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Equipment & Gear

Clothing

Please make sure your children are prepared for a day on the slopes. Cold, wet skiers are not happy skiers and unhappy skiers are poor learners. Please ensure that kids/athletes have good water resistant clothing, and please put an extra sweater, gloves and face warmer in their packs in case it gets colder or wetter through the day. Ponchos can also come in handy on those wet and stormy days at Mt Washington; we often have some in stock for sale.

U12: Although it is not mandatory many U12 athletes will start to wear DH/GS suits for training and designated races. Once athletes begin wearing DH/GS suits they will also require pants that zip off, the club does sell zip off pants and used pants are often for sale in club.

Club jackets are available for athletes once they reach U12 but do not become mandatory until they reach U14 and are traveling to races off the island. Club jackets are for sale by the club and used jackets are often available also.

Equipment 

Equipment has evolved very quickly in the last few seasons making the skiing progression occur much faster and making skiing way more FUN! Please keep the above in mind and look for equipment that was produced in the last few seasons. Also look for equipment that was designed for junior racing as opposed to recreation gear. All junior racing products have been designed specifically with junior racing speeds and athlete sizes in mind.

The following should help you in deciding what equipment is important for your youngster for the formative years of their ski development.

Our main focus at younger ages is on FUNdamentals and we will spend the majority of our time on smaller, quicker turns, children should be on slalom skis for these years. Many athletes at the U12 age will have two sets of ski’s, one for slalom and one for GS. You can find good new and used ski’s at our annual Ski Tak Hut club day and from other club members, please look for ski’s and boots from well known suppliers that support ski racing in Canada.

Guidelines for ski sizing
It is beneficial to go shorter rather than longer when choosing length for the entry-level participants. A shorter ski will facilitate turning, allowing quicker progression of basic skills and definitely increasing the athletes’ enjoyment of skiing.
The ski should be between the nose and the top of the forehead for entry level participants.

Longer skis may be appropriate as skill acquisition occurs. Purchasing skis that are too long may impede skill development in the long term.

Please refer to the following chart for ski selection but remember that these are only guidelines:

Ski Boot Selection

General Mechanics

There are 2 options in boots for the entry level athlete; rear entry and overlap design.

Overlap design has a cuff that articulates with the lower shell using a hinge at the ankle joint. This design provides performance for the entry level participant by allowing natural ankle flexion, due to the hinged cuff of the boot. The overlap design also allows for lateral action of the lower leg, a critical factor in skill development.

Rear entry design is comprised of a single piece of plastic encompassing the foot. This design provides warmth, and is considered to offer a comfortable fit. Rear entry boots are not however recommended for racing.

Boot Flex
For the entry level, a softer boot will be more effective than a stiffer boot, due to strength limitations and skill level.

To determine if a boot is soft enough, you should be able to see the forward boot flexion happening in the upper cuff simultaneously with the lower leg.

If the lower leg moves forward and the upper cuff mover very little, then the boot is too stiff.

The boots should not inhibit the natural alignment of the athlete.

Boot Size 
Growth of the participants’ feet during the season needs to be considered, but similar to skis, buying boots oversized is counter-productive for performance and fit, and is also unsafe.

Foot beds 
These are important factor for performance but at the entry level, foot beds do not play an important role due to growth and cost factors. This only becomes a concern at the U16 level.

Please contact the Head Coach of any program should you have any further questions regarding which is the correct equipment for your child.

Helmets are mandatory! All program participants, competitors and forerunners are obliged to wear a helmet that conforms to the competition equipment specification. Helmets used shall be specifically designed and manufactured for the respective discipline and shall bear a CE mark and conform to recognized and appropriate standards such as CEEH. Din 1077 or US 2040, ASTM F2040, SNELL S98 or RS98, etc.”

Protective wear:

 Mouth Guards- We suggest that all athletes wear a mouth guard like those that hockey players wear, the mouth guard helps protect the athletes teeth during a fall or impact (gate, mogul, jump etc.) and according to some professionals can decrease the severity of a concussion. The best mouth guards are the ones made by your dentist.

Back protectors- Back protectors are quickly becoming the norm in the higher levels of ski racing. Properly fit back protectors can protect athletes against impact injuries but improperly fit back protectors will not, in fact they could actually increase stress to other areas.

 

Athletes U12 and older will need some special protective gear for slalom:

  • Mouth guard that attaches to Helmet