Originally Posted by Coach13
It obviously depends on their ability, but I think the shop gave you standard advice. I'd probably go about mouth height unless you're trying to get more than one year from the skis and then I'd go eye length. For that age group, I definitely err on the short side of things.
You got some good advice. Unless they are skiing a lot and have exceptional ability you can err on the short side. It is not good to have a long lever attached to a young body. They don't really carve and stand on the skis like an adult and having fun and developing their balancing skills is more important. The turning skills will develop in time if they keep skiing and have a strong interest in learning to ski better and faster.
It is not necessary to buy anything but basic skis at a young age. Don't waste the money, they won't be able to take advantage of the extra performance.
The shop I work in usually sizes younger kids at chin to mouth length depending on their physical size and ability. Kids that are running gates (club racing or dev clinics) don't necessarily get longer skis but should buy higher performance models.
I started my grandkids at 3 or 4 and used 70cm skis (they only skied on gentle, groomed slopes) the first season. The second season I put them on longer skis (90cm) and they have all progressed well since usally getting longer skis every other season.