PICKING THE RIGHT SKI FOR YOUR SHREDDING GROM
In the last few years buying skis for your children has become a lot more complicated. In times past you just picked a ski that came up to the nose and was a colour they liked, and you were good.
Now there are different models, makes, specialisations, etc., luckily some of the old rules still apply.
Choosing the length is the first step. If your grommet is an expert, you want a ski that comes up to around their forehead. The aspiring shredder who is not quite skiing parallel is looking for a length up to the chin area. If you’re trying to get multiple seasons out of a pair, go a little longer, but not much taller than your child. Once the skis are around shoulder height, it’s time for a new pair.
There are also lots of different waist widths now; remember a 95mm ski underfoot for them is the same as at 115mm on you. So you want to look for something around 80mm or skinnier for most skiing. As a freestyle coach, I think most good skiers are fine with a twin tip, however race coaches will disagree. It all really depends on what the little skier is doing. If they are a more traditional “go fast, left, right, left, right, repeat”, then go with a traditional ski. If they are spinning around, skiing backwards, and off the trail, then a twinnie is probably better.
Then there is the question of rocker versus camber. It’s an easy one to answer as most kids need camber in order to get the skis to function properly. So a ski with a lot of rocker is usually not desirable. Like with length, experts can get a lot of performance out of a rockered ski, while an intermediate is really just going to slip around a lot.
As for construction, lighter skiers need a lighter ski, so look for cap construction, but heavier kids, or kids who just charge, need a stronger constitution. Again, the difficulty for selecting a ski for groms is that they often need a ski for moguls, racing, and freeskiing. In my opinion, the best option (other than investing in a quiver for your child) is to look for a ski with a relatively narrow waist (80mm), twin tips, and a reasonable amount of camber.
Finally, remember, not all kids are the same. Your 13-year-old needs a beefier constructed ski than your seven-year-old. Likewise, your 11-year-old dropping four-to-five metre cliffs needs more ski than their classmate just crushing the blue squares.
Parting advice, unless your grom is already an accomplished park skier, and is starting to do future spins, do not centre-mount the bindings. Mount them at a manufacturer’s recommended specs. Mount the bindings for how your grom skis, not how he or she wishes they could ski.
* Josh Laney is head grom coach for Team Buller Riders. When it comes to recommending skis for kids who are good skiers, he’s the man.
ARV84 (boys) ARW84
Dimensions: 120-84-109 Lengths: 149, 156, 163
RRP: $649.99 A perfect all mountain twin tip for kids to shred the whole mountain as well as the park. Light,
yet solid wood core construction for added durability. Traditional camber engages the tip and tail of the skis for easy entry and exit in and
out of turns.
Dimension: 110-80-103 Lengths: 138, 148, 158,
RRP: $599 (inc. binding) The kid just wants a fun, bullet proof, cool twin tip that’s not a “kiddy ski”. The Serial covers all the bases with performance and style to boot. Smooth on the groomers, poppy in the park, and playful in the pow. The ideal ski for
a do it all kid.
Pinball Pro Quick Shift
Dimension: 110-81-105 Lengths: 105, 115, 125,
When your little shredder is ready to take their skiing to the next level, the Elan Pinball Pro Ski will have them progressing right before your eyes all over the mountain. The early rise rocker is great for floating through soft snow, and it also shortens the effective edge for an easier turning
CT 1.0 JR
Dimensions: 113-79-105 Lengths: 125, 135, 145, 155
Built for the junior rippers who outski most of the adults on the mountain. This ski has the same
construction as our adult skis, and sandwich construction with a poplar and ash core. Featuring tip and tail rocker with
a traditional camber underfoot, a versatile 79mm waist so you can charge through the park and on
into the pow.
Dimensions: 112-78-102 Lengths: 112, 124, 136,
RRP: $469 (inc. binding) The Bonbon is a grown up ski in kid-friendly proportions. Light, strong, and durable. Built to conquer the piste, powder, or park, the Bonbon will help your kids progress their skiing
quicker than you can imagine. Twin-tip shape
for no hook ups.
Lengths: 118, 128, 138, 148, 158 RRP: $469
This is the best way to climb into the world of backcountry and powder skiing! The full rocker ensures effortless turns and
best floatation. Featuring Full Sensor
wood core and sidewall construction, this ski delivers in all
the right ways.
Kids need something that will serve them well over the entire mountain. Joey Elliss having a fun time in Kirkwood, California on his Armada ARV84s.