Sizing Kids' Snow Skis

Sizing Kids' Snow Skis
Buying skis for children is always a challenge. Several considerations, such as skier weight, flotation, length and skill need to be balanced against having a ski that your child won't outgrow in a year and that won't be too difficult to turn on at first. Fortunately, the increasing sidecut of skis has made this an easier task than it once was.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Getting started

Things You’ll Need:
  • Child's height
  • Child's weight
  • Knowledge of terrain
Step 1
Examine the terrain your child will primarily be skiing. Getting wider skis has become increasingly common, especially for the deep powder of resorts in Colorado, Utah and California, but is not as critical for skiing the hardpacked and often icy snow of resorts in the Northeast, where a narrower ski may be appropriate.
Step 2
Start by figuring out how wide a ski you need. For Western resorts, something in the 90 mm width at the waist is good; for Eastern, consider 75 mm to 80 mm.
Step 3
Check the weight guidelines for the skis you are considering buying. Skier weight is a more important consideration than skier height, as it affects how much surface area is needed for effective flotation. All manufacturers have a recommended weight range for different ski lengths.
Step 4
Consider your child's skiing ability and size the length based on whether he likes to ski fast and make few turns, play in the terrain park or zip moguls. Shorter skis are better in terrain parks and moguls, while longer skis are more stable at speeds and better for those who want to race.
Step 5
Look at twin-tip skis for all-around recreational use. These skis are nimble and float well in powder, and are preferred in terrain parks. Twin tips also ski shorter than their listed length, as they have early rise at the tip and tail, so you may need a longer twin-tip ski than standard-length ski.

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.