Length is the most crucial decision in choosing kids skis. For all-mountain use, look for whatever length comes closest to the child's nose. For slalom racing, a ski should be about chin-high; for GS, up to the eyebrows. Kids looking for a dual-event ski should opt for a slalom ski or one of the many dual-event models. They'll have deeper sidecuts and be easier to carve. Flex is the next consideration. If a child can't bend a ski into its sidecut, carving can't happen. Stiff race skis offer high performance, but only for kids heavy enough (or sufficiently aggressive) to bend them. The true test? Put two-inch blocks under the tip and tail of a ski and have the child stand on the waist: If he or she can bend it to the floor, it's probably a good match.