The name says it all. Junior skis are designed for children and the youngest, to let them develop in this sport so all the family can enjoy it together. How many sports do you know that can be practiced by the whole family at the same time?
Kids are lucky. Nowadays, they don’t have to settle with small, lower quality skis than those owned by older brothers or parents. Although there are not many models inside the ranges, there are a good number of different profiles as it happens with the skis for adults. Strong profiles such as the race models, or the multipurpose allrounders (being more focused to on-piste skiing or even focused to non groomed terrain), as well as freestyle models.
For those who compete, there is nothing better than going to the local club and follow the trainer’s advise. Their experience is very valuable. We must pay attention to them. But not only this. They are also in contact with brand representatives as well as specialized dealers. Therefore, we will not only get good offers but we will also get the necessary advise. We must remember that, as with adults, measures and standards are set by the international and national federations. Because of this, we must be sure we are following their rules.
By the way… skiing is not only competing, and therefore we find other categories. Some with a more racing touch, but others are more allrounder focused. As with the rest of skis, we must follow similar tips and ideas. It is very important to make the right choice, because a too heavy or strong ski for a youngster not only can damage his day but the whole family holidays. It is better not to choose too big skis for them and we must be able to read what’s going on at every moment.
Manufacturers have understood that kids are the future of the Ski. That’s the reason why they have widened the ranges to limits that were unthinkable in the past. Who would have thought years ago that a ten years-old boy would be able to choose between two or three (sometimes more) freestyle models ¡from one brand only!? This is today’s situation in this small but very important field of the industry.
Parents feel their main duty is to worry about their children. Obviously, they are aware of everything that happens and could happen to them. Our influence among kids is huge and we stamp our mark on them forever. Reluctantly, we give them progressive “freedom” doses and we should adapt those to every moment. The most difficult part is listening to them.
It’s all about listening well and “reading” our kids well: how fast they are growing, how strong they are, their taste, audacity or the lack of it. Some kid’s bodies grow quickly, and sometimes we may think a new ski can be harmful at the first sign of trouble. Rapid changes need adaptation, and it is good to plan and be ready for these changes.
We should also be aware of small changes and having always in mind our starting point. Value your children adequately and as much objectively as possible. If we have to choose between two racing models and our kid has few physical skills without being heavy, for God’s sake don’t choose the more powerful and strong one, even though we want the best for him. More is not necessarily better. The best is quite often what has the best compromise between our needs and our goals.
Let’s think about another kind of changes. Hormones are activated in our teen years, and so is the need for speed and adventure. There comes the freestyle and freeride fever. As parents, we must understand that this is not a regular cold. Even if we don’t like the risk factor. Maybe our child discovers a discipline that suits him better. We must give him the chance to try. And even if that’s not the case (and it won’t be in most cases), the best way lower down that “free fever” is precisely giving him a chance. If he only has one way, he will always look for another, just in case. By contrary, if we let him try another one he will form his own idea and make his choice along with us. Alpine skiing is a great base from where other disciplines are built on. But let’s not be obsessive about it. Let’s make those other disciplines new opportunities for our children but for us too. Experimenting with a pair of nordic skis by renting the equipment for the whole family and taking some beginners classes can break the monotony. And it can be a very strong reason to continue with our daily lives while we learn new things.
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This post is also available in Versión en Español.