Best Skis For Kids – 2021 Edition
Investing in a pair of skis for kids is a great way to get your little one out and about when the weather turns cold and snowy. Whether your child is just starting out or tuning into a pro after spending the season at the slopes, we have selected designs that match your little one’s personal needs. It was also important to select brands with safety and stability features, which is great for nervous newbies.
We know that winter gear can be incredibly expensive, which is why we also selected specific designs to help you save a little bit of money this winter. In this guide, we have compiled a list of some of our very favorite skis for kids!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 11 hrs of research
Great for beginners
Top 10 Picks
1. Volkl Revolt JR 2020
Great for beginners
Not great off-trails
If your little one is ready to graduate to the next level, this newest design from Volkl Revolt is a great option. It ditches many of the stabilization features found in novice designs so that your little one can zip down the slopes with speed and confidence. Plus, it is made from quality materials that hold up well over time and comes in a wide variety of sizes to accommodate even your bigger kids. It may cost a little bit more than most, but we feel that it is worth every penny.Read more
The planks offer a soft flex that doesn’t feel stiff for a comfortable and confident ride on a variety of slopes. While these may not be the fastest designs out there on the market, they are great at quick turns and a comfortable ride when you want to spend all day on the slopes. The narrow frame is ideal for hard packed and groomed trails.
The front side has a narrow design that helps users crave into the trail for an easy ride. We found that this versatile design is a great option for beginners, and also for advanced intermediate trail riders. If your little one shows great enthusiasm for picking up the sport, this option is able to grow right along with the skill level.
Smart design changes in this 2020 design from Volkl Revolt makes it an ideal choice for those that want to spend all day on the trails. The modest flexibility and narrow front side are perfect for riding a wide variety of groomed trails all day long. While they may not be the fastest, they are incredibly versatile.
2. Volkl Mantra
Great energy transfer
Good power construction
Not for beginners, more for experts
Volkl’s Mantra bring you an average-priced option on some great skis for children since the company produces the skis from high-quality materials for extra strength and durability. If your kid is the expert or advanced level when skiing, then these skis should work well for him or her.Read more
The skis are available in four different sizes, including 118mm, 128mm, 138mm, and 148mm. On average, they have a turning radius of 12.3-meters and a sidecut of 118/86/111.
The adult’s version of this ski is highly regarded and the receiver of many awards. Volkl has amazingly “shrank” the skis into a great ski for kids. The price is a great value and they also come with a one-year warranty.
These skis, designed with a full rocker profile, will help your child ski anywhere—whether it’s on trails or off the trails, and he or she will be able to maneuver well. Volkl’s Mantra also come made with a full sensor wood core, which helps boost the skiing ability to respond and assist with energy transfer for smooth carves and cuts.
The skis are made with a power construction to help cut back on vibrations and add extra stability. Plus, they come with a fashionable design that children love.
Volkl’s Mantra Junior Skis are made to boost performance, so you need to make sure your child can handle more advanced skiing to best use these skis. Also, these skis are very versatile so kids can use them in all types of snow conditions, from powder to hard-packed snow.
3. Armada ARV 84
Great control features
Easy to use for beginners
Not good off trail- not an all-terrain ski
Not good for expert skiers
If you’re looking for a versatile ski that’s in the average price range, then you might want to consider the Armada ARV 84, which offer a lot of features that can benefit children that are full beginners up to active intermediates with their skill level. Since these skis can adapt to a range of skillsets, you’ll get a lot of use out of them, and they’ll last quite some time.Read more
This ski is available in six different sizes, including 142mm, 149mm, 156mm, 163mm, 170mm, and 177mm. The 156mm has a sidecut range of 120/84/109 with a turning radius of 15.5-meters.
The ARV 84 are priced slightly higher than many on our list. However, they have proven to be a durable ski that is great for learning and improving your skill. To make it even better, Armada offers a two-year warranty with purchase.
Designed with a medium flex range that works well for intermediate and beginning skiers, Armada’s ARV 84 are made to be easy for your child to use. The company made these skis with a Pop-Lite core that makes these skis lightweight but also stable and easy to control. Plus, if your child enjoys picking up speed on the trails, these skis come with an S7 Base that adapts well to increased rate while still keeping control.
