There is nothing better in the middle of winter than heading for the glistening white ski slopes with the whole family. The kids can start learning to ski from the age of three. This is when they gain stability on their feet and are able to balance and swerve to avoid obstacles.
That is when you know they will be able to manage the skis gliding over the snow. However, choosing appropriate ski equipment for children is not easy and many factors need to be considered when doing so. Here is a guide for how to pick the perfect pair of skis that will be safe for your child and allow for plenty of fun on the ski slopes.
Kids Skis Size Chart – Age
Skiing requires a certain level of balance, maneuverability, and speed. So it is preferable that very young children are at least able to walk, run, and jump before attempting skiing for the first time. Choosing the perfect skis for them can be a bit daunting at first, but there are a few simple rules you can follow when making the selection.
The table below shows the approximate length of skis suitable for a child of a given age. The youngest age that the ski manufacturers cater for is three years old, provided that the child’s height is at least 94cm or 37″ and weighs at least 15.4kg or 34lbs. The weight is included in the table as it affects how the skis will behave on the snow.
The lengths given in the table are calculated for a child of average weight, so if your child is heavier than the given weight, choose skis that are longer and if they are weighing less choose shorter skis. That is to preserve maneuverability and performance of the skis on the snow.
For the best length to choose for your child have a look at the table below.
Kids Skis Size Chart – Levels
Once your children reach the age of seven, the choice of ski length will be based on their skill level. According to the table set out below, beginners should choose shorter skis. The shorter skis are easier to manage and give beginners a safe ride while the longer skis are more difficult to maneuver and therefore need a skilled rider.
As your children progress and improve their skills the ski length can be increased. For children with advanced skills, you can comfortably choose skis that reach their forehead instead of their chin, or for actual measurements check the table below.
Kids Skis Size Chart – Symbols
Before you hit the slopes you should familiarize yourself with the symbols that ski trails are marked. These symbols indicate the difficulty of the terrain and the pitch of the slope. The table below shows the different symbols according to the difficulty and skill required to safely navigate the ride.
If you are just starting, look out for the beginner signs. These signs are posted for your safety. They indicate that the area is suitable for people who are getting onto skis for the first time.
The slope is gentle, and you can practice all the moves that you will need once you get some confidence and can move onto a more difficult slope.
Most skis are made in either a rocker or camber profile. There are also newer models that have a combination of both. The camber profile refers to the upward bowing of the ski in the middle.
This feature improves the performance of the skis as they glide over the snow. The rocker profile means that the ski tips and backs are lifted with the middle pressed firmly into the surface. The lifted tips allow for a greater surface to plane over the snow.
Current ski manufacturers have combined those two profiles to produce skis camber/hybrid rocker profiles that offer easier turns and increased speed down the slopes. To improve the versatility and maneuverability of the skis the tips of the skis also became rounder and wider. There are also skis with rounded tips and ends.
These are usually used by expert riders and the ski allows for forward and backward sliding motion.
Small children will benefit from straight skis for enjoyable, safe skiing. Straight skis offer greater stability for beginners on slopes. Once they gain more confidence and can control their skis through the turns and twists, they may want to move on onto parabolic profile skis that give them more agility and versatility to move onto steeper slopes that give more speed.
Does it matter what length is the ski?
Yes. If the ski is too short for your body it will be difficult to manage the skis on the snow, and you will become frustrated with an uneven, stop and start glide. It will be difficult to perform the plow-stopping maneuver and the skis will not provide enough stability at higher speeds. It will also be difficult for your child to keep up with the group.
On the other hand, if your skis are too long, they will glide faster than you want to go and become difficult to engage in a turn. Skis that are too long may cause dangerous falls for the rider.
Can take my two-year-old skiing?
It depends. Sometimes children develop faster than average. If your two-year-old is stable on his feet and weighs at least 15kg, he or she may be ready for skiing. You will probably have to keep a close eye on them, but teaching children to ski at a young age may develop a love for this sporting activity.
What kind of snacks is good to take on the slopes?
Skiing is a sporting activity and burns calories fast, so you or your children may become hungry while on the slopes. A good idea is to pack healthy snacks that can be carried in pockets of your snowsuit like an energy bar, or a small packet of nuts. These nutritious snacks will provide enough energy to complete the ski trail.
However, it probably won’t be practical to bring things like fruit, or sandwiches as these are bulky and may get messy, especially if you fall. Don’t forget to bring a small bottle of water to sip on during your ski run. Staying hydrated on the slopes is important, especially as a good run can generate quite a sweat.