How to Size Cross-Country Skiing Equipment for Children

How to Size Cross-Country Skiing Equipment for Children
Taking your children cross country skiing can instill a lifelong love of winter outdoors recreation in your children. It can be an ideal family outing, because your child's ability level is not as critical to his enjoyment of cross country skiing as it would be to alpine skiing. When you rent or buy cross country ski equipment for your children, several things come into play when figuring size, including the child's age, height and weight. The type of skiing you intend (traditional/touring or skate/racing) will determine what kind of ski you need. The following formula is for sizing traditional touring skis.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Gear Up

Things You’ll Need:
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Age
Step 1
Determine what type of skiing you will be doing. Traditional/touring cross country skis will be longer, skate/racing skis shorter.
Step 2
Traditional skis should be 10cm to 30cm (4 to 12 inches) longer than the child's height. For heavier kids, go a little longer for more floatation in the snow; for lighter kids, go shorter for maneuverability. For very young kids (3 to 5 years old), the ski should be no longer than the child's height.
Step 3
For backcountry tours and skiing on hiking trails, metal-edged skis are best--for grip while traversing. For traditional in-area trails, skis without metal edges are sufficient.
Step 4
Children's cross country ski boots should fit like sneakers. They should have a little growing room and fit comfortably, but not be too big, because they will chafe and reduce performance.
Step 5
The ski poles should come up to the child's armpit. You can buy adjustable ski poles, which will grow with your child.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.