Armada’s ARV 84 are made with a standard ski profile, which works well for skiers that enjoy remaining on the trails when hitting the slopes. If your child likes to go off trail skiing, you might want a different pair of skis.
4. Head Souphead
Best for beginners
Twin Tip construction
Not for fresh powder
What makes this design from Head Souphead worth checking out is that it boasts a design that makes it a perfect option for beginners that need just a little extra support and stability. If your new skier is a little reluctant about gearing up, they will be filled with a few found sense of confidence once they feel how stable they are. This design is best for beginners and comes in at a price point that won’t break the bank as well.Read more
The reason that this design is a little more stable than some of the other designs out there on the market is that it boasts a Twin Tip construction that makes picking up, slowing down, or taking turns just a little easier. It also has a structured surface that is able to take quite a beating, so falling as you learn won’t limit the life of your gear.
It has a DIN range of 2-7.5 which makes it ideal not only for beginners but intermediates as well. The lengths are available in this simple design range from 87 and 137cm. The style design and available length of this option make it a great choice for newbies, but it has some advanced features that make it a great choice for intermediates as well.
For parents looking to introduce their little ones to the wonderful world of skiing, you can’t go wrong with a design from Head Souphead. We love that it is made from quality materials that are able to grow as your child becomes more proficient in the slopes, and it clocks in at a price tag that won’t break the bank.
5. K2 Poacher
Fit children of all weights and sizes
Comes with bindings
Not good for beginners
Could have more support
K2’s Poacher Junior Skis work best for children who already have some experience on the slopes, although that experience doesn’t have to be expert-worthy.Read more
K2’s Poacher Junior Skies come with a one-year warranty, and these skis are so durable they will last you far longer than that. Plus, they are affordable, come with bindings, and are made to be easy-to-use and will provide your child with the control he or she needs to have fun on the slopes.
The skis feature a lightweight Aspen core, which makes maneuvering on the skis easier since your kid will feel less vibration. Also, these skis are easy to handle, so your child can easily control them when on the slopes.
If your child is at the intermediate skill level, then these skis will work well since their usage might be too intense for a beginner-level skier. These are for all terrains, and their profile and design helps make them adapt to all snow conditions, whether the snow is hard or powdery.
6. Salomon QST Max Jr
Flexible for beginners
Good stability and control
Great for beginners
Not great for backcountry skiing
Works well only for beginners
For those shopping for their children’s skis on a budget, the Salmon QST Max offer another option for high-quality ski equipment that will help improve your child’s skill on the slopes.Read more
Salomon’s QST Max Jr. Skis come as an all-terrain rocker ski that has a profile made to help your child turn and carve out the snow quickly. These skis are with a Monocoque core, that helps make these skis easy to move and very lightweight.
If your little one is starting to learn how to ski, then Salomon’s QST Max will be just right for that ski level and provide adequate control and stability to prevent crashing and boost safety.
The skis are also made with reinforcements to make them long-lasting and durable. Plus, they come with secure feel technology designed into the skis, making the skiing soft and flexible to help assist novice skiers.
7. Fischer Stunner
Freeski ROCKER profile
The design of this option from Fischer is designed to help new skiers develop good habits. It is slightly wider than some of the other designs that we have seen so far, which helps promote good stability and control on a wider variety of trails. It is composed of high-quality materials that hold up well over the years of continued use, which makes this option slightly more expensive than some of the other designs that we have seen.Read more
The most notable feature of this design is that it boasts a Freeski ROCKER profile. This design feature makes turns just a little bit easier for newbies, and is more forgiving so your newbie can maintain control when on the slopes. We also like that this design includes a pair of Tyrolia FJ4 Bindings so you are ready to go right out of the box.
We also like that this option boasts a wide frame that makes it ideal for a wide variety of trailers. Riders can take this design on well-groomed trails, but it is also able to be used on fresh powder and uncharted slopes as well. The air-powder construction makes this design incredibly durable, which is ideal for novices as well as veterans.
If you are in the market for something that is a little more versatile for a wide variety of trails, this design from Fischer is a great option. While it may cost a little bit more than other designs, it is something that will be able to grow with your little one as their skill level increases.
