EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR BEGINNING SKIERS
The greatest frustrations experienced by beginning young skiers are improperly waxed skis and ill-fitting equipment. For older children, no-wax skis can become a frustration as they are much slower than wax skis.
Recommended Ski Size:
Skis should be no longer than just below the palm of the Jackrabbits outstretched arm and hand.
Skis should be a skate ski. See makings on the top of the ski that will identify the ski as a skate ski. The ski length should be approximately that of the skier’s height.
Recommended Pole Size:
Poles should come to about arm pit height.
Poles should come above your child's chin but below their nose.
**Pole straps are a critical part of using poles and poles which lack straps are not recommended.
Recommended Boot Size:
Boots should not fit too tightly. Boots which are too tight will lead to cold feet.
Wax vs No-Wax
Parents can avoid improperly waxed skis by selecting no-wax skis. For most young children, wax skis provide no real advantage through at least the first two levels (Atoms and Pee Wees) of the program. Older children (including those skiing for the first time) will find that wax skis make it easier to "keep up with the pack" and learn skate technique.
- Atoms - no wax skis are satisfactory
- Pee Wees – waxable skis are preferred
- Mini Midgets - wax skis are recommended
Classic vs Skating
The following is an excerpt from an open e-mail to parents that have young skiers who are ready to begin skate skiing.
....having children in the program, I too have been worried about the right gear for my kids - what I have now, what do I really need, and what are the options. (I think the term is 'gear head' for those with all the latest tack.....am I becoming one??) So I have put the following list together that hopefully takes you through some step that would have only incremental pains on the pocket book.
FYI - I have spoken to some parents about the issue of: an outlay of money vs recouping some of that investment. I have to tell you that.....This club is huge. The rabbit program alone (not including the racing program etc) is huge. There are 150+ children involved in Jackrabbits and Bunnies last year. There are only a few clubs in the province that can boast this. And my point is, that with those numbers comes an appetite for kids used ski equipment. Nothing lasts too long on that notice board downstairs in the lodge. Selling and/or buying ski equipment is a great way to get what you are looking for (want adds) and get some dollars back (selling adds), even if it might be for newer ski gear. Maybe that new gear will be for YOU......
For these children in this class, here are the different levels to skating equipment:
Assumption: Child has classic skis (non-wax), poles and boots.
- We'll make do…I did for years….
- Acquire (buy, borrow or rent) ski poles that come above your child's chin but below their nose. Very important for this level of skating and I do encourage all these skiers to try and have this.
- Acquire classic skis (waxable). A natural progression. The upside is that your child's classic technique will greatly improve too.
- Acquire skating skis. Very noticeable difference will be seen in skate technique. Great resale opportunities within this club and fantastic club facilities to skate on.
- You have the poles and skis,…. now it’s the boots. I use 'combi' boot (boots designed for classic and skating). More children's boots have ankle support and are satisfactory for this level of skating. A skate boot is the next step if you can see your child skating the majority of the time.
Any question regarding ski and ski gear sizing, waxing, repairs, general information, please do not hesitate to contact me. I'd be happy to assist. Remember its not going to be long until your kids are skiing faster than you and you'd wish you had all the new gear too. Even then it might be a push to keep up….