I hope I can get some feedback and help from the many knowledgeable racing coaches and parents who read this board. Please allow be a little background concerning my Daughter. She's an 8 yr. old J6. Athletically she has always been a standout in whatever sport she participates in, hockey, soccer, baseball etc. She is also bigger that most boys and girls her age which probably accounts for much of her success. She's 4' 5" & 78 lbs. Last fall she wanted to join the local ski racing team even though she had never skied before. BTW, I skied years ago (New England) recreationally, so my knowledge of ski racing is ZERO! Nevertheless, I picked up a pair of Atomic Race 7 (110) skis for her and she skied for the first time in mid December. She loved it from the first minute and picked it up rather quickly. Perhaps all the hockey (skating) helped her with understanding edges. Anyway, she won her first J6 race two weeks later and never finished lower than 4th all season (but for 1 DQ). She won the overall (J6) title as well as her teams overall trophy for most points in a season. It's all been a bit overwhelming. She did all of this on old skis, and boots that are too big for her. I would like to get her (new) equipment that is best suited too her. I read all I can, about junior equipment, but I still feel a bit clueless. She has grown to be a huge Lindsey Vonn fan, so right now she's a bit bias towards Rossi since that's what Lindsey has. I've been considering their RSX and also looking into Dynastar. Her coaches like Atomic and Vokel because they're tied into the local ski shop and that's what they carry. Which is probably great stuff but I would like to narrow it down starting with all brands. I would enjoy reading any and all input you have to give. Thanks.
Junior race skis
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I would wait until next fall when your local club has a swap. I don't know where your at, but the amount of high quality gear going through the Aspen swap is amazing. Kids grow fast, you could spend a fortune trying to keep up with them and I don't think you really need too!
- 1,432 Posts. Joined 9/2004
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Sounds like she'll be a first year J5 next year. Congrats! For that level, I think you're dead on with the Rossi RSX or anything that is designated as a dual event. Also another good option is a softer slalom ski that is a tad longer than normal (around nose to eye height). These two kinds of skis have very similar use for your daughter size, age and level.
From what I've read/heard, Elan, Dynastar and Rossi tend to be a bit softer so they are better for earlier development. Atomic and Fischer run a bit stiffer and tend to cater towards the more experienced (skill-wise anyways). Every other brand pretty much falls in the middle of this spectrum.
The Race 7 is not a race ski by any means and they aren't too far off from the entry level varieties. There is nothing wrong with that for a 8yo for race and skill development. I'm just merely pointing it out. The Race 9 or 10 on the other hand are meant for young racers. Those would fall in line with what you will get for her for next season.
As for when it's the best time to buy, because of the uncertainty in her height (amongst many other things) and your rather limited exposure to this field, I would also recommend waiting until fall. You can decide then. It doesn't hurt to start looking now though. That way you'll have a head start (with lengths, styles, shops, etc.) when it comes time to buy.
Also, you must think boots as well. As all kids are growing, you definitely want growth room, especially for a 9yo. But, don't go any more than half to 1 size bigger and get her a good pair of boots. Again, swap is a good source for that.
One last piece of advice (from a father of 2 young racers), don't focus too much on her placement on the podium at this age. Real achievement is in the skills and in the love of the sport. She will be far better off in a long run if she becomes a good skier. At the J6/5 (even J4) levels, there are way many factors that can take kids to the "top" without good skiing.
Edited by chanwmr - 3/17/2009 at 03:56 am