8. Blizzard Cochise
Great control and stability
Can feel stiff
If you’re not shopping for your child’s skis on a budget and are looking for something that’s top-of-the-line, then you might want to consider Blizzard’s Cochise. These skis are very versatile and can handle all types of terrain, from on-trail to off-trail skiing, and offer several great features and benefits.Read more
As a step up from beginner skis, these are a great value for any child who is looking to improve their skill set. While they are slightly expensive, they can be used on almost any terrain and provide great stability. Plus, they also come with a one-year warranty but are so durable that they’ll last longer.
Blizzard’s Cochise come with a poplar wood core that helps absorb shock and vibration, making sure these skis always feel smooth. Some skill is required to use these skis, so you don’t want to buy them for an absolute beginner. However, if your child already has some skill and knowledge, then these skis will give them smoothness and control each time they ski.
Designed with a ski profile that has rocker tips and a camber found in the middle of the skis, your child will be able to use these skis on any snow, whether it’s powdery or hard-packed.
9. Atomic Punx Jr
Rocker profile for easy turns
Great for beginners
What we liked most about this design is that it is made for a wide variety of trails, but it packs supportive features that are great for beginners. The width of this design is a perfect marriage between thin and wide frames, which makes it ideal for groomed trails, or fresh powder. The rocker profile allows your little one to confidently take turns without losing stability.Read more
The very first thing that we noticed about this design is that it boasts a rocker profile that makes it easy to take turns. The sides are able to lift up off of the ground slightly without losing control and stability. This design makes it the perfect option for beginners but is advanced enough to be used by advanced intermediate users as well.
We found that this design boasts modest flexibility, and doesn’t feel too stiff. While you won’t be able to reach high speeds like you can with stiffer planks, the flexibility of this design provides a comfortable and controlled ride that is ideal for a wide variety of trails.
If you are in the market for something that comes from a trusted brand and is made from high-quality materials that hold up well over time, this design is a great option. We love that it is made for a wide variety of trails, and boasts supportive features that make it a perfect option for beginners.
10. Volkl Chica
Good beginning ski
Won’t go too fast
One year warranty
Not good for experts
Too flexible for those that like going fast
Volkl’s Chica Junior Skis provide another affordable option in skis developed with young girls in mind and are designed to help beginners learn how to ski. If your daughter is a more expert skier, she won’t get much out of these skis, but if she is just learning how to ski, then these are great skis that will offer what she needs.Read more
As many beginner skis, these come in at a low cost. They are a great option for a slow ride to help you gain confidence. Plus, you’ll also get a one year warranty, although they will likely last much longer than this because of their durability.
The skis are made for on-trail skiing since they are designed for beginners, and since they won’t pick up too much speed, your daughter will feel comfortable and safe as she is learning. Volkl’s Chica Junior Skis also come with an alpine tip camber to help made the skis easy-to-use, and easy-to-turn.
They work great as a learning tool because they are designed with soft flex. The soft flex will mean your child will turn and carve slow and wide, and she won’t pick up too much speed and crash. Volkl’s Chica Junior Skis feature a power construction to help absorb shock and make skiing both smooth and fun for your daughter.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Most manufacturers that produce skis for kids use height as a critical factor when trying to get the proper fit of skis for a child.
As long as your child’s height and weight are proportioned on the average side, and most children are, you’ll want to make sure you measure the ski against your child’s size.
For most children, if you stand a ski up and it falls between their eyebrows to their chins, then you’ve got a ski that can fit your child.
Skillset will probably also factor into your decision where size works, since an experienced skier, whether child or not, will want skis that can turn well and will wish to skis that are a bit longer for just that reason—skis that come up to their eyebrows.
On the other hand, if your child is learning how to ski, using a shorter ski will be easier for them, since they’ll want to take it slow and easy on the turns.
Besides standing the skis upright and measuring their height against the height of your child, there are other ways to measure skis for kids. Another secure method to use is to measure your child’s height in centimeters. After that, factor in your child’s skill set.
If your child is at the advanced level in skiing, you’ll want to take off about ten centimeters in height for the correct ski size. However, if your child is a beginner and still learning the basics, then you’ll want to subtract 20 centimeters from your child’s height since shorter skis will offer more control.
