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Nothing can be more joyful than watching toddlers make their way down the slopes. In fact, having your kids learn to ski at an early age might even help them develop better balance and movement patterns for life. However, they need to like the experience, and nothing is more detrimental to a child's enjoyment of the slopes than inappropriate equipment.
Consider this: As an adult, you know that ill-fitting boots and skis that are either too long or too short can ruin your day. If you consider the fact that most kids have a lower pain threshold than adults, you will realize the importance of making an informed decision.
While many children's ski instructors have conflicting views about kids' equipment, there are some basic points on which they agree. For example, most pros agree that skis for beginners should be about chin length. As your child's skills improve, he or she can handle a length between the chin and the nose. In general, a ski should measure as short as 80cm. for a child who measures 31.5 inches, to as long as 130 cm. for a child as tall as 51.2 inches.
Of course, if you are buying kid's ski gear at the end of the season, you will have to keep in mind that your child might have a major growth spurt in the summer. Your best bet would be to wait for the fall. For an excellent selection of skis year round, check out Skis.com.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|