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Skis for kids

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
My kids have taken up skiing, and I'm tired of waiting in lines at the resorts. So I'm planning to buy season passes next year, and am considering buying or leasing (for the season) skis, boots and bindings for the kids also. It seems there are three options:

1. Lease them for the season in the fall. This seems to run $100-190 for a season.

2. Buy used rentals or leases. There are some on sale now for $70-120.

3. Buy new in the fall from a store that has a buyback option. There is a shop near Loon that sells a setup for $200. You can then get $100 credit toward new gear the following year (so, you pay $200 up front and then $100 each following year assuming your kid grows out of them -- or you can break up things and trade in the boots but not skis, or vice versa, for partial buybacks).

4. Buy new at end of season sales now. REI has some good setups for $140-150 right now. There's not much of a buyback program there though (max 20% buyback, depending on condition, etc.).

I have three kids, ages 8, 5 and 2 right now. So hand me downs are a possibility, but the gaps are large enough that there would be some delays between them in all likelihood. Only the two oldest are skiing now.

What's the best way to go? I'm leaning toward option 3 at this point, but I'm not stuck on it. Those of you with growing kids, how do you handle this issue?
post #2 of 20
Thread Starter 
P.S. Options 2 and 4 carry the risk of the boots not fitting next season, though I would buy them a little big to allow for some growth.
post #3 of 20
Keep checking with shops - I think St. Moritz (Ski Market) in Wellesley does a kids lease/buyback program which they set up as a special sale in the fall. This would help with the boot fitting risk.
post #4 of 20
Option 3 sounds pretty good.
post #5 of 20
For my kids I use a shop with a 50% buy-back option. It keeps them in new, well fitting boots and skis. The buy back at my shop is good for up to 2 years after original purchase, but we do it every year because of the boots.
post #6 of 20
Thread Starter 
Yeah, the more I think about it, no. 3 sounds like a pretty good way to go for young kids. New skis every year at 1/2 price. Coach, does your deal work repeatedly over several years? In other words, can you pay the same amount (or percent of cost new) every year for a new set of equipment? Or do you have to pony up the full price every so often?
post #7 of 20
The buy-back just affects what you get back. Now, if you paid the same amount for skis every year then yes, you would pay the same every year from year 2 on. But in reality, as the kids progress they get better, more expensive skis and you get 50% back from the mount you paid the year before.

For example:

2002: Bought skis for $150
2003: Rec'd 50% ($75) for old skis, paid $275 less $75 discount for for new skis.
post #8 of 20
A program that allows for adjustments as the season progresses is the best option.

The big "but" has to come into play however. What kind of gear are they putting them on? If it's gear that is suitable for their level and of good quality ... Ok ... but I have seen a few seasonal programs with absolute junk.

Do the boots have micro adjustments on the buckles? As my son progressed, that became an issue. Good ski, not too long or too soft ... hope they are shapes and good un's too!

Do not put your kid in boot that is too large ... could you ski that way? If you want to induce some wierd habits or even injury, that's the way to do it.

It's been a long six years with a steep learning curve ... : But I think I finally figured it out .... I think ... right?
post #9 of 20
Yuki's right. Make sure it's good equipment as some shops only offer these deals on lousy equipment. My shop offers this deal on all junior equipment that they have for sale in the store. In fact, since my oldest is 11, but is 5'6", 155lbs, they extended this to his adult 160cm Rossi Rebels.
post #10 of 20
I like option 3. As stated, be sure the option includes possible upgrades during the year and you are getting quality stuff.

As an instructor, one of the hardest things is to get a kid to stand up or move forward in a boot that's too big.

All those kids you see skiing around with their legs levered against the back of the boot! That for the most part is partly due to boots that are too big (besides the leg strength and head size issue)

Don't buy boots and hope they will "Grow into them" but rather buy them in the fall to fit them and make adjustments accordingly.

post #11 of 20
never buy kids (or juniors) boots a little big to allow for growth. it causes nothing but grief and can lead to damage or injuries. most shops with a JR trade in program will allow multiple trade ins to account for growing kids.
post #12 of 20
Half back is very good. But then, so is buying from a place like cuppolo's, which we did. Skis with bindings were 150 CAD. Being close enough to Niagara falls, we rented boots and poles for $40 for the season.
post #13 of 20
Mountainside at Wachusett has a Labor Day sale with both new and used stuff. Typically they are dumping last year's new stuff at a big discount plus what they have lying around from trade ins. I got my kid's first boots there.

They also have a swap on Columbus Day weekend.

You could check out either. Whereever you go, be sure you pick out good stuff per everyone's advice on this thread.
post #14 of 20
My local shop offers a kids buyback program and they also run a series of ski swaps (100% credit note or 80% cash).

My kids aren't that hard on their equipement so I've found that with the buy-back option you don't get full value for the skis. I was given a $75.00 credit on my kids skis and then I saw them in the ski swap for $125.00. They sold them for that price.

Next year I'll put my kids skis in the ski swap, ask for a credit note and get the extra $50.
post #15 of 20
Sounds like the buyback program is the best way to go.

Coach, I didn't word it very well, but that's what I meant. Obviously, if you upgrade, you'd have to pay the difference. If you were to do the buyback again in year three, you would then have $137.50 credit toward new skis, right?

The only shop I've contacted about this (Rogers in Lincoln, NH, near Loon) seems to stock pretty good equipment. In the skis, you have a choice between Dynastar, Atomic, Elan, Volant and Head (of course, my son has developed a preference for Fischers, which they don't stock, but that's just b/c they were the skis he was using when he successfully navigated his first blue run . I didn't get into details on the bindings and boots, but I'll be sure to check it out in the fall. I'll also shop around to see if there are better options to be found.

I agree about boot fit being critical. I didn't mean to imply that I was considering buying boots too big to try to get more than one season out of them, but rather to make a guess at how much their feet would grow between now and next season. In any case, I think it's better to wait until fall.

Slalom, that's a good point. I'll see if that's an option around here. Where is the shop you used? I guess an entrepreneurial sort might even try their luck on ebay. I've seen some pretty beat up junior skis go for more than I thought they should. But that's a hassle.
post #16 of 20
Originally posted by bostonheel:
Coach, I didn't word it very well, but that's what I meant. Obviously, if you upgrade, you'd have to pay the difference. If you were to do the buyback again in year three, you would then have $137.50 credit toward new skis, right?
post #17 of 20
post #18 of 20
Yes, the shop I spoke to allows you to do the buyback with just the boots, just the skis/bindings, or everything together. So you could do exactly what you say -- get new boots every year, and new skis every other year, for example.
post #19 of 20
Bostonheel- if you are lucky and shop around you may do better by buying, and then recooping your cost by selling privately or at a ski swap. When my kids were small we found some amazing deals (last month, for example, they were selling kids Salomon boots (new Performa T3's) at the REI clearance sale for $5.00 a pair!) My kids are 2 1/2 years apart, and the younger was always ready for the older one's skis just in time for each to get 2 seasons out of a pair. With an average cost of about $120 new for sale skis and bindings when they were little, that works out to only $30/ season, and then selling them for $50 returns almost half of the original investment. Once they get older and start needing higher end stuff, it costs a little more, but end of the season bargains have saved us a bundle, and the kids liked having their own stuff.
post #20 of 20
Pedigre ski shop has a kids performance package. I rented Solomon Crossmax and Solomonn boots for the season I think it was $130.
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