Most skis made for children work as great learning tools, and many offer varying weight capabilities as well. If your child weighs in at less than one hundred pounds, then it’s a good idea to get skis that are 120 centimeters or shorter. If your child weighs between one hundred and one-hundred and fifty pounds, then you’ll want skis for kids that are 150 centimeters or shorter.
No matter the size, person, or skill level, skis are an investment.
To make sure that you are making a worthy investment, we investigated the price and durability of each set of skis as well. To determine the value of the skis, we took the materials, sizes, durability, and cost into consideration. Your child will likely outgrow the skis within a few years, so knowing their resale value is also important.
In addition to their value, we also looked into any warranties that are offered by the manufacturer. A warranty shows confidence from the manufacturer and also gives you peace of mind when investing.
Ease of Use
Children’s skis are usually made to be soft, forgiving, affordable, and easy to use so that the child learns how to improve his or her skill set when skiing.
Many children’s skis come with a core that is soft and composite so there won’t be too much technique required to get the skis to bend and flex when specific movements are needed, meaning the skis will respond well to a child learning how to hit the slopes.
Since you don’t want your child falling often or getting discouraged as he or she is just learning how to ski, getting skis that offer balance, flexibility, and support for the first few months or the first season is a great way to help your child learn with safety and confidence.
However, if your child is a more advanced skier, then you may want to consider skis that have vertical sidewalls and wood cores. If your child is experienced and can ski well without much help, then these features will be more beneficial because they’ll provide more speed on the slopes.
Skis for kids designed with these types of features usually do mean your child needs to have a well-developed set of skills to use them since he or she will need to know how to bend and flex the skis correctly for the right types of movement.
Therefore, the design of the ski you eventually select will depend much on your child’s skill set. If your child is learning how to ski and still developing necessary skills, then you’ll want a ski that is more flexible and supportive. However, if your child is already an experienced skier, then purchasing something that allows them to move faster will add more fun to their skiing outings.
There could be a variety of reasons why you’re searching for the best skis for kids if you’re looking to purchase a new pair of skis for your child.
Perhaps you’re getting ready to teach your child how to ski for the first time, and you need a brand-new pair of good, high-quality skis that will help him learn while staying safe.
Or, perhaps your child’s already improved, and his or her skill set has moved up to the intermediate or advanced level, and you need a new pair of skis to adapt to your child’s improving skills. Or, there is also the possibility that your child has outgrown his or her skis, and needs something that will fit his or her height and weight better.
Since children do grow and improve in their skill as they gain experience and learn how to ski better, you’ll need to assess your child’s weight, size, and skill level to make sure you get the right pair of skis.
Besides thinking about weight, size, and skill set when purchasing your child’s skis, you’ll also want to consider where you’ll be skiing and the types of snow conditions you are likely to encounter. We’ll discuss all of these concepts in a bit more detail below.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
One of the most important things you’ll need to do to make sure you get the right pair of skis for your child is to ensure that they fit well because a poor fit will decrease safety and performance—two things you don’t want when purchasing a good pair of skis for your child. Typically, skis made for children will feature different skill levels, waist widths, and flexes, which are all factors that depend a lot on skillset and your child’s size. Also, where you will be skiing—on-trail, off-trail, or both—will also factor in the types of skis you buy.
While it may sound silly, a visually appealing pair of skis could urge your child to practice the sport more. If your child is excited about the color print, they may feel more confident when riding and be more eager. Even if no one else around them notices, at least they will be happy, right?
A common question that many parents have is when they should start teaching their children to ski. Overall, this depends on the child. If they are eager to learn and have decent motor skills, now is the time! On average, experts say that around 4 years of age is a great age to start. However, it is also important to remember that the sports you enjoy aren't necessarily passed on to your children and you shouldn't force them to partake in a specific sport.
Other Factors to Consider
Also, when factoring in length and sizing for your child’s skis, you need to think about how much usage you want to get out of the skis. If you plan on only using them for a season since you know your child might improve in skill or outgrow the skis anyway, then get a ski that measures between your child’s chin and nose.
If you plan on using the skis for two years or longer, measure the skis from the nose to the forehead. If the skis are longer than your child’s forehead, then they are too long and could cause safety issues for your child.
