How to Size a Child for Downhill Skis

How to Size a Child for Downhill Skis
It's important to get the right size ski when shopping for skis for your child, particularly when it's your child's first pair. The wrong ski could get your child going faster than he is prepared for and make turning extremely difficult. Handling will be more challenging if the skis are not the right length. The recommended proportions between body height and ski length are different for children than they are adults, so know what to look for when selecting skis.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Step 1
Choose a ski length based on the child's size and age. Children younger than 6 years old should use skis that almost reach their chins when the skis are stood on end. Those younger than 12 should use skis that reach their middle or upper face.
Step 2
Select an all-mountain model for your child's skis. These skis are versatile and can be used on almost any part of the mountain, which is ideal for a child learning how to ski. Mountain skis also have a particular sizing that makes them easier to learn on. These skis have a narrower waist, making them easier to navigate. They don't serve well as high-performance skis, but that probably won't matter to children.
Step 3
Choose skis that are pliable rather than rigid. Rigid skis lend themselves to performance, but pliable skis are more forgiving and will be easier for your child to stand up on. These skis should bend in the middle when pressure is applied.
Step 4
Choose skis that can accommodate properly sized ski boots and bindings for your child. This usually isn't a problem, but if your child has unusually sized feet, the locations for the bindings to attach themselves to the ski can be an awkward position that might affect performance. You can usually resolve this by getting slightly longer skis or skis with broader waists.

Article Written By Jonathan Croswell

Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.

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