How to choose the right length for kids skis
Choosing skis for children is not at all as difficult as many people seem to think, but there are several things to bear in mind. Freeride helps you choose the right length of children’s skis for children aged 3-9 years.
Choosing the right length of skis for children is not really that difficult. Children are children and ski as children do, that is to say, on all surfaces, including, on slalom tracks, forest tracks, jumps and children’s slopes, and therefore they need good quality all-mountain skis. The mistake that most people make is to choose skis for their children that are too short.
Although short skis are admittedly flexible and practical for beginners and really small children, as children develop their speed will increase and they will benefit from a pair of longer skis, which make skiing more stable regardless of age.
As you know, children learn quickly and many of them show considerable development after just one week in the mountains. Therefore, buying skis is not always the best option.
When skis are rented it is easy to change them for a longer pair during the week if appropriate and this can help in developing skiing skills. In addition, many facilities offer rental subscriptions for children’s skis throughout the entire season, which allows you to change ski length an unlimited number of times during the winter. Practical and beneficial.
Anyhow, to make it as easy as possible to choose children’s skis, regardless of whether you rent or buy, there are three factors that you should take into account:
The child’s height is of course very important when choosing the length of skis. If you buy skis, remember to check how much your child has grown from the time you buy the skis until they are used for the first time. Work on the basis that, when standing vertically, the skis should reach somewhere between the child’s chest and chin, which is often about 20-30 centimeters below the child’s total height. When children develop their skiing, grow physically and become stronger, the ski length needed will also increase, in accordance with the following parameters.
No matter what their age, children who have not learned the snow plough technique are beginners, no matter how fast they can ski. Beginners benefit from using shorter skis, about 20-30 centimeters below their height. Children can be classed as average skiers as soon as they have learned to brake with the help of the snow plough and to slow down with simple turns, which enables them to master green and blue slopes, simple slalom tracks and forest tracks, and to use longer skis which give increased stability and control. Your child will have become an advanced skier when he or she can ski and brake with parallel skis on blue and red slopes, ski with control over small jumps, ski in the forest, and adapt their skiing to suit the surface. It is important that the skis are now longer as the skiing is faster and more aggressive. An advanced skier can have skis that are as long as himself.
Children under the age of three often lack the motor skills and strength required to be able to ski, which is why most ski schools have introduced a lower age limit of three years, the age from which this guide starts. Young children may be happy with shorter skis that are flexible and easy to maneuver. But as children get older they will of course also become stronger and will therefore automatically be able to master higher speeds and power in skiing, which in turn means that they can benefit from slightly longer skis. At the age of nine, an average skier can use skis closer to 130 centimeters, which is also the length where the commercial market begins to offer a larger range of skis for different types of terrain, such as race skis and freeride skis, so this guide for children’s skis also ends at the age of nine.
To sort out any uncertainties, consult the table below:
Kids height: Starting ski length: 90-100cm 70cm 100-110cm 80cm 110-120cm 90cm 120-130cm 100cm 130-140cm 110cm
Level of skiing: Ski length: Beginner +/-0cm Average skier +5cm Advanced skier +10cm
Kids age: Ski length: 3-4 år +/-0cm 5-6 år +5cm 7-9 år +10cm
- The child is 115 centimeters tall and therefore starts with a pair of 90-centimeter-long skis.
- The child is an average skier and 5 centimeters can be added to the ski length, bringing it to 95 centimeters.
- The child is 6 years old and a further 5 centimeters are added to the ski length, giving a pair of skis that are 100 cm long.
Most children’s skis on the market come in length intervals of ten centimeters, but make sure not to put too much weight on the number of centimeters as not all skis are available in regular lengths as in this case. Preference and taste, budget and other factors can of course play an important role and are not something to be underestimated.