Baby’s First Shred: Skiing Gear Guide for Children

Few things can make a parent prouder than seeing their child shred the snow down a mountain with the utmost confidence and skill. A big part of making skiing and snowboarding easy and fun for children is getting them the right gear. Comfortable Obermeyer ski jackets, correctly sized skis and boards, and moisture-wicking base layers are essential for a day out on the slopes.

Children’s Skis and Snowboards

You can’t zoom down a mountain without skis or a snowboard. Luckily, there are skis and snowboards that are made specifically for children.

Children’s skis are pretty basic and don’t have advanced technical features like some adult skis. Most children’s skis have a soft flex and side cuts. Make sure you get the right size, though – the longer the skis, the more difficult skiing will be for your child. Children’s ski length should fall somewhere between the chin and the chest from the ground. You can get a pair that reaches your kid’s chin if you want to use the skis for some time.

When you get a snowboard for your child, you should base it on their height and weight. Like skis, the snowboard should stand at or near chin height. You can go shorter for beginners or lighter riders.

Children’s Boots

Unlike adults, children’s ski boots don’t have to fit snugly. If you want your child’s ski boots to last for a long time and accommodate growth, you should get a pair that is a size bigger. However, you shouldn’t go any bigger than that, or else your child might become uncomfortable. Make sure that your child fits the boots with the socks that they’re planning to wear on the slopes.

Children’s Outerwear

With ski jackets, the goal is to keep warm without getting sweaty. You will want to get a ski jacket with a layer of insulation on the inside. The outside should be waterproof since your child will likely be down in the snow a lot.

Like with ski jackets, ski pants should be well-insulated, waterproof, and breathable. Some ski pants have internal ankle gaiters that keep snow from getting into your child’s ski boots.

For warmth, mittens are better than gloves. You should find a pair of mittens that are waterproof, well-insulated, and easy to put on and off.

Children’s Base and Mid Layers

Father and son in a skiing tripThese layers, worn underneath the outerwear, are designed to keep your child warm while wicking away any sweat so that your child doesn’t get cold and clammy. The base layer, being the layer closest to the body, is the most important one. It should insulate your child while being comfortable and warm. Look for clothes made from synthetic fibers or wool; avoid cotton as much as you can. Make sure that this layer isn’t too tight or restrictive.

On colder days, you need a second layer to keep your child warm. It needs to be breathable and comfortable as it traps in vital body heat.

Children’s Ski Accessories

Kids should always wear helmets out on the slopes. In North America, head injuries make up 20% of the 600,000 ski-related injuries. Trees, rocks, other skiers, and even hard-packed snow are hazards to any skier, particularly to young tykes. Additionally, helmets are much warmer than hats. Some youth helmets come with an adjustable internal harness that can be adjusted to fit your child’s head perfectly.

Goggles are also important. It protects your child’s eyes from the sun, the wind, debris, and snow blindness. With high-quality goggles, your kid will be able to see better while skiing down a mountain.

Children’s skiing gear isn’t really that different from adult gear – just smaller. Dress your children for skiing the same way that you would dress yourself and both of you will be good to go!


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