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Boots for a child starting race training...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Good morning all,

My daughter is 12, she's been skiing since she was 6, pretty much every weekend from Jan-April. She started pre season training with our local ski club and I want to buy her some boots and ski's for the season.

Whats the flex rating i should be looking for in a boot for her given that she'll be doing gates etc? She's pretty light and it is her first season of training/competing. Likewise, I presume I should invest in a nifty set of racing skis for her? Anything special I should know about for sizing for kids racing skis?

Sorry the questions sound so basic, I know the square root of SFA about what happens with ski clubs, they didn't have them in my day.
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coddlesangers wrote:
Good morning all,

My daughter is 12, she's been skiing since she was 6, pretty much every weekend from Jan-April. She started pre season training with our local ski club and I want to buy her some boots and ski's for the season.

Whats the flex rating i should be looking for in a boot for her given that she'll be doing gates etc? She's pretty light and it is her first season of training/competing. Likewise, I presume I should invest in a nifty set of racing skis for her? Anything special I should know about for sizing for kids racing skis?

Ski Clubs have coaches, why not ask them for suggestions rather than random people on the internet.
Quote:
I know the square root of SFA about what happens with ski clubs, they didn't have them in my day.

I presume you have framed your telegram from the Queen.
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Quote:

Ski Clubs have coaches, why not ask them for suggestions rather than random people on the internet.

Ski coaches are not available to me to discuss things with, the nipper takes herself off every wednesday for the pre season training, I would be working when this happens. Also, my French isn't yet up to the nuances of the conversation that would be needed. Also, this is a forum about skiing, populated by others who will no doubt have had the same issue at some stage in the past, it is one of the reasons this forum is generally brilliant. I would have guessed that at some stage in your 2,664 posts you said something that helped someone, but maybe not.

Quote:


I presume you have framed your telegram from the Queen.

No queens where I come from either, other than ones in drag.
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coddlesangers, People who don't put their location in their posts are likely to just get generic advice.

I would still suggest contacting the club, even if just by email, they will have links either to specialist race shops or direct to equipment manufacturers that will give large discounts to members of FFS clubs. Which club is it ?
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rjs,

Fair enough! She's training with the ski club de nyon http://www.skiclubnyon.ch/ ,we're in swtizerland not france. I'll drop them an email.
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coddlesangers, As a coach, my advice would be to just use whatever she used last winter if she hasn't grown out of it, a 12yo won't be doing anything too different from recreational skiing.
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rjs wrote:
coddlesangers, As a coach, my advice would be to just use whatever she used last winter if she hasn't grown out of it, a 12yo won't be doing anything too different from recreational skiing.



Confused Confused are you sure!! our 12 yr old racers certainly are!!!

i would second talking to the coaches though as they will help with YOUR child, we have 10 year olds on 90 flex and 12 yr olds on 60, depends on the individual, strength weight ability etc etc, if she been skiing 6 years I would think there should be a good level of ability so you may be looing at something quite different to a rec boot Smile
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Thanks. She is tall for her age but quite light, and she ski's well - she's been with the ski club on their recreational camps for a few years and they suggested she'd enjoy and had the level to move to the more competitive end this year. The reason I was asking on here is that she's off to a preseason training camp in Tignes in mid Oct, and I wanted to line up whatever I could for her in advance - particularly boots as obviously a costly component for still growing feet...I'd hate to get it wrong through leaving it too late. Most of the ski shops only really have stock from the end of September, so i am trying to line all my ducks up quickly. I'll email the club tonight and see if they have any guidance - there my well be other parents with last years stuff to sell etc, and similarly ricardo.ch and others tend to have a lot of new and 2nd hand gear available.
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I have a 12 year old and 10 yr old in race club. They definitely have special equipment when compared to rec skiers.

We take most direction from the coaches when it comes to equipment.

Note that flex is not a standard like DIN, it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer and can be quite different. My 12 yr old will be in Head 80/90. My 10 yr old in 60/70. Somewhere on snowheads I put a link to a boot fitting for race kids video, do a search as it should help you. it shows you how to tell whether the boots are flexing enough. Last year we thought my daughter would be in my son's old Head 70 boots and they fitted perfectly, but she they were too stiff for her and we had to get her secondhand rossies in the same size with theoretically the same stiffness, 70, but they were much more flexible

She will also need race skis, here in Canada at that age they will have SL and GS and you will really need some guidance to length as its not as simple as height. That said, we often can find secondhand stuff that suits.

