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Kids are the future of skiing, so if you want them to love the sport, it’s important to get them started on the right equipment. A good pair of kids’ skis will last for years, is easy to use, and can work well in lots of different snow conditions.
After skiing with our own kids for 14 years (in addition to teaching hundreds of other kids to ski as an instructor), I’ve learned that not all skis are created equal. Some kids skis we’ve held onto for years to pass on through all of our kids and others we’ve let go after just a few days on the slopes.
To help you find the best skis for your kids, we’ve gathered together the best kids skis that we can find all in one place. We’re here to help you find the best skis for your kids at a price that works for your family.
Buying New Vs Used Skis
When you’re trying to decide if you should get new or used skis, there are a few things that you need to consider.
Kids Ski Budget
How much money do you want to spend on the skis and how will that affect your decision? If you need skis for multiple kids, it can make sense to invest more in good skis once. In our family, our oldest usually gets the nicest ski gear, knowing that we can easily pass that gear on through all of our kids.
Kids Ski Quality
If your child is just learning to ski or has only been skiing a couple of times, it’s okay to get them a pair of kids skis that’s just in fair condition. However, if your kids are really serious about skiing (or you’re hoping they will be), the quality of their skis matter. They’ll need skis with solid edges, great bindings and the right amount of flex for the terrain they want to ski.
What Size Skis Do My Kids Need?
Kids’ ski sizes are based on height, not age, so first and foremost, keep that in mind!
When it comes to selecting the right ski size for children, there is some flexibility. Seriously, there IS a bit of wiggle room when picking the best ski size for your kids, and a range of skis that could work for your child. We still want to get them as near to the correct size as possible, and fortunately – finding the right size of children’s skis is rather simple.
It’s easy to tell if a ski is the right size for your child. All you have to do is set the ski up right next to your kid and see whether the skis are between their neck and nose – if so, it’s a good fit! Don’t worry about being exact here, as long as the ski falls somewhere within this area then you should be fine.
The majority of ski experts recommend that beginners and young skiers use smaller ski that are about neck height. For toddlers and really young kids, their skis can be as short as their upper chest (though it can sometimes to hard to find them that small).
If you aren’t sure when your child should start skiing, read our article on the best age to teach kids to ski.
On the flip side, if you’re skiing kid has a few years skiing under their belt and is a more advanced skier who’s ready to ski harder terrain, you can go for longer skis that end in the forehead area. Longer skis make your kids ski faster and are more difficult to maneuver, so there’s always a delicate balance here between speed, maneuverability, and skill. We don’t let our kids start skiing on a longer set of skis (for their height) until we feel like their skills are VERY SOLID.
For skis for young kids and toddlers, our favorites are the Salomon T1 and the Elan Maxx. (Don’t forget to learn how to use a ski harness and an edgie wedgie before you go).
For beginners, our top picks are the Elan Starr, Nordica Team and the Salomon Spark.
For Intermediate skiers check out the K2 Dreamweaver and the Rossignol Experience Pro.
If you’re looking for the best skis for advanced skiers, we highly recommend the Volkl Mantra.
- Buying New Vs Used Skis
- What Size Skis Do My Kids Need?
- Best Skis for Toddlers and Little Kids
- Best Kids Skis for Beginners
- Best Skis For Intermediate To Advanced Ski Kids
Best Skis for Toddlers and Little Kids
Skis for toddlers and little kids can be incredibly difficult to find used, so if you’re looking to get your kids started skiing young, then these are the skis that you’ll need. While you can find plenty of play skis at local stores, make sure that the toddler skis you get have metal edges, and real ski bindings, since most ski resorts require them. For most kids just starting out, we recommend a size 70 for kids under 4, since this is just about as small as kids skis get. From there, you can get bigger skis for taller kids, but we recommend nothing taller than above the chin for little kids (unless you can’t find a smaller ski).
Not sure when to teach your kids to ski? Read all about the best age to start kids skiing.
