Different athletes have different needs. Equipment used by older or higher-level athletes may
not be necessary for younger athletes. Talk with the coaches before you buy any equipment.
Make sure that all equipment and clothing is labeled with the athlete’s name and home ski area.
In-Club Equipment Sales
There is always used equipment for sale within the club. This gear is usually affordable and
in good shape.
When making your selection be sure that the model is a RACE model of skis and not a recreational or ‘bump’ ski. Dynastar, Head, Rossignol, and Volkl seem to be prevalent in Age Class races throughout the region, and are committed to ski racing by joining the US SkiTeam Equipment Pool. Talk to coaches for recommendations.
U10 Age Class athletes might have one pair for Slalom, one pair for Giant Slalom, and one
pair for Terrain skiing (rock Skis). At the U10 level, one pair of combi skis , such as the Rossignol Hero Pro, is acceptable. SL skis should come approx. to athlete’s chin. Combi Skis approx. to their nose, GS skis somewhere between nose and a bit above their head.
U12 Age Class athletes should have one pair for Slalom, one pair for Giant Slalom, and one pair for Terrain skiing. One pair of Combi skis is still acceptable. Some parents choose to purchase two pairs of each racing discipline , one for training and one for racing. This is not mandatory. GS skis are suitable for SG training and Camps. “Next year’s” GS ski (a length longer), can be used for SG this season.
U14 Age Class athletes should have one pair for Slalom, one pair for Giant Slalom, one pair for
Super G (again, a longer GS ski or current GS ski is appropriate), and one pair for Terrain skiing. Athletes may choose to purchase two pairs of each discipline ski. This is not mandatory for success.
U16 Age Class athletes should have one pair for Slalom, one pair for Giant Slalom, one pair for
Super G (again, a longer GS ski or current GS ski is appropriate), and one pair for Terrain skiing. Athletes may choose to purchase two pairs of each
discipline ski, one for training and one for racing. This is not mandatory. GS skis can be used on SG race days for slipping and warming up.
Most race ski come with a riser plate and matching binding. Consult the DIN chart to see if your bindings will be appropriate for the weight of your athlete. It is the sole responsibility of the individual athlete and their parents to designate the appropriate settings and maintain these settings. Generally, an aggressive racer will need a higher DIN setting as well as slightly more forward pressure.
Besides a helmet, Boots are the most important piece of equipment for a ski racer. A quality 4-buckle junior racing boot with the proper flex is crucial. Lange RSJ and Rossignol Hero and Jr65, are hands-down the best Junior boots available. Athletes should be able to buckle all the buckles tightly and still flex the boot forward. They should not have to loosen the top buckle to get ankle flexion.
Sizing is very important. Shell sizing is critical. To shell size, remove the liner from the shell, and carefully put their foot in the shell. They then slide their feet forward so that their toes are touching the front of the shell.Peer into the heel pocket of the shell and determine how much space exists between the athlete’s heel and the shell. It is often necessary to ask the athlete to flex their knees forward in order to see behind their lower leg. If there is between one and two adult index finger widths of space, the boots are the appropriate size. Work with coaches or an experienced boot fitter for a race fit.
Socks are also an important factor. Thinner ski-specific socks are actually warmer than
Athletes competing in the age class races will need a pair of curved poles for GS and Super G, and a separate pair of straight poles with hand guards for SL. Pole guards (Slalom hand guards) are mandatory for alpine athletes in the U10 age class programs and higher.
For sizing, use the 90 degree rule as a starting point. To size, flip the pole upside down and
have the athlete grasp the pole UNDER the basket. There should be approximately a 90
degree bend in the elbow. If between sizes, order big and the poles can be cut to size.
Helmets designed for ski racing are required for all athletes participating in a SWSC program
for all events. GS and SG helmets must have Hard Ears that are part of the shell of the helmet. Athletes in the age class programs and older may have a chin guard attachment or mouth guard for SL training and racing. The guard cannot be worn for GS or SG events. U14 and older must have a “fis2013” approved helmet for GS and faster events with this sticker attached on the outside of the helmet:
Suits are not required for racing or training but are recommended. You may talk to members about used suites which athletes usually out grow before they wear out.
Team Jackets are available for purchase. Please ask any board member or coach for details
Pants / Shorts
Athletes skiing in a speed suits should select pants that have full-length zippers down each
leg. This will allow the pants to be removed without removing boots. Slalom shorts allow them to train without their shin guards bunching up their warm-up pants, and gates scaring the fabric.
Athletes should have a backpack to carry extra gear, clothing, water, lunches and healthy
Water and Sunscreen
Water is critical during training and racing. It is very easy to get dehydrated in the alpine
environment. If athletes are complaining of headaches after skiing, it is a sure sign that they
did not get enough fluid during the day. Athletes should bring a water bottle every day. A
water bladder can also be used with a backpack.
As you know the sun is very intense in the mountain climate. Make sure that athletes apply
sunscreen every day before getting on the first lift.
Athletes may also need some of the following accessories.
Shin Guards – For SL, athletes must have a pair of shin guards. These are hard plastic guards
that protect the athlete’s shins from the SL gate. Age Class athletes only.
Pole Guards: Age class athletes must have SL poles fitted with pole, or Hand , guards. They should not be used for GS.
Chin Guard – For SL, athletes will need a chin guard attachment for their helmet, or have a mouth guard. A chin guard cannot be worn in GS or SG Age Class athletes only.
Gloves – Make sure a quality set of gloves is chosen which will keep the athlete dry and
Neck Gator – A micro fleece neck gator is important to keep athletes warm and improves
comfort with the helmet strap. They also protect against frostbite on those very windy days.
Goggles – All athletes should have a pair of goggles that fit over the helmet. Double lenses
are helpful for preventing fogging. A second clear or blue lens may be desired for low light
Watches – All athletes should wear a watch to training and on race days so that they know