Snow Skiing Gear for kids

To rent or not to rent, that’s the common question for parents of skiing kids. Kids learn best on modern gear, but as they outgrow it each year, replacement costs get pricy.

Renting snow skiing gear is often the best option. Most ski shops keep their gear up to date. You can rent it by the day, or sometimes for the whole season. Another option is purchasing gear, and taking advantage of annual ski swaps. At an local ski swap, parents can sell or exchange their child’s outgrown gear.

So what sort of gear should you rent or buy?


  • Downhill: choose short, modern “shaped” skis- there are plenty of used straight-style skis out there, but your child may get very frustrated trying to learn on them. If you can’t afford to buy modern gear, rent it instead.


  • choose skis with mechanical bases (texture on the base that helps grip the snow for striding forward).


  • Very young skiers can use skis that strap right onto their normal winter shoes. Once at 3-4 years old, however, they’re best off in ski-specific boots. Make sure the boots fit- an outgrown boot leads to chilled feet and unhappy kids.


  • Beginning downhillers may be fine without poles- coordinating hands AND feet is tough for young kids. Cross-country skiers could use them a bit sooner, so they can push forward on the trails.