Also check out our article on the Best Ski Gear for One and Two Year Olds and the Best Ski Gear For Three and Four Year Olds.
TIP: Smaller kids skis tend to sell out FAST and often don’t restock during the season. When you find the best skis for your kids, buy them FAST!
Elan Maxx QS 70 & 80cmElan Maxx QS/ 4.5 20-21
We really love these little kids skis from Elan. They have a great gender neutral styling and a good amount of flex (25 % more than others) to be extra forgiving for young skiers. We also love that the binding is designed to use with the softer materials in young kids ski boots.T1 Jr Ski + C5 GW J75 Binding – 2022 – Kids’
We like these skis for little kids from Salomon because they’ve got a good amount of curve and rocker for kids to learn how to ski AND have some of our favorite styling which is sure to get your kids excited about getting on the ski hill. The 2 year manufacturer warranty is an added bonus as well.QST Max Jr Ski + C5 GW J75 Binding – 2022 – Kids’
These skis are very similar to the T1, but with different top styling. You can go wrong with these. They’re made of a sturdy material that should last for many years, so they’re ideal for passing onto friends or younger siblings. These skis come with a 1 year manufacturer warranty.
These little Rossignol kids’ skis have a lot of flex to them, making learning to ski simpler for children. The biggest downside to these skis is that the bindings do not come attached to the skis, so you will need to pay for a ski technician to install them.Indy Ski + FDT 4.5 Binding – 2022 – Kids’
The Indy will have your kid sporting a grin from ear to ear when he’s ready to put his first pair of skis on. The Catch Free Rocker gives kids a more intuitive ski experience ensures that even the youngest family member can get the skiing bug early on in life, ensuring a fun and safe time on the slopes. This is a great beginner ski for kids!
Best Kids Skis for Beginners
Beginner skis are designed to be forgiving for kids who are learning how to ski. THey generally have a soft flex so that they stop and turn easily and the best beginner skis for kids are lightweight so that it’s easier for kids to learn new skills. These skis below are all great beginner skis for kids.
These Fischer skis are built for first time kid skiers. They feature a composite core with Fiber Tech Laminates to give them adequate support while keeping the skis lightweight. These skis are easy to control and will make it easier for kids to learn to stop and turn. This is a fantastic beginner ski for kids and a great way to make learning to ski for kids even easier!QST Spark Jr Ski + C5 GW J85 Binding – 2022 – Kids’
The Salomon QST Spark Jr. is a wonderful choice for beginning to intermediate skiers who want to get their first taste of ripping through the terrain park. A light-weight core makes turning on these skis easier, allowing you to focus on edge skills and overall control while you’re still learning to ski. The composite core is good for variable conditions and the twin tips are great for learning to ski in the terrain park!Elan Starr QS/ 4.5 20-21
To provide just the right amount of flex for kids skis, Elan has worked hard to develop their U-Flex technology that increases the flex of the ski by 25%. That means that it’s perfect for kids learning how to ski and it also pairs perfectly with softer kids ski boots to provide an all around better ski experience for young kids learning to ski. This is one of the best beginner skis for kids!
If you’re looking for a great beginner ski for kids, the Team FDT is a great option. The On Piste Rocker features a camber profile that is confident while also providing a Factory Bevel for times that you need more performance. We also love that the sideall construction gives consistent flex while still being incredibly durable for a kids ski.
The Elan Formula is very light and forgiving, making it great for smaller skiers who want to stay in control without the weight that many skis have. We love that the Power Cap construction makes these skis more durable and resistant to scratches and chips in the top plate, so they’ll look new for longer. The Fiberglass composite core is incredibly light and forgiving, making it easier for kids to ski with ease. This is one of the best beginner to intermediate skis for kids.
Elan Maxx QS 110 cm & 120 cmElan Maxx QS/ 4.5 20-21
We really love these little kids skis from Elan. They have a great gender neutral styling and a good amount of flex (25 % more than others) to be extra forgiving for young skiers. We also love that the binding is designed to use with the softer materials in young kids ski boots.
