Easy for kids to put on wearing regular winter boots thanks to its universal binding. Stable enough to scoot along without poles (an optional separate purchase). No waxing needed, and kids 3 to 6 years old can scoot along easily.
Not a replacement for good downhill skis, as these are for learning Nordic or cross-country skiing. Poles aren't included. Kids may outgrow these quickly.
No waxing needed for these plastic, low-resistance skis. Most kids 4 and under can use easily. 2-button quick-release bindings make unstrapping the skis from snow boots much easier.
One design only. Plastic can crack if kids are too large to use them, so parents with kids older than 4 should look for junior-sized downhill skis.
Good sliding action that gets children used to the sensation of skiing. Bottom of skis have "scales" that prevent backward sliding. Can add "edgie wedgie" attachment (available separately) to help teach basic skills. Snow boots strap in easily. Durable.
Kids ages 5 to 7 will be too old for these introductory skis. Not okay for ski lifts or downhill skiing as the bindings are not breakaway. Bindings loosen up very quickly and may be too big for smaller toddlers.
Secure tightly to sturdy snow boots and include a back binding to prevent the heel from lifting. Helps introduce ages 2-4 to skiing. Parents can easily pull or push kids across snowy areas.
Ski poles can be a bit intimidating for toddlers. Not for downhill skiing, but sliding around flat areas only. Plastic may crack lengthwise if subjected to too much pressure. Kids over age 3 may be too big for these.
Great for toddlers aged 2 to 4. Wide and stable ski base and pre-mounted bindings make it easy to attach to kids' winter boots. Colorful cartoon decorations allow kids to choose more personalized ski design.
Kids ages 4 and up will likely be too tall to comfortably use these. For skiing on flat areas only; not suitable for the piste.
If you love skiing and want your kids to enjoy it, too, you need to get them some skis. Buying skis is an investment that requires care, especially if you’re buying for a young person who may be somewhat picky about fit and needs something that can be easily put on and taken off.
The length of skis in relation to your child’s size, both height and weight, is one of the most important points to take into consideration. Size also relates to skill level; shorter skis are easier to maneuver and turn, so a beginner would need something shorter than an advanced skier.
We created this buying guide so you can glide through shopping and get right to what matters: skiing. Read this article to learn about ski size, material, price, and all the other factors you need to understand to select the best pair of snow skis for that special young person in your life.
The right ski length for a child varies depending on their skill level. As mentioned, shorter skis are easier to maneuver and turn, so you’ll want to start with skis that are approximately chin height if you’re outfitting a beginner.
If your child has already been on the slopes a few times and is confident in their abilities, a longer set of skis is recommended. Start with skis that come up their eyebrows, adding or subtracting a bit of length according to their weight and/or height.
Skis are often measured using the metric system. There is some wiggle room here, but if your child is 135 centimeters tall (4 feet, 5 inches), they need skis that are around 119 centimeters long, which would be just about chin height. If your child is 4 feet, 6 inches tall, they need skis that are 125 centimeters long.
Another way skis can be fitted is based on weight. If your child weighs 40 to 50 pounds, they’ll use skis that are approximately 90 centimeters long. If they weigh 50 to 60 pounds, they’ll use skis that are approximately100 centimeters long.
You can easily find this information by searching online, though it varies somewhat from source to source. Sometimes, the ski manufacturer will provide a chart that helps you determine what’s best.
Children’s skis aren’t intended to be used on downhill slopes the way adult skies are. They can be used on the bunny slope or beginner slope, but the bottom of the skis aren’t meant to be waxed for speed. These are more akin to cross country skis than anything else.
Children’s skis are almost always made from plastic. Many times, the inner core is softer and more flexible than the rest of the ski. This makes them soft and forgiving; the skis flex and bend without the child exerting extra effort.
The more flexible skis are, the easier it will be for a child to learn to use them. They usually don’t have metal edges, but they do come with uplifted tips, called rockers, to prevent snow plowing with the skis.
The bindings on children’s skis are different than the bindings on adult skis. They are adjustable straps of one variety or another, sometimes touted as “universal” bindings. That means the skis won’t pop off during an accident or fall.
The bindings on kids’ snow skis don’t use Velcro. Rather, they use web straps through a cinch that have three-pronged quick releases, so you can still get the child out of the skis in a hurry if you need to.
For beginners, ski poles can be a hindrance rather than a help. Youngsters who are new to skiing won’t be making any sharp turns where poles would be helpful, and if you’re supervising closely, they may not even need them to stay upright. Until your child is comfortable enough on the slopes to use them in stride, many experts suggest that it’s better to go without poles.
Of course, some kid’s skis come with poles. If your purchase includes poles, you could always confiscate them until the appropriate time.
Boys’ snowsuit: Burton Boys Minishred Striker One-Piece Jacket
Keep your little boy warm on the slopes with this one-piece snowsuit from Burton. It is available in nine different colors for ages two to eight. It’s machine washable and adjustable as he grows.
Girls’ snowsuit: Bluemagic Big Kid's One Piece Snowsuits
Available in seven bright colors for the little princess in your family, these one-piece snowsuits from Bluemagic are machine washable and cold-resistant down to -30°F.
Snow gloves: YR.Lover Children Ski Gloves (2-4Y)
These warm, snowproof winter gloves from YR. Lover come in 16 brilliant colors to suit the most discriminating child. Keep their little hands warm while they frolic in the snow.
Goggles: Yidomto Ski Goggles, Pack of 3
These ski goggles from Yidomto have wrap-around UV protection and anti-glare protection to keep your children safe on bright days when the snow glares in their faces. This package of three pairs is highly affordable for a multi-child family.
Ski cap: YING LAN Kids Faux Fur Winter Ski Cap
These lined caps from YING LAN have ear flaps along with a lined face guard that can be pulled around to protect everything below the eyes. Choose from 11 eye-catching colors.
There isn’t a huge variation in price among kid’s skis, but you could spend closer to $40 or closer to $100. The choice is yours. Quality is sometimes, but not always, reflected by price. If you opt for a cheaper pair of skis, durability may suffer somewhat. However, if you’re buying for a child who is still growing, you may not mind if the skis only last a winter or two.
We like the Whitewood Snowman Children's Nordic Skis. They're not too expensive and come with poles. These are cross country skis for children from ages two to five. The skis would probably be too short for anyone older than that.
We also like the I-Sport ABS Plastic Kids Beginner Ski Sets. They, too, are for beginners from ages two to five. Ski poles are included, and the universal bindings will fit most children's boots. You have a choice of cartoon penguin decorations or snowflakes. Made from ABS plastic, they don't need waxing.
Q. How long will it take to put the skis on my kids?
A. If you put their boots and skis on at the house to adjust the straps, then use the three-pronged release catch, it shouldn’t take long at all to put them back on — just a few minutes.
Q. How strong are the included ski poles?
A. Not very strong at all. They are just plastic poles with a lot of flexibility in them.
Q. How long can my kids use these skis?
A. Your children will probably outgrow them in a year or so. Two skiing seasons of use is the most you can reasonably expect.
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