KIDS SKIS

PICK­ING THE RIGHT SKI FOR YOUR SHRED­DING GROM

Chill Factor - - Chillfactor Recommends - BY JOSH LANEY

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.

AR­MADA

ARV84 (boys) ARW84

(girls)

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.

DYNASTAR

Se­rial Xpress

Di­men­sion: 110-80-103 Lengths: 138, 148, 158,

168cm

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.

ELAN

Pin­ball Pro Quick Shift

Di­men­sion: 110-81-105 Lengths: 105, 115, 125,

135, 145

RRP: $399

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

on hard­pack.

FAC­TION

CT 1.0 JR

Di­men­sions: 113-79-105 Lengths: 125, 135, 145, 155

RRP: $629

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.

ROXY

Bon­bon

Di­men­sions: 112-78-102 Lengths: 112, 124, 136,

148

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.

VOLKL

Mantra JRN

Di­men­sions: 118–86111

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.

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