Best Skis For Intermediate To Advanced Ski Kids
When kids are skiing at an intermediate to advanced level, they need skis that can handle the terrain and style of their skiing. This typically means a stiffer core, more responsive edging and advanced construction. These are the best kids skis for intermediate and advanced ski kids.
READ: The Best Ski Helmets For Kids and Teens (an absolute necessity for intermediate and advanced skiers)
The underfoot camber sections of this kids ski provides edge hold on hardpack while also enhancing energy return when carving. The rocker in the front improves turn initiation by making the ski simpler to put on edge which is great for kids learning how to ski. To keep the weight low and the ski easier to handle, this ski has a composite core. This is a good kids ski for intermediate skiers.Rossignol Experience Pro Kx/Kid4 21-22
The kids’ Experience Pro junior ski was created to make learning to ski easier, more pleasant, and more fun. Even the tiniest skiers can improve their skills thanks to this expert ski that’s designed for children. This ski’s junior-specific flex and rocker profile make it easy for children to learn to pivot, steer, stop, and have fun on skis by using changing terrain to their advantage. The oversized shape of this ski and sidecut, also make carving out turns even easier. This is one of the best all mountain skis for kids.Soul Rider J FDT 7.0 Ski – 2022 – Kids’
These youth skis are quick and lightweight, allowing you to ski practically any snow condition at the resort during the season. You’ll find that this ski is easy to turn, nimble across different terrain, and has a fun twin tip for tricks where you want to land switch. For further durability and stiffness in key areas, Nordica added underfoot sidewalls which really allow kids to push this ski harder and stretch their own limits.Dreamweaver Ski + FDT 7.0 Binding – 2022 – Kids’
The K2 Dreamweaver is an excellent all-around ski for intermediate young skiers who want a solid all-mountain performance that can also handle occasional visits to the terrain park. Our favorite feature of this ski is the full length wood core which not only lasts longer than other cores, but also gives more power and control as young skiers test their limits. The K2 Dreamweaver kids skis also have a rockered tip, camber underfoot and also a slight rocker to the tail to make turning and control both more powerful.
VolklRevolt Jr Vmot Ski 128cm, 138cm & 148cmRevolt Jr Vmot Ski + 7.0 Vmotion Jr Binding – 2022 – Kids’
The Revolt Junior is Völkl’s a youth ski that’s designed to ski all over the mountain. Kids will appreciate the twin tips, both for the terrain park and for landing tricks switch throughout the resort. It’s well designed shape and full rocker construction make it incredibly versatile all over the ski resort. This is a great ski for intermediate to advanced skiers.
Kastle is well known as a performance ski racing brand and the kids Rx12 is no exception. There’s still a Standard Camber profile, which is good for developing the best ski techniques as well as gaining confidence. The Hook Free Shovel and Tail, moves the contact points closer to the skier’s foot to make controlling the ski easier and more forgiving for kids skiing. The core is a combination of wood and foam to give skiing kids the best combination of responsiveness and a lightweight and responsive ski. This is one of the best intermediate to advanced skis for kids.Volkl Mantra Jr Kids Skis 2022
If you’re looking for a performance all mountain ski for kids, this is the best advanced ski on the market. We’ve skied several pairs of adult Volkl Mantras (Dad’s favorite ski) and these are just as good for kids as they are for adults. We cannot recommend them highly enough!
Thebest feature of these skis is the firm woodcore for maximum edge control and stability, yet the tips and tails are more lighthearted for better snow engagement. The sidewall construction gives a more rigid and powerful feel, which is perfect for kids who really love to ski fast and hard. This is the best advanced ski for kids on the market and is also the best ski for teens who are all mountain skiers. Having a great pair of skis is a fantastic way to get your teen more interested in skiing!
Note: This ski does not come with bindings
Choosing the best kids skis can be quite a challenge, but knowing what you’re looking for from the start can help you narrow that down. Carefully consider the terrain your kids will be skiing as well as their ski style and your budget when choosing the best kids skis!