Using the steps below, do a quick inventory and see where you stand. Early fall is a great time to shop for bargains, trade with friends and pick up gear at local ski swaps.
Stand Tall to Measure Skis
Have your child stand next to her skis. The tip of the ski should reach somewhere between his chin and the top of his head. The skis should not be taller than the top of the head (unless you’ve got a teen in the process of sprouting), but they can be a couple of inches below the chin. This is especially true if the child has just started skiing, is a timid skier or doesn’t weigh very much.
Easy Peasy Ski Pole Fitting
Place the pole upside down. Have your child grasp the pole above the basket, pushing the top of the grip into the floor. Her arms should be bent at an approximate right angle.
Boot Fitting 101
Sole Length. Center your child’s bare foot against the exterior sole of the boot. There should be about an inch of sole remaining on each end.
Shell Size. Take out the liner. With a ski sock on, have the child put her foot in the boot shell. While standing, ask her to move her toes forward to the tip of the boot. Have her flex her ankles and bend her knees and move into a skiing position. Using a flashlight, look into the boot behind the child’s heel. There should be 5/8” – 1” of room between her heel and the back of the boot.
The Whole Boot. Put the boot back together. Using both hands, pull the tongue out-of-the-way and separate the overlapping fronts of the boots as wide as you can. Your child now has a clear entryway for his foot into the boot. Buckle the boots and have your child walk around a bit. If your child complains that the boot is too tight, but the shell measured to fit, don’t give up on the boot. Boot liners can be stretched to get another season out of them. Take them to your ski shop for stretching. If your child has a chubby foot, you may need to go up a size.
Flex, flex, flex. For boots to fit properly, you child needs to be flexing his ankles and driving his knees forward in an athletic stance. This stance moves his heel to the back of the boot and should provide room for wiggling his toes. In a front entry boot, you can tell if he is flexing the boot by watching the boot hinge forward at the ankle. Push down on the top of the boot while it is on the floor and without a foot in it to see what you are looking for in flex. Rear entry boots are sometimes easier small, young skiers to flex.
The Word on Bindings
Junior boots go into junior bindings. ‘Nuff said.
I hope this helps. If in doubt, check with your local ski shop and have a great season!
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