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skis for small kids

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I have two small kids. One 8 and one 10. They have no fear. after last season they were going down groomed black runs. OK not really carving well but at least they have not fear. Anyway, we rent skis for them either at the ski hill or in a local shop. Either way it's expensive. Eash weekend trip costs us around $75 to rent each set. We ski three to four weekends. I can't see buying new equipment each year but I don't see the value in renting. So my question is where can one get a decent set of skis, and boots for small growing kids? What brands and what lenghts to look for. The rental equipment we've gotten in the past has set them up on really short skis. Any help!?
post #2 of 8
My son is turning 8. In the spring I bought him all new equipment at REI (to be delivered by Santa). This includs Dynastar 4X4, Look bindings, Salomon boots, poles and a helmet for $200. I spent over $200 on rentals this past season. He is currently out growing size 2 shoe and I bought size 4 boots. The store will check out the fit to see if spacers can make up the difference. I think this should work for a few seasons (except the boots) and possibly a re-drill for the bindings. This is great stuff compared to the stuff at swap meets or old rentals.

I was advised by the ski school not to buy long (thinking about the future). It is ok for them to ski too short whereas a longer ski puts them in danger.

I don't know if you can find deals this time of year though.
post #3 of 8
You have two other choices.
Looking for a shop that will rent to you for a season. They setup the equipment 1 time, and you basicly keep the equipment for the season. you need to work with the shop on setting up an interval for tune ups or let them know you will wax them your self. Touch up the edges, that kind of stuff. A lot of shops will do this but do not advertise it. Each year you will get equipment that matches your kids. It's guarenteed rental by the shop. You of course have to weight the costs of weekly/incidental rentals or purchases and then having to get rid of the equipment every year. You do have the added advantage of 2 kids a few years apart so it might make sense to pass the equipment down.

The second choice is to purchase the equipment from a local shop and work out a deal to trade in the equipment for new equipment. This gives you the advantage of being able to select the equipment you want your kids on and if you keep it in good shape the shop gets equipment they can put back in the rental fleet when you are done with it.

Both of these solutions may mean going to a smaller shop and making connections with the owners/tech and developing a relationship with them which may not be all bad either. It might be a little more costly than rentals or cheap purchases from ebay but it also has it's advantages. The shops are more likely to be in your court and willing to go to bat for you in case of warranty issues. they will usually help you out with tuning and questions. If you find a good shop that you trust and works with you, it's nice to keep them in business.
post #4 of 8
Season leases and store "buy-back" deals are very easy to find in my neck of the woods (mid-Atlantic).

Both methods are a lot cheaper and less time consuming and hassle then renting each time you go out to ski. In addition, you don't have to worry about availability of the right ski length or flex (my daughter is very light), a harried tech not setting the bindings right, screws being loose or other things being broken, tune, etc.

I did a season lease for my daughter when she was 6, 7, and 8 y.o., and it usually ran around $140 (skis, poles, boots). She's getting pretty good, so at the end of last season (9 y.o.), I bought her brand new stuff (at end of season prices) with a 50% buy back guarantee. If I upgrade her every year, I figure that will cost me around $160 /yr.

Tom / PM
post #5 of 8
Colorado Ski and Golf in Denver has a trade in program that is really good. I can not remember the details, but it is something like $100.00 for the first year and $40-$50 to trade in each additional year for the boots and the ski/bindings. It is really good way to keep up with the kids gear.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Thanks, I will look into these mentioned options.
post #7 of 8
My reaction after renting for the third time and being faced with the bill for a four day holiday was to head for an "upscale" shop.

For about $150 the kids each had Rossi Vipers... a ski with lots of shape, boots and poles. My son got a year and a half out of those 120's before he became a racer and gear fanatic.... My daughter got two years out of the stuff.

At least you won't have to wait in lines or spend shop time.

The down-side of some of those lease for the season packages is that you may be limited to what's being traded in. I took a look at our local "high volume" shop's offerings and most of the skis were not shaped and the skis were very... very used.
post #8 of 8
Have had good luck with early sales of returning one year kid's skis and boots. Used for two years and took back to a used sports goods stores where they take 50% of sale price and even after their take wasn't out much.
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