Buying Equipment

Equipment necessary for your athlete

SL Race Skis Y Y
GS Race Skis Y Y
Super G Skis Y
JR or SL skis (less than chin height) Y
Soft flexing front buckle Boots (worn with ski sox) Y Y Y
Poles w/wrist guards (sold separately) Y Y Y
Helmets w/hard sides Y Y Y
Helmet chin guard for SL Y Y Y
Shin Guards Y Y
Back Protector Y
Pole Guards Y
Mouth Guard Y
Race Suit Y
Goggles Y Y Y
Rain Gear Y Y Y
Warm layered clothing (not cotton) Y Y Y

Y=Yes, R=Recommended, O=Optional, (*) if hitting gates


All companies make good products and the coaches will be able to advise parents on which would be suitable for their athlete.

Today’s skis often have a wider tip and tail, with a narrower waist – this helps athletes make carved by creating an arc in the snow. Slalom skis tend to have more side cut than do giant slalom skis.

It is always more beneficial to go shorter when choosing ski length for children. A shorter ski will facilitate turning, allowing quicker progression of basic skills and increase your child’s enjoyment of skiing. Longer skis do NOT necessarily mean higher performance (it did about 30 years ago), if that dates you in any way.

Basic guideline: your child’s skis should be between the chin and the top of the forehead. With slalom skis closer to chin level and with GS skis closer to forehead level. Check with your coaches before you purchase your child’s equipment.


A softer flexing boot will be more effective than a stiffer boot due to strength limitations and skill level.

To determine if a boot is soft enough for your child you should be able to see the forward boot flexion happening in the upper cuff simultaneously with the lower leg. If the upper boot cuff does not move or moves very little the boot is too stiff and will hinder your child in their skill progression.

Boots should fit properly: tight but not overly uncomfortable. Remember the boots might feel too tight at first but will break in within a couple of ski days.

Buying boots to “grow into” is counter productive for both performance and fit. Buy boots that fit properly and check with your coaches if you have any questions about your child’s equipment. There are enough local resources between older team members, the local second hand performance store and your local, new equipment retailer, that you can afford to get the right boots. Boots are THE MOST IMPORTANT piece of equipment!

Night Skiing

It is very important if your child is training at night that they wear goggles with a clear lens.

Tinted lenses meant for daytime skiing are not effective at night and are dangerous. Sometimes goggles are you most important piece of equipment.

Keep in mind that night training is often colder, so remember to bring and wear extra layers at night. All of these tips will make for a more enjoyable night skiing experience.


USSA approved  helmets are mandatory for all training and racing. It is required that racers wear their helmets at all training and races. No exceptions.