AA1836.html

Full metal starting at 131cm (dual layer).

 

Fischer RC4 WC SL JR

https://www.fischersports.com/au_en/rc4-worldcup-sl-jr-4323

Full (double layer) metal starting at 125cm.  125cm just doesn't have the full race plate (uses a lighter version plate)

 

Head WC ISL RD Team Jr

http://shop.head.com/us/worldcup-i-sl-rd-team-7.html?___SID=U

Full metal starting at 126cm.  Head doesn't indicate on site, but they also don't indicate metal in their adult FIS SL skis either.  It's there however.

 

Volkl Racetiger SL JR

https://www.volkl.com/skis/race/racetiger/rt-speedwall-sl-r-jr.html

Full metal in the 131cm, says they offer in 124cm but haven't seen or don't know if it's metal as well.

 

Nordica (Blizzard) Dobermann SLJ JR

http://www.nordicacanada.com/products/dobermann-slj-plate/

Full metal starting at 122cm.

 

Again I'd stress only the stronger/more proficient kids that can really crank their turns should be looking at metal SL skis at age 8.  Most kids would be better off in a solid multievent ski (as per Alpine Canada recs) to better aid their progression.  Seen a lot of kids with way too much ski and way too stiff of boot to properly engage and turn them.  (riding on the edge and hanging on is much different than really carving their turn)

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for your input. It has definitely been helpful and informative. I think I may be leaning towards a SL ski and one that fits best. My daughter is 52" and 56 pounds. I have been checking out the Volkl Racetiger SL race stock size 124cm which could be a good fit. Any thoughts?
Also, what about ski boots???? So far I've just had her try on boots and picked what was the most comfortable which turned out to be the Dalbello Gaia. Is it time to go to a race specific boot?
post #10 of 15

Would be a good size.  I wouldn't go more than 125cm if you are going for a SL ski; my daughter currently outweights yours by nearly 20 lbs and I think the 125 will be perfect for her next season. Note the SL skis are both heavier and much stiffer than what your daughter is currently on....significantly.

 

Our older junior racers suggest the Volkl line to be a bit of a stiffer one in junior skis (Atomic and Fischer being the stiffest).  You might also want to look at the Nordica/Blizzard line in a 122cm.  A bit softer than the Volkl.

You can also ask around your club and talk to the coaches and see what they suggest.  There are a couple strong girls that I've seen that are using the Nordica/Blizzard 122 SL, these are also the girls shinning and ripping through the stubbies when they race (winning by over a second in 25s races). The Head ISL RD JR in the lower 120s is also a softer feeling ski. 

 

At your daughter's weight I would highly consider the Fischer RC4 Superior in a 120 length.  My daughter was around your daughter's weight at the beginning of last season and the ski was perfect for her. https://www.fischersports.com/en_en/rc4-superior-jr-4335

It's a real deal race ski, sintered bases, full sandwich construction, full sidewall, air carbon core.....just no metal.  Concern of course is you might only get the one year out of them during the transition period....but in my mind better than putting her in a ski that will be too much of a challange to ski.  Again I've never seen your daughter ski so have no real point of reference.

My daughter's new skis (Fischer WC SL 125s) are WAY heavier than her 120 Superiors because of the metal, more wood and race plate.  For a performance perspective (not that it matters given their young age, but mainly for a reference point) my daughter was posting times a full 2 seconds faster than the 2nd place finishers in 45s courses (and those other girls were fast as well, often the 3rd place girl would've won gold in the boys event).

 

Keep in mind, any real race construction ski is going to be VERY different for your daughter to ski on and there certainly will be an adjustment period.  The route I'd choose will be dependent on how agressive your daughter skis and an honest assessment of how she carves her turns.  Does she puts the ski on edge and ride it or does she put her ski on edge and tries to bend it in half to pop her into the next turn.......

 

As mentioned a tough age as you are needing more ski, but perhaps not quite there for a full blown SL race ski.....I found that Fischer one to be prefect during my daughter's transition period. She used it for the past 2 seasons.....looking back her first year with the ski might have been a touch much, it was only this past season when she got bigger and started getting really agressive with her turns where the ski came alive for her.  Seen lots of successful young racers on that ski, a few of our boys (consistant podium finishers) will be sticking with that ski next season (age 8 next year as well), they will also be around your daughter's weight.

 

Don't feel the need to HAVE to put her in a SL ski, I maintain that you should only be looking at them if your child is a very strong skier than can really crank turns.  As ski that is too stiff for them to bend will hinder their ability to properly carve and work the ski.  As already mentioned ski federations don't even recommend SL skis until U12 (10-11 years old).

 

As for boot, at her size boots are pretty similar.  Even "race" boots tend to be more cosmetic at the softer flexes.  The most important thing is for her to be able to flex and load them properly.  I'm guessing she's in a 40-50 flex boot (keep in mind there is no universal standard in the flex rating)....I find once you move to a 60+ flex boot you'll find you pretty much have to go with a race boot given the availability of those stiffer boots in smalled mondo sizes is just are not there if you don't. Again another area where I've seen too many parents put their kids in too stiff of a boot, if the can't flex them in the cold they are no good.  For what it's worth I see most kids in a Lange RSJ 50 or 60 (or Rossi equivilent) boot.  My daughter used the RSJ 60 last season and it was great for her and will try to keep her in it for next season (we will see if her foot grew over summer!).  If not and we need to buy new boots, we'd be looking at the RSJ65 for her.  


