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kids

Kids Gear: Buy or Rent?

Family Buy or Rent Thumbnail
Family Buy or Rent Thumbnail
When is it worthwhile to ditch the rentals and invest in kids' skis?

Your seven-year-old just bombed down a tricky blue run. This is the first time you’ve actually had to work to keep up with him. It suddenly hits you that it’s time to take his skiing to the next level, which might mean buying better gear. Suddenly you’re struck with the doubt shared by all ski parents: Is it worth it? Your kid is certainly still growing; in fact, he’ll probably grow out of his gear in two years, if not by next season. But without good equipment, he faces certain limitations, like when he gets going too fast and those rental skis start to shake like Tickle Me Elmo.

Happy Campers

CampKeystone
CampKeystone
Camp Keystone aims to introduce the youngest skiers to the sport sans tears and tantrums.

Parents often worry about the ski school drop-off. Will there be pouting, crying, clinging? Puhleeeze. Send them to Camp Keystone. They won’t be able to get away from you fast enough.

Maybe it’s the mini snowmobile in the registration area, or the grooming machine a few feet away that acts as a defacto playground, with a half-dozen snowbooted groms scampering around the cockpit. Maybe the instructors stash Skittles and Gummi Bears in their pockets and apply liberally. Either way, drop-off worries will be a thing of the past.

A Pole that Grows with Your Grom

A Pole that Grows with Your Grom
Black Diamond First Strike pole
Black Diamond Fist Strike junior trekking pole (MSRP: $46)

Ski tourers like adjustable poles because you can make them long for the ascent and then go back to your regular length for the descent. So how come no one thought of this before: adjustable poles for growing kids.

 

The Black Diamond First Strike is conceived as a junior trekking pole, but it strikes us as a no-brainer for parents of budding alpine skiers. It’s a two-section pole with an easy adjustment system that allows it to grow from 25.5 to 43 inches. As Black Diamond says, that ought to get your growing boy or girl through four seasons, easy.

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