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Ski length for kids

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hello,

I enrolled two kids in a 10 week skiing program. They started last year so that would be their 2nd season.

They grew some since last year and I'd like your thoughts whether I should get them longer skis.

Currently, when they stand barefoot, the ones they used last year reach below their chins (shoulder height or so), going to the next size (+10cm or so) would reach to their brow/forehead.

Some more info which may or may not be relevant:
1. Boy, 7yo, very small (looks like 5-6yo), adventurous (liked to try the bumps, black diamonds, etc.), last year's skis 97cm considering 110cm.
2. Girl, 11yo, a little shorter and heavier than average, cautious, last year's skis 120cm considering 130cm.
Skiing on St. Louis / Moonstone (southern Ontario).

Thank you!
post #2 of 16
Keep them in their current skis. Based on the info you gave I see no reason to increase ski length this season unless you want them to ski faster but what for? For children that age, skiing faster is not skiing better. Practice on making linking short and medium turns on partial edges.

I have two daughters 7 and 10 and they have been skiing since they were 3 and 6. Right now they could easily ski blue trails in the West. I have seven skis for my kids ranging from 80cm to 130cm so I "experiment" with sizes and observe how the girls fare in the mountain. Right now they ski best with lengths that are only up to their chin. Since the skis all look the same I sometimes give them the next longer ski (without them knowing it) to see if they do better. Most of the time they do worse and complain "Papa there is something wrong with my ski today!" and by the afternoon they are crying and frustrated.

Keep the skis short.
post #3 of 16
L9 Sports has a good ski selector tool that I have used to help me shop for my 7 yo son. L9 advises that kids should never be on skis that are above nose height.

STE
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
Isn't weight a factor?
post #5 of 16
Yes, weight is a factor. Check out the ski selection tool at L9.

Here's a link:

http://www.levelninesports.com/selec...1812be01f 099
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post
L9 Sports has a good ski selector tool that I have used to help me shop for my 7 yo son. L9 advises that kids should never be on skis that are above nose height.

STE
Ooh, I must be such a bad dad. My 7 yo son is rocking WC Jr RC4 SLs @133cm and he's only 125cm! I was sceptical and was going to keep him on 120s but he loved the Fischers when he tried them - first reaction was, "wow, these love ice". I can hardly keep up with the little speed demon now.

Nose height is a pretty good rule of thumb. Harald's in a race program and skis 3+ days a week, otherwise the Fischers would've been way too much for him. He free skis on 115cm twintips and doesn't want them any longer for now.
post #7 of 16
I think ability comes into play just as it does with adults. My daughter is using 129cm twin tips (about 120-124cm s/a) for her second year. She's 45" and 67#. We knew they were pushing the envelope for her but she loves them. They come to her forehead, or at least did when we got them. According to L9 she should be in 97cm or 107cm skis.

When we got the 129's she had been in 108's. Even one of the ski instructors said she should go longer.

L9 is a good guide but other factors need to come into play. For us it is a better day on the slopes with her in skis that might be on the long side that she loves over skis that are perfectly sized that she doesn't like.

The most important part is that she is having fun and loves going skiing.

It also looks like the selector only selects from what they have in stock.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post
Yes, weight is a factor. Check out the ski selection tool at L9.

Here's a link:

http://www.levelninesports.com/selec...1812be01f 099
I would not put too much faith in that ski selector; I put in my height and weight and specified race speeds on ice and hardpack for an expert skier and it spat back a recommended length of 167 cm - a little short.

There best matched ski was an XRC100 at 163 cm. This is way too short for an expert at racing speeds at my weight. Very fast speeds net the same results.
post #9 of 16
Here's something else to consider.

My friend at work races and skis on 188's.

I ski on 162's.

We are the same height and weight.

The only difference is he's a great skier and I suck.

Ghost,

Did you try using their advanced search? Let's you be more selective.
post #10 of 16
I believe Ghost did use the advanced features. I tried them and the ski selector consistently comes up with a recommended length that is about 7 cm too short for me (and I prefer my skis shorter than most on this forum).

I suspect the selector is designed to provide a very conservative recommendation in order to compensate for customers overestimating their own abilities. For example, true experts probably don't need the selection tool to help choose their skis, so the top setting probably provides a conservative guideline for an "advanced," rather than "expert," skier).

All that being said, my wife would kill me if my 7yo son got seriously injured (e.g., knee injury requiring surgery) and it was suggested (by anyone) that part of the reason he got hurt was because his skis were too long. So, where my son is concerned, I am willing to accept the conservatism that is inherent in the L9 ski selector tool as a guideline and err on the short side w/r/t ski length.

