What Equipment Young Ski Racers Do and Do Not Need

It can be daunting when you first sign your child up for a race team. Not only is it a new sport, but it requires a lot of equipment. You are asking yourself, 'What  kids ski racing equipment do I need?' Luckily for you, young ski racers may not need every piece of equipment when they first start out racing. Read here to find out which pieces of kids ski racing equipment your young racer needs.

Do need

  • Helmet
    • Helmets are becoming common practice for most skiers, but they are extremely important for ski racers. Further, even young ski racers should have a hard-ear helmet- meaning that the material covering the ears is made of the same material and attached to the rest of the helmet. However, it is not required that young ski racers have a FIS certified helmet.
  • Tuned skis
    • A pair of properly tuned skis can make a significant impact on skiing ability. In order to avoid creating large ruts, most race hills are on very hard-packed snow. In order to maintain an edge and easily maneuver the skis on this snow, the ski edges need to be sharp. To learn more about how to wax skis, click here.
  • Carving Designed Skis
    • While it may not be necessary to have an entire quiver of skis at a young age, ski racers should have at least one pair of skis that are race or carving oriented. If they are just starting out and only want one pair of skis then, a multi-discipline youth race ski is a great solution.
  • Ski Poles
    • Even if your child is a beginning racer, they still need a pair of ski poles. If you do not believe that they are ready for poles yet then it may be best to spend another year honing their skills before joining a race team. As they get older, racers can progress to two pairs of poles - one for slalom and one for Giant Slalom. However, to begin they just need one pair of generic straight poles.
  • Properly Fitting Ski Boots
    • It is important that all skiers have properly fitting ski boots but for racers, it is a necessity. A pair of properly fitting ski boots will help ski racers gain better control while drastically improving their performance. Generally, racers go for a tighter ski boot fit, but this may not be necessary for entry-level youth racers.

Don’t need

  • Speed Suit
    • Speed suites allow for more agility while skiing and help eliminate wind drag. Because of this, they are required for higher-level or older racers, but they are not necessarily required for young ski racers who are just starting out. For most young ski racers, their technique will be a more significant influencer and their race results.
  • Pole Guards
    • Pole guards are an important safety factor for slalom skiing, but they are not needed until racers begin skiing in ‘tall gates’. Most youth-centered slalom races only have ‘stubby’ gates- which do not go above the skier’s knees.
  • Chin Guard
    • Young ski racers do not need a chin guard for the same reason that they do not need pole guards- most slalom races only feature stubby gates so there is little chance of ski racers needing to protect their mouth and chin. Further, it can be dangerous to ski at high speeds with a chin guard because of the chance of falling, so if it is not required then it may be best not to use one.
  • Brand New Skis
    • As young ski racers continue to progress into ski racing, they will need to continue increasing their number of skis. It can get expensive and often times it is not worth it, especially while they are still growing. In addition, ski racers tend to keep their skis in pristine condition so you do not need to worry about skis breaking down. Because of this, it is often not necessary for younger ski racers to invest in brand new race skis.  Instead, they can opt for a pair of used race skis.

At Utah Ski Gear we do our best to support race families by providing both new and used kids ski race equipment and ski tuning tools. While we post a lot of our equipment online, it is recommended that you directly reach out to us if you are looking for something specific.


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