While it’s always nice to purchase skis for kids that will last for a few seasons, you need to be realistic about where they’ll be in a few years when you do this—and that means height, weight, and skillset. You don’t want to purchase skis that are too long or wide and endanger your child’s health.
To keep skiing fun for your little one, make sure you are buying skis for kids that will fit well since this will keep them safe and boost their performance as they learn new skills.
Many skis designed for children include a cap construction, which makes the ski more lightweight and more flexible. For a beginner skier, a lighter, adjustable ski with a cap construction will be much more responsive, and very easy to use while a child is first learning.
The skis for kids on our list are generally for youngsters who weigh less than one hundred fifty pounds. Most juniors skis are made as learning tools for children, and often once children weigh more than one hundred pounds and develop strong skills, they can move up to adult skies.
Most adult skiers ski too strongly to use children’s skis and could pull the bindings out of the children’s skis easily with some use. Plus, junior skis are also made with height, weight, and skill level in mind, and once a child can ski reasonably well, he or she will be moving up to using adult skis, anyway.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What should I know about rocker design for kids?
Most skis for kids have a rocker feature that you can find at the tip of the ski. A rocker can be defined as a bent upwards or reversed camber shape you’ll find in the skis. It’s a way to make the skis flex before they move, and help boost flexibility and responsiveness in areas of the ski as your child learns how to control and move his or her skis.
A rocker on a ski allows a ski to already have flex in it and means it’ll be easier to turn quickly on the ski if you tip the ski up on one side. Rockers work well for all skiers, even beginners—so if your child is starting, know that the rocker on the ski will help your child’s skis to grab the snow more efficiently as well.
q: Should I buy skis with bindings for my child?
Sometimes when you purchase skis for kids, you’ll notice that the manufacturer includes bindings with the skis. To make your life a little easier, this is an excellent route to take, since you’ll know you’ve already got compatible bindings coming with your child’s skis. If your child’s skis already have bindings, you’ll never need to worry about removing them or re-drilling them to make sure your child’s boots fit correctly.
All you need to do with skis that come with bindings is to make sure you’ve got them on correctly and sized to fit your child’s boots. You can move the bindings and adjust them easily anytime your child uses a different shoe without worrying about harming the ski, so this feature is excellent if your child bumps up against a shoe size, since he or she can change boots but won’t need to change skis, saving you some money. You can re-adjust the bindings to fit your child’s boots.
To ensure that your child is always safe each time he or she skis, make sure you get a certified binding technician to handle the bindings when installed, or each time there is a change in your child’s boots. Bindings are essential for proper fitting since they are a part of a ski’s safety features and help prevent your child from getting harmed while skiing. So, to make sure your child stays safe, make sure you let a professional handle the adjustments.
q: What do I do if my child’s skis come without bindings?
Skis made for children that come without bindings, usually known as flat skis, meaning you’ll need to buy bindings for the skis separately. If that’s the case with the skis you select for your child, make sure you buy a binding that has a brake width that’s the same or a bit larger than the waist width of the ski but still falls below 15mm. You’ll probably have to purchase a set of junior bindings since those types of bindings work best with children’s skis.
If you can find a pair of skis for kids that comes with the bindings, you’ll be able to save yourself some time and worry, as well as money. However, don’t forego the pair of skis that is just right for your child because they don’t come with bindings—make sure you still get the skis that will work best for your child.
q: How can I make sure that I buy the right kind of skis for my child?
Getting the right skis for kids means you’ll need to factor in two things to your decision—making sure you buy the right size of skis, and skis that are for your child’s skill level. We discussed how to size your child’s skis according to height and weight above, so once you figure that part out, you’re on the way to figuring out size.
Skill level will also affect the sizing of your child’s skis as well. If you know your child is just starting out and still learning necessary skiing skills, then you’ll want a shorter ski—one that stands between your child’s chin and chest when you match the ski up to your child’s height. Children who weigh less will also require a shorter ski.
q: What is a good length of skis for a child who is an advanced skier?
If your child is already a good skier and knows the basics, then he or she can handle a ski that is a bit longer—one that stands up and reaches between your child’s nose and eyes when compared to your child’s height. Getting a ski that’s a bit longer for a more advanced skier will help with performance. Also, if your child weighs more, then a longer ski will be better for him or her.
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