Ski Length Holding Them Back?


We did a lot of skiing this weekend at Mt Brighton, located in Brighton, Michigan.  Within two days, I had several discussions with parents whose children are struggling with their skiing.  These children are in their second and third year of skiing and have had many group and private lessons.

Long story short, these kids should be really getting out there, getting out of the wedge and starting to make real turns.  But, these kids weren’t able to stop when necessary, let alone make a turn or control their speed.

My mind was going through the bag of tricks on what could possibly be holding these kids back.

  • Poles:  Sometimes I feel we have kids use poles sooner than they are ready, but these kids weren’t using poles.
  • Boots:  Were they buckled properly?  Were they fit properly?  Yes, these kids were outfitted properly.
  • Skis:  Were they the right length?  No!  Both of these kids were just a level above beginner skiers, but the length, in my opinion was too long for their size, age and abilities.

I suggested to both sets of parents to go back to Boyne Country Sports “Jr Has a Fit Program”  and swap out the skis for shorter skis.  I know first hand when I ski on skis that are longer than necessary that I have to work harder to turn them and the turn doesn’t initiate as quickly as if I was skiing the correct length for my height.

It just makes sense, longer skis-more static weight plus more wing tip-requires more muscular effort to initiate and hold a turn.  So parents, when you are purchasing or doing a grow program for your kids, really think about the length of skis you put your kids in.  Be honest with yourself about their skiing level, their strength and when in doubt, keep them in shorter skis.



  1. I live in TN so I don’t know anyone who skis. I am interested in introducing my 2 year old to new things. How old does a child have to be to learn this sport?

  2. HI Carla,

    The perfect age for a child to learn to ski is around 3. This gives them a little exposure, but they still don’t have the leg strength to go long periods of time. By the age of five, it seems as everything starts to click.