It's a funny thing, the risks that people from different backgrounds are comfortable accepting. I grew up playing ice hockey back when full contact started at 8 or 9 years old, and I don't view hockey as a particularly dangerous sport. On the other hand, the idea of my son taking up serious ski racing would scare the heck out of me. Folks with a ski racing background may have a diametrically opposite POV.

STE
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski the East View Post
I believe Ghost did use the advanced features. I tried them and the ski selector consistently comes up with a recommended length that is about 7 cm too short for me (and I prefer my skis shorter than most on this forum).

I suspect the selector is designed to provide a very conservative recommendation in order to compensate for customers overestimating their own abilities. For example, true experts probably don't need the selection tool to help choose their skis, so the top setting probably provides a conservative guideline for an "advanced," rather than "expert," skier).

All that being said, my wife would kill me if my 7yo son got seriously injured (e.g., knee injury requiring surgery) and it was suggested (by anyone) that part of the reason he got hurt was because his skis were too long. So, where my son is concerned, I am willing to accept the conservatism that is inherent in the L9 ski selector tool as a guideline and err on the short side w/r/t ski length.

It's a funny thing, the risks that people from different backgrounds are comfortable accepting. I grew up playing ice hockey back when full contact started at 8 or 9 years old, and I don't view hockey as a particularly dangerous sport. On the other hand, the idea of my son taking up serious ski racing would scare the heck out of me. Folks with a ski racing background may have a diametrically opposite POV.

STE
I bet the risk of concussion is a lot higher in hockey than ski racing.

As to the selector, I used the advanced feature. It just is biased to short skis.

I would say that whether or not to go for longer skis depends entirely on the ability level of the child. If they are comfortable with a longer ski, then they should have one. Anywhere between chin and top of head is my rule of thumb. Deviations from that are based on the skier knowing that he wants something else. If the skier is just starting out and doesn't know the first thing, then shorter is easier. If the skier knows what to do then longer is easier up to a point.
post #12 of 16
I think the manufacturers just recommend really short skis now based on the shaped skis, and the amount of effective arc that hits the snow compared to the same ski in a straight ski length. Where I used to ski on a Fisher RC4 world cup, 195, they would put me on 160 now. Definitely short, but that's a mfg's comparison.

Try them in different lengths if you can and see how they do. Too short of a ski can hamper their improvement also. If they have no apparent problems, and are progressing then last years may be fine.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by lady_Salina View Post
I think the manufacturers just recommend really short skis now based on the shaped skis, and the amount of effective arc that hits the snow compared to the same ski in a straight ski length. Where I used to ski on a Fisher RC4 world cup, 195, they would put me on 160 now. Definitely short, but that's a mfg's comparison.

Try them in different lengths if you can and see how they do. Too short of a ski can hamper their improvement also. If they have no apparent problems, and are progressing then last years may be fine.
That's true; while I used to ski on a one-ski quiver 208 SG, I now ski on 165 cm SL and 190 cm all-mountain.
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexo View Post
1. Boy, 7yo, very small (looks like 5-6yo), adventurous (liked to try the bumps, black diamonds, etc.), last year's skis 97cm considering 110cm.
I'll agree with the people who say staying with last year's is probably the best course here. 110 sounds a tad long, given your description of relative height, general size/maturity and experience. Plus the 97s have a significant advantage, in that you already have them.

Quote:
2. Girl, 11yo, a little shorter and heavier than average, cautious, last year's skis 120cm considering 130cm.
A little tougher call, but I don't think you'd be going wrong to stay with the 120s, given it's only her second season. The ideal would probably be in between, I suppose. FWIW, my 11-year-old daughter moved from 130s to 140s, but she's tall (130s are sub-chin) and this is her 9th season.
post #15 of 16
You answered your own question.
Quote:
Originally Posted by alexo View Post
I enrolled two kids in a 10 week skiing program.
So ask the coach/instructor.
post #16 of 16
My kids are doughter just turned 11 very good skier perfict form double blacks 2 feet of fresh not a problem. She likes wide tipped skis for her hight and wieght up to her nose. She teaches all her friend to parrelel because she gets imbaresed sking with them is they snowplow! All her friends can ski now. My son just turned 13 likes to free ski. Can front flip 360 switch and scares the pants of me what he does!! He wants to ski like Seth Morrison and Sammy Carlson Help!! He needs a upgrade to a Solomon Gun or somthing like that but untill he breaks these ones to bad. He likes his skis top of his head. He skis on my wifes 180,s some times and likes them but there not cool enough because there not twin tips. I think the useing the head idea works well. In my kids case any way. Girls middle of face boys top of head. That way theres room to grow.
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