Sizing Up Your Ski Needs

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Kid's Gear C 0900

Buying kid's skis isn't as easy as one might think. Here are some tips to guide you through the buying process that will ensure you get more bang for your buck.Buying skis? Here's Rule No. 1: Honestly evaluate your ability. There is a wide range of skis in each category. In Race, you'll find skis ready to take on the World Juniors, as well as those more appropriate for a beginning racer. In All-Mountain Recreation, there are skis that belong on husky, aggressive skiers and others that suit lightweight, graceful skiers. Don't get caught up in the hype over Model X from Brand Y because it's popular with the other kids, when what you need might be a softer, lower-level ski.

Second, picking the right length can make the difference between falling in love with skiing forever or struggling from the start. Among our testers we had a wide range of sizes and weights. A ski that tested poorly for our 13-year-old, 130-pound boys (Skip and Pat) ranked No. 1 with our 9-year-old, 90-pound girl (Katherine). Remember, with today's skis you can go short. The ideal ski comes up to about your nose.

Finally, pick a ski that's versatile. If you're like I was, you'll push your limits all over the mountain: on the groomed, in bumps, on course or in the woods. You'll enjoy the day more if you're on a ski that handles everything well.