Does your race club not have a website with a sale page?
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It does, but there is nothing on it yet, i'm assuming that at some stage there will be stuff available there. Not being from a racing or even skiing background/culture, just want to get a feel for what's likely needed. Thanks for the inputs all!
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coddlesangers,

I would email her coach
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iskar, Clubs do different things. I would hope that U14s were mostly doing GS type stuff and I can tailor that around whatever equipment a 12yo first timer is likely to turn up on. I would also try to avoid changing too much at once, putting someone straight into a race course on new equipment at 3000m could be counterproductive.

One thing to watch out for is that the standard for race helmets is changing, this may or may not be enforced for smaller children, there will be a mix of old and new ones in shops, ask the coaches if they have heard anything yet. A back protector is probably a good idea too, may even be compulsory.
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We've had all ours on back protectors since they started, that won't throw her at all. She needs new boots for the season anyway, I was thinking I may just get her some lange junior race series with a 65 flex, I can get my mitts on a pair for around 70 chf, assuming the fit works for her. May start with that and take it from there. Well noted on the helmet front, i'll find out what the story is.
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coddlesangers, Tignes is a great place to dial in new equipment so that could be the focus of the camp, particularly as it is just four days.

The nearest specialist shop to Tignes is Ski Clinic in Albertville, another that caters for clubs in the south of France is Ultrafun, the websites may help with some extra French ski racing vocabulary.
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coddlesangers,

If she is off to a pre season training camp last thing she needs in new boots that will inevitably not be adjusted fully to her. She will do better skiing in her old boots unless they are really bad and seeking help hopefully via a coach to a boot fitter who is local to you.

If she does the camp in new boots she will most likely not ski as well as she would in her old boots that hopefully if not fitted by a boot fitter at least familiar and not making her ski either with the wrong cant setting the wrong for aft etc etc.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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From age suspect existing boots no longer fit... so probably not wearable. .. also doubt she'll be the only one in new for that season boots!
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coddlesangers, not sure where in Switzerland your are based but in Cluses there is aski race shop called 'ski clinic' . They have junior race boots available for seasonal rental that comes in significantly cheaper then buying new. As they are rentals you can always swap the boots for stiffer/softer larger etc.
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Thanks - yes, as Randomsabreur said, kids feet change every year so we have always done season rentals for all except the eldest, who now inherits her mothers discards. For our 12 year old I'm now likely to rent again for the flexibility that gives. rjs and PP thanks for those links, will check them out! Madeye-Smiley Cluses is handy enough for us, we're often down that way at weekends.
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The most important parameter of a ski boot is that it fits. Beyond that, too stiff boots is much worse than too soft. At that age my daughter had flex 90 but she was relatively heavy and strong for her age. Without more data I think 70-80 is likely to be about right. 65 sounds a bit soft, but these things are not exact and it depends on the make/model. But FIT is the most important thing.

SL skis size to chin, GS skis to top of head. This is a first approximation and is likely to be about right for a lighter first time racer. Add 2.5cm to SL/5cm to GS for a heavy or more aggressive racer, 5/10cm for both.

What I don't know is whether children in France at that age race on separate SL/GS skis or whether a single "combi" ski (which is halfway between a SL and a GS ski) is needed. Another question is whether they train/race SL with stubbies (knee height poles) or full length poles. If it's the latter she will need a helmet with a chinguard, poles with hand guards and leg guards. Note that you shouldn't use a helmet with a chin guard for GS. So either she needs 2 helmets or a helmet with an easily removeable chin guard. For GS the helmet should properly cover the ears (not with just a soft protection).

Answers to the above issues require talking to a local coach. Call them and ask them.

