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Ski length for kids

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I am looking for skis for my 5 year old grandaughter. She is 44 inches high (112CM). I have spoken to several different shops and am convinced they are trying to move the stock they have on hand. I am talking about straight skis, not shaped.

Anyone have or know of a good refference source? [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #2 of 12
For kids under 8 or 10 I usually suggest skis of about chin level. For the most part with kids younger than 6 the shorter the better. Sometimes I even shoot for chest height skis. Children develop strength and coordination of the feet and legs later than the rest of the body. Going with a ski they can "grow into" will just be a hassle for them and they may spend more time frustrated with themselves than having fun.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 20, 2001 09:16 PM: Message edited 2 times, by Roto ]</font>
post #3 of 12
Once the skis are out of the way be careful with that little one. Plan well in advance for some a Ski-Wee sessions.

Don't be hell bent on making a skier out of her........ if the tears come, just make snowmen.

What kind of stock were they trying to push on you?
post #4 of 12
We rented - instead of buying - skis for my kids for the first few years when their bodies and skills were growing quickly. Not that I'm trying to push renting, but the experiences gave me some insite as to what type of skis worked best.

During the first 2-3 years (we started them at age four) we followed the advise of some knowledeable friends and kept the ski lengths short - starting at chin height. We also started with shaped skis - easy turning low-end models like Rosi Cuts and Elan at the time. These worked just fine. We tried some "better quality" straight skis one time, but the kids found these harder to turn and were frustrated after being used to the shaped. Took'em back and got the basic package.

My kids preferred lessons from me rather than in a class, so I spent a lot of time working/playing with them. Definitely go with easy-turning shaped skis. No need to worry about steering, angulation, etc.

After these earliest days, I went to eye-height and then head height lengths. They never seemed to have a problem with the added inches. My son always liked (still likes) to ski fairly fast, and actually did better each time he moved up a size.

Bottom line: I would start with short, easy shaped models that fit them correctly at the moment. And be prepared to increase the size each season as needed.

There weren't any good kid trade-in programs near us, so we rented.

The scratches on the tops of my own skis and loss of time on the black diamond runs was worth it. (Tho I agree with Yuki, not all parent/kid lessons were meant to be. Lessons with experienced instructors who specialize in helping kids might be the best way to go.)

Have fun! [img]smile.gif[/img]

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 21, 2001 04:54 PM: Message edited 1 time, by G.Law ]</font>
post #5 of 12
Sorry... dup entry. Deleted.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ October 21, 2001 04:53 PM: Message edited 1 time, by G.Law ]</font>
post #6 of 12
Hi, get your granddaughter on shaped skis, can't really help with length, the above advice seems right. The 6 year old (Miniteen) has been on shape for two seasons now and it is a thrill to see her round through the turn. You are right, they are trying to get rid of the old!
post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input. She is enrolled in a Mogul Mite program for 5 to 8 year olds. My experience with rental equipment convinced me it would be better to buy her boots, skis and helmet that she can learn to take care of in addition to having the same fit and length each time out.

Will look at the shapped skis.

Thanks for all the help. [img]smile.gif[/img]
post #8 of 12
Now your big challenge rises! Your job is now to scour yard sales for kiddie mittens and gloves to have a good supply of "dry extras" in your bag...... and, they tend to lose them pretty quick!

About the third time that you fork over $30 for a replacement pair at "mountain prices" mushroom clouds will rise over the valley.
post #9 of 12
I teach kids and have rarely seen a child under eight who needed shaped skiis. Not enough muscle or technique to carve.

Rent skis that are chin height. Buy a helmet. Rarely see a helmet on a kid that fits. Get it tight at first since it will pack out.
post #10 of 12
I think an easy flexing ski is also a priority of consideration for younger skiers.

<FONT COLOR="#800080" SIZE="1">[ November 06, 2001 09:19 PM: Message edited 1 time, by wink ]</font>
post #11 of 12
This is probably a moot point by now, DJG, but I get the impression from our local ski shops and my son's ski school/team that with shaped junior skis, height isn't the important factor, weight is. Local shop has a poster from Elan showing how to select the right ski length (for Elan skis, of course), and it uses weight as the determining factor. Again, this is only for shaped skis.
post #12 of 12
I found this ski sizing chart which is also weight based. It has sizing for the different types of skis. It seems to be pretty accurate from what I can see, and a lot more detailed than some of the other sizing guides I've come across:

Weight-based sizing has always made a lot more sense to me than height-based sizing. A person's weight seems to have more bearing on how well they can flex a given length ski.

The chart also has sizing for kids as well.
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