Buying Skis for Kids
Getting the right pair of skis for your kids will allow them to progress and most importantly have fun. You want to choose skis that are suitable for on-piste because that is where your child can easily learn and develop their skills, unless they have already specialized in a particular discipline. When you are choosing skis for your kids it is also important to select skis appropriate for their level of experience as beginner skis will always be softer and more forgiving compared to advanced skis.
Renting equipment is always an option, but buying a pair for your kids will let them get familiar with the skis and be confident on them. Plus, you can avoid the busy rental shops at the start of your holiday!
PISTE SKIS - The best skis for staying on-piste
Piste skis are a great choice for your child to spend time on the piste practicing the basics or perfecting technique in a learner-friendly environment. The skis are narrow in design, which gives them maximum grip and control on the snow.
ALL MOUNTAIN SKIS - The best all-round skis for kids
All Mountain skis are also beginner-friendly as they are very forgiving and the design of the skis enables adventurous kids to better handle some off-piste allowing easier turns in heavy snow.
We also have specialized types of skis for kids that are already experienced and want to try a different type of skiing such as Park, Racing, or Freeride. If that's something that interests you, we recommend reading our Ski Buying Guide for Experienced skiers, where we describe these types of skis in more detail.
Choose the Right Ski Length
Making sure your child is using the correct pair of skis for their size and ability will help them learn faster and have more fun. The most determining factor is height and since most children are height and weight proportioned, a ski that falls between their chest and eyebrows is acceptable.
A child that is learning to ski for the first time should have skis closer to their chest height. Likewise, an experienced child who is advanced should have skis closer to their eyebrow height.
The picture illustrates the ski length for a beginner (your height minus 35 cm)
|First-timer||Your height minus 40 cm|
|Beginner||Your height minus 35 cm|
|Intermediate||Your height minus 30 cm|
|Advanced||Your height minus 15 cm|
|Expert||Your height minus 5 cm|
Skis With or Without Bindings
Kids' skis can come with or without bindings, but we generally advise selecting skis with bindings as they are easily adjustable and ensure good performance. This option is possible for all ski abilities and particularly good for beginners to intermediates.
Skis without bindings are normally found on the specialized categories of Park, Freeride, and Touring where purchasing bindings separately is required. If your child is an intermediate or above, then selecting the skis and bindings separately is a good option as you can customize the equipment. More information on bindings can be found on the Buying alpine ski bindings guide.
Other Ski Equipment
Boots can make a big difference to a child's experience on skis and rental boots can often be uncomfortable. When investing in a pair, the most important thing is to get the correct size and boot type.
The boot size is measured in centimeters, and it is the length of the foot from the back of the heel to the tip of the toe. You can measure your child's feet using a ruler or tape measure. Children's boots are generally soft in flexibility and can have between 1 and 4 buckles.
There are also race boots for advanced children interested in racing. They are significantly more expensive and have a high boot flex (60 to 90).
If your child is new to skiing, you do not need to invest in ski poles right away. A good time to introduce poles will be after they have learned the basics and are skiing confidently.
Tip: Introducing your kids to ski poles. Make sure that once you introduce your kids to the ski poles that they use them correctly, and they are not holding them loosely or dragging them behind, as it will be more difficult to unlearn these mistakes afterward.
To find the right size of ski poles, you can have a look at our Ski Pole Length Size chart.
This is a very important piece of equipment that your child should definitely have. Whether they are a beginner or an expert, the risk of injury is the same. As well as protecting the head, it can add warmth and confidence to your child, which are nice added bonuses. Many countries have laws that make it mandatory for children to wear kids' helmets for skiing. For further guidance, you can read How to wear your helmet or Lifespan of helmets.
Goggles, gloves, and appropriate clothing are a few of the other essentials that you will need to enjoy your time on the slopes. These can all be found on our website: The ultimate ski and snowboard goggles guide.