Second hand skis will be fine. Much better to get used SL and GS skis than one new pair for the same money. If you buy privately make sure that her boots fit in the bindings. If they have been owned by someone with unusually large/small feet you might find you have to redrill, which is an expensive nuisance. The other key thing to look at is whether the steel edges are in good shape with enough thickness left for plenty of sharpening. Much less than half a mm left and the ski is basically worn out even if the rest of the ski is in good shape. You might get away with it for a season, but make sure the price reflects that the ski is towards the end of its life.

Mark
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Thanks very much hyperkub, so this has all moved along since my first post. We've had a chat with one of the coaches, one of our local ski rental shops does a 20% off deal for ski club racing kids for the season, so boot rental will be from them. For flex, as it'll be a rental we can start with something less than Ted Ligity stiff and work our way up, no problem upgrading during the season. The club uses full length SL poles, so handguards and leg guards required. The ski club also have a stock of the lycra one piece thingies, so no need to buy or rent that apparently....oddly, they also sell a club ski jacket, an absolute bargain at..........CHF 450.....Thanks for the comment on helmets, will check out the options. For ski's, more detailed discussions are still needed, but i suspect given the way this is going that 2 pairs will be on the cards. I presume I'll end up waxing and edging these every weekend as well, oh joy Toofy Grin
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Sorted, many thanks to all who contributed on the thread above. Head Race combi skis along with Head Race junior boots in a 70 flex rented for the season, with an option to upgrade if she needs it. 20 percent off, 150 chf all in. Non shabby, and less hassle than buying second hand. Very Happy
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coddlesangers, hope she has a great time. At least you have snow to go to. Here my kids have the fun of plastic. Youngest managed to nearly do a cartwheel down the slope last night when she clipped a gate, how she did not hurt herself badly looked like a minor miracle from I was standing (father heart in mouth moment)
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And a thread ressurection - here is a short clip of this season's progress, 1st clip was just after her first race, last clips towards the end of the season. Some slo mo in there as well, Apols for the quality of the camera work, it's all me on my phone...


http://youtube.com/v/q4g_FVEeycs
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@coddlesangers, Great to see, well done her Smile
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Cheers, @Swissie, was a nice season and she is much better prepared for next year now, when she'll be joined by her younger sister! Great what you pick up off the slow mo as well, her turns to her left need a lot of work... whips will be cracked.... Very Happy
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And a season later - this little clip from our last ski in verbier this weekend - pistes still in great nick, and as you can see, rammed..



http://youtube.com/v/hVocCepvwMc
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on a why not basis - here's a video of herself in Sass fee a few weeks ago, was nice to get some footage shot by someone with an actual camera.


http://youtube.com/v/Rgw7Occ6YFc
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A bit late this post, but Francois Sports in Bremblens is great for kit. You can hire specialist race stuff and I think they open for season hire late sept / early oct. we've hired there quite a lot for our kids (we live up the road in Lausanne) and I'm quite surprised what you can hire, as that sort of kit is usually only available when you buy.
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Right so! tks for that...I actually need to sort out skis for the season for nipper no 4, nipper no 3 (above) is well kitted out now..nippers 3 + 4 both off to saas fee in Aug...so will probably just rent for her for the week, then sort out the season when it starts.....will check out Francois sports as per your tip!
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Was told at solutions 4 feet last week the best way to work flex out for kids boots is to take their weight in kg's double it and knock a bit off. So my daughter is 50kgs and was fitted a 90 flex boot.
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I think I might struggle to find race boots for my son then, unless someone has started making them in 35 flex. Shocked
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Something along these lines would be what you'd need. https://shop.atomic.com/en/products/redster-jr-4-ae0000783.html
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Yes Francium eventually, although they don't do a small enough size at the moment and they are still rated as a flex of about 50, but I don't think anything else will be better.
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Check out Austrian online shops they tend to stock smaller sizes than you can get in the uk
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@doddsie, A child that small won't need special boots for race training.
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RJS - He currently uses Full Tilt adjustable boots for race training and he's doing ok. I figure that I'll get him proper race skis and boots when he's big and strong enough to bend them.
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The original post for guidance on boots for nipper no 3 was resolved handily in 2015 by Total Feet in Archamps. Subsequently did boots for nipper no 4 as well, and is now the family "go to" boot guy, strongly recommended (please put aside much time for the fitting, very very very thorough!)
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