Here's some basic equipment requirements from Program Director Reese Brown:
- One pair of SL skis, not all-mountain skis. Look for an 8 or 9 radius and have the ski come to between the chin and nose. I would skew to a ski too small than too large. Word on the street is a long ski is fast, but come on, the kid is 6 or 7, what we care about is that they are learning to turn the ski properly first, going fast will come with a good turn.
- Really soft boots, less than 60 flex. Remember, boots stiffen dramatically when in cold temps, what they try on in the summer at 80 degrees will be very different at 20.
- Tune and wax them every week. Not a race tune, but an everyday tune.
- One pair of SL skis in an 8 or 9 radius, about to the nose or slightly larger. Remember, we still are keying in on enabling the athlete to learn to turn, not win a WC downhill.
- Soft boots, in the 60-80 flex range.
- Tune and wax them every week. Not a race tune, but an everyday tune. If you only tune before a race, your athlete is stepping onto a pair of skis they do not know and will not be able to perform. Tuning every week is critical!! As a coach, I look at the skis of the athletes on my team and I see how several of them are unable to do what is asked as their skis are so out of tune.
- No slip skis.
- This is the time you could consider adding a pair of GS skis, but only if needed. Talk to your coach for their recommendation.
- Still soft boots, unless they are large, stick with the 60-80 flex.
- By U14, for safety’s sake, you will need a pair of skis for SL and GS. The courses become more difficult and GS is faster creating the need for a stable GS ski.
More information may be found here from USSA & VARA.