• Women skiers, this is the place for you -- an online community without the male-orientation you'll find in conventional ski magazines and internet ski forums. At TheSkiDiva.com, you can connect with other women to talk about skiing in a way that you can relate to, about things that you find of interest. Be sure to join our community to participate (women only, please!). Registration is fast and simple. Just be sure to add webmaster@theskidiva.com to your address book so your registration activation emails won't be routed as spam. And please give careful consideration to your user name -- it will not be changed once your registration is confirmed.

Buy or rent skis for kids under 5?

VTsnowflower

Certified Ski Diva
Any advice for procuring skis and boots for toddlers and pre-schoolers? For example, ages 2, 3 and 4? Is it best to buy and later trade in? Rent for the season (even if they might not ski many times)? Rent for the day? If you buy used, from a ski swap for instance, how do you know the equipment is safe? And what about boots? What do people think about used helmets? Any thoughts would be appreciated!
 

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
Seasonal rental and/or buy equipment for the oldest and hand it down. Renting for the day is a PITA. Fill out the form, get boots that fit, adjust the bindings, head to the bathroom for the second time....you get the idea. If buying remember boys don't like pink and some girls only want it.

Most swaps don't see used gear under 100cm. It doesn't make it in the door. Gets bought out in the parking lot! But just like adult skis look for signs of abuse, check the edges, any screws missing, any parts of the bindings missing, any repairs....As for boots, take the liner out and have the kid put them on. Then you can see how much room is left. If really young, play with them like slippers. Yes you can take the liner out of those small rear-entry boots. Takes some work, and there won't be a full liner with a full back. Check the boots for missing parts, broken parts, broken plastic, broken lugs, rips in the liner, etc. I've worked too many swaps and see all kinds of crap and limited good stuff come in.

I would suggest if you buy used from a swap, wash the liners before you go skiing. Who knows what's in there.
 

marzNC

Angel Diva
How many days expected?

I didn't bother to look for gear at a ski swap for my daughter until she was 9 and we were skiing at least 15 days. Did rentals off-mountain near our home hill ages 4-5, partially because her gear was free if I rented skis. Then went with seasonal rentals from our local ski shop in NC.

By the time we went to the ski swap I knew how to assess whether or not ski boots fit her. Taking out the liner was the key. We arrived very early, meaning 45 min before the swap officially opened.

I went to the swap in Annapolis by Ski Haus. They had people available who worked at the shop who could help if needed. I was going to be happy just finding skis or boots. Lucked out and found boots and skis pretty quickly. Then while waiting in line to pay, a father with two daughters was bringing in their gear to sell. I and another parent had spoken for the poles before he got them tagged. I paid under $200 for everything. Got $50 credit towards new used gear at our local ski shop when she had outgrown them. Got a season and a half since we often get new gear in March before going to Alta in April.

By the way, I didn't start my daughter until age 4. That's the minimum age for ski school at Massanutten, and many other ski areas in the Southeast/Mid-Atlantic. Since I hadn't been skiing much, wasn't ready to deal with a little one when I was just a rusty intermediate. My husband is a non-skier so no help even when he would join us. We went the week before Christmas the first few years. Her first instructor had her on the lift and bunny slope the first day. I could simply follow the suggestion from instructors after that.
 
Last edited:

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
I say new helmets since you never know if a used one has taken any hits. Level 9 and Sierra generally have kids helmets starting around $30. And start scrolling through CL and Facebook marketplace for used gear. The tiny stuff is hard to find, but you can get some good deals if you check often enough. On Marketplace you can just use the search term "ski" for everything, on CL you need to do separate searches on "ski", "skis", and sometimes I'll even do "skiis" and "skies." What sizes skis and boots are you looking for?
 

scandium

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Never is my thought about used helmets unless you have seen them being used e.g. handing down from older sibling to younger, mainly because of the risk of the helmet being compromised due to age and previous knocks. Regarding buying skis and boots for tiny ones, I think the others have given good advice on checking the liners for boots, and also key points on skis.
 

VTsnowflower

Certified Ski Diva
Thank you, all, for good advice. The almost 4-year old is now signed up for parent-child lessons in February ("Ski Tots" program at Cochran's in Richmond, VT), and the 2 year old will just get a taste of sliding (she already likes sleds) on skis that attach to her boots. Oh, and they'll probably buy new skis for the older one, pass them to the younger and then hopefully trade or swap them. So nice to live in Vermont!
 
Last edited:

Jilly

Moderator
Staff member
You should be able to get those plastic skis just about anywhere in Vermont for the youngest. If there is a shop with a 1/2 back program that might work for the oldest. Then if the second one doesn't grow fast enough, or suddenly (god forbid) doesn't like skiing...there is an option out.
 

diymom

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
For new skis, evo.com has little ones starting around $160. Tiny boots around $100. I see used 15.5, 16.5 boots more often than tiny skis. Resale for tiny stuff is good since you don't see them as often.
 

jthree

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Cochran's usually does a ski swap in late October, although I don't see anything advertised yet. Given the # of young families that ski at Cochran's, I would guess they might have more in the tot sizes, but not sure. The sale is usually pretty good though!
 

MsWax

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
We do new helmets (last 3-5 years), and seasonal ski/boot rentals. We started with buying one year with the intent to hand down, but it quickly became apparent that wasn't going to work. My 13, 11, and 8 year olds are now all the same size! We pay $115 for rentals for the season...it's a steal in my opinion! Also, my kids are HARD on their skis; they love trees, jumps off big rocks, etc. I don't know that I'd get 3 seasons out of their skis even if I could hand them down.
 

jthree

Ski Diva Extraordinaire
Cochran's usually does a ski swap in late October, although I don't see anything advertised yet. Given the # of young families that ski at Cochran's, I would guess they might have more in the tot sizes, but not sure. The sale is usually pretty good though!

Updating to say Cochran's announced their sale. It's going to be Nov 6-7, here is the link:
 

BlueSkies

Angel Diva
We rented skis and boots until our girls were either had feet too big to fit the junior boots or in the case of the younger, overpowering the junior rental skis. The advantage was that we could exchange boots mid season when a growth spurt occurred. Bought the helmets. My youngest would never had caught up to use her older sister's last couple of pairs of boots or skis (much shorter)!
 

MagicForest

Diva in Training
I bought my kids new helmets. It feels unhygienic to have a used helmet, plus I would have no way of knowing if someone crashed in it, meaning the helmet would no longer be properly protective. As far as skis and boots both years I've bought used equipment for my kids, which was similar to the lease price, and we may get a few years of use. I have two kids, and I'm hoping the older kid's gear will fit my younger kid eventually.
 

water.rat

Certified Ski Diva
At first we did daily rentals at our smallest local ski area. Once we started buying annual passes to a bigger resort and going every week, that didn't work anymore. Like MagicForest, we bought new helmets and goggles and used skis and boots. Portland has a local shop (Next Adventure) that sells used gear and always has kids' stuff that's in good shape since the littles grow out of it so quickly. We would bring in the outgrown gear to sell to them and take it as store credit to spend on the next set up. It ended up being less than $50 per year per child to have them in gear that fit. By the time the growth spurts were fewer and farther between, their tastes got more expensive. LOL! Fortunately, they were old enough to have after school jobs by then so they saved up and usually bought new on their own, with maybe a little help from me since I would have been willing to ante up for used gear.
 

Members Online

No members online now.


Top