Updated: 2 days ago
So, the little tykes you have been cradling since birth have started growing up and might be ready to partake in your favorite winter sport, skiing on the slopes. The first step is making sure you have the right equipment, like kids' skis, for two reasons: you keep your kids safe, and you keep your kids interested in sliding down mountains.
What else do kids need?
Things to Consider When Looking at Kids Skis
So if the little one (or little ones) really want to enjoy fun on the slopes, then it's crucial you pay attention to the following attributes before you go ahead and buy kids skis.
Ready to get your kids on the mountain and let us take care of all the details?
Putting Kids in Skis
Boots and Bindings
Make sure the boots fit properly and are snug but not so tight that they cut off the circulation or cause discomfort. Double-check the binding settings to ensure they correlate to the child's weight. Have the child walk around in the boots before they try on the skis to avoid problems on the mountain right away is our expert advice.
Skis and Buckling
The child should practice putting on skis before they step out into the snow and have them put their dominant or stronger leg in the first ski. Once in, they should try and fasten their own buckles to their own liking. Afterward, double-check the buckling to make sure it's snug but not too tight and still feels relatively light when they walk.
Tips For Skiing With Kids
Toddlers should start on a flat surface before one day graduating to a Bunny Hill or ultra-green run. Many parents choose to ski backward in a backward wedge formation and have their children ski in front of them. Ensure they ski in lighter, shorter sessions to ensure the child has a chance to rest and digest the information. Some people swear by harnesses but make sure the child is using one properly, as they can be a detriment to the child's ability to develop the proper techniques when skiing.
Have a toddler ready for the slopes? The edgy wedgy is a great way to get started. This small piece of rubber tubing screws into your child's ski tips. It holds the skis together and stabilizes them, greatly reducing the effort required to make and hold a wedge or "pizza" shape.
With kids, one of the most crucial skills to teach is to practice both falling as well as slowing down. Although kids enjoy careening down the hill with zero fear of either death or parental worry, they need to learn how to shift weight from side to side and begin to turn. Only when they prove they can slow down and turn should they be able to graduate to more difficult green runs and into blue territory.
For more on kids learning, check out our related feature on Getting the Most from Ski Lessons.
Where to buy kids skis?
There are a range of places to purchase kids skis. From local ski shops, to ski resorts, online retailers, specialty outdoor retailers to ski manufacturer's websites. For more budget-friendly options, consider rental shops selling last season's used equipment and local ski club swap events.
Local Ski Shops
Local ski shops, including shops at ski resorts, are great for knowledgeable staff providing personalized advice, enabling kids to view the the skis and ensuring a proper fit. View our list of top ski shops by region here.
Online retailers tend to have a wide selection of kids skis and make it convenient to browse a range of manufacturers. Reviews are readily available and it is easy to compare models and prices. Evo has one of the biggest selections of kids skis with brands including K2, Black Crows, Volkl, Salomon, Atomic, Blizzard, Head, and more.
Specialty Outdoor Retailers
Specialty outdoor retailers like REI have a broad range of outdoor gear and can be a great, one-stop-shop for purchasing kids skis. Specialty retailers tend to have a smaller selection of kids skis than exclusive online retailers. Their staff tends to be knowledge and they also have a good online presence. REI carries brands including Rossingnol, Atomic, Black Crows, and more.
Ski Manufacturer Websites
If you have a specific brand in mind for kid's skis, visiting that manufacturer's website is a good way to see all of their product offerings and view local sellers. Rossingnol tends to offer its widest selection of kids skis on its website, including racing skis - the GS Pro, On Piste Heros, and junior versions of their Freeride Black Ops skis.
Adjustable poles are perfect for growing kids. Adjustable poles are durable and will last your kid from the time they need poles until they are ready for grown-up sizes. Evo carries a variety of adjustable pole brands including Line, Lil Send'r, K2, and Black Crows.
Want more info on kids and families?
It's not just the skis, skiing with kids involves extra planning. Head to our feature on Avant Ski's Top Ski Resorts For Families to start planning your next adventure.
Plus, discover where Third Through Sixth Graders Can Ski for Free This Season. State pass programs are widely available and have access to most ski resorts, including Alta Ski Area, Park City, Deer Valley, Snowbasin, Aspen, Steamboat, Telluride, Sun Valley, Killington, Okemo, Stratton, Sugarbush, and more.
How do you teach kids to ski?
First, make sure they have the proper equipment, such as kids' skis, and everything fits down to the centimeter. Then make sure they can walk around with ski boots and put the skis on. After this has been accomplished, you need to decide on a solution for teaching them. It will be different depending on the age level, but the main goal of teaching kids to ski is to learn how to slow down and shift weight from side to side in order to turn.
What size for kids skis?
Skis should reach in between the child's chest and the child's nose and should generally be shorter. Ski poles should allow the child to hold them while having their elbows at a perfect 90-degree angle. The size of the boots usually correlates to their shoe size, but the snugger, the better, is what most agree on.
When can kids start skiing?
Although some people out there start their kids skiing as early as 18 months, the general consensus among most adults is around the age of 3.