Edited by hbear - 8/9/16 at 3:15pm
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post
 

Not that it matters given it probably doesn't impact you anymore but we are certainly seeing metal used in almost all SL skis for stronger/more proficient athletes at lower lengths. Multievent skis obviously tend not to have metal (nor do more user friendly "race" varients) but for a true SL ski even at the 122-125cm lengths....metal is there.

I'm right in the thick of it and based on what I saw and felt during race demos, talking to reps and what's posted online most all SL race skis DO come with metal at lengths as small as 122cm.

 

Rossi (Dynastar) FIS SL JR

http://www.rossignol.com/IV/LB/hero-fis-sl-pro-r20-pro--2016--RAFAX01--product--home-alpine.html

Partial metal starting at 126cm.  The Hero FIS Multievent does not.

Universally known to be on the softer side (hence only partial metal to start). 

 

Atomic FIS Redster JR SL

https://shop.atomic.com/en-ca/products/redster-fis-sl-jr-ltj-xtl-7-AA1836.html

Full metal starting at 131cm (dual layer).

 

Fischer RC4 WC SL JR

https://www.fischersports.com/au_en/rc4-worldcup-sl-jr-4323

Full (double layer) metal starting at 125cm.  125cm just doesn't have the full race plate (uses a lighter version plate)

 

Head WC ISL RD Team Jr

http://shop.head.com/us/worldcup-i-sl-rd-team-7.html?___SID=U

Full metal starting at 126cm.  Head doesn't indicate on site, but they also don't indicate metal in their adult FIS SL skis either.  It's there however.

 

Volkl Racetiger SL JR

https://www.volkl.com/skis/race/racetiger/rt-speedwall-sl-r-jr.html

Full metal in the 131cm, says they offer in 124cm but haven't seen or don't know if it's metal as well.

 

Nordica (Blizzard) Dobermann SLJ JR

http://www.nordicacanada.com/products/dobermann-slj-plate/

Full metal starting at 122cm.

 

Again I'd stress only the stronger/more proficient kids that can really crank their turns should be looking at metal SL skis at age 8.  Most kids would be better off in a solid multievent ski (as per Alpine Canada recs) to better aid their progression.  Seen a lot of kids with way too much ski and way too stiff of boot to properly engage and turn them.  (riding on the edge and hanging on is much different than really carving their turn)


You're absolutely right, it doesn't matter – I'm done with that stage. However, I have to say that if there now are metal in 125 cm Jr SL:s, the reason is to be able to print "Titanal" on the top sheet to wind up parents. One have to ask what the amount is and if it really makes any difference performance wise. From a pure "power"  perspective there's no need to put metal in a ski for a 30-35 kg 9 y/o, even if they have an exceptional technique. You can make a ski too stiff already with wood and fiberglass. I don't know all the skis, but I do know Rossi and Dynastar (and Elan) becuase we have raced them and I still have some shorter left overs in the basement. I found it interesting that the US site gives the impression that the 126-150 cm JR Hero SL:s are the same (they are not) by giving sweeping information. So I just had to double check what they say over here -- and our sales material  (https://issuu.com/alreklam/docs/rossignol_1516_webb) clearly states that at least up until last season the shorter lengths had "fiber" -- fiberglass -- and the U12-U14 skis partial metal. Perhaps some info got lost in translation? Or more likely, was deliberatly left out, because it sounded more selling?

Anyways, to the OP, just make sure you get a proper JR race ski with wood core, SL or Multievent, in the right length for your child. Talk to coach and you can also check what's recommended by the manufacturers race departments for a second opinion. They have charts based on age (I believe U10 in your case?) and weight class (weight is more important than length).

 

Bon chance

post #12 of 15

Bottomline: don't get anal about titanal. Sorry. Couldn't resist.

post #13 of 15
I'm not a proponant of titinal in Jr. Race skis. Just saying its there. No doubt there is marketing involved (where isn't it in skiing) but I think having the hole in the tip/tail for Fischer accomplishes that more effectively than saying it has metal. Much easier to see the hole than the metal.

That being said, agree as I alreadymentioned find the appropriate ski, don't think automatically SL or metal or anything. It only matters that the ski is able to be flexed properly, not too long and the kids have fun.

No need to over equip, it does your child no favours. However if the appropriate ski happens to have metal so be it.

I however do look for proper core, sintered base and sidewall myself for my daughters race skis from the day I could find that combo in her size. At the time the Fischer RC4 Superior was the only ski I found to check all those boxes. (Starts at 110cm I believe)

Now a SL ski with metal works for her so we are going with that.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbear View Post

I'm not a proponant of titinal in Jr. Race skis. Just saying its there..."

Apparently not as much as they would like us to believe. My advice: take it with a pinch of salt.
post #15 of 15
Perhaps with Rossi, but can verify its full dual layer in the Ficher line. Clearly visible in the sandwich, spec sheets show its there. Visible with head, Nordica/Blizzard, etc. And also verified with their detailed spec sheets.

I wouldn't paint all manufactures with the same brush.

It's not like Head's inclusion of "graphene" in their new race line.
Edited by hbear - 8/11/16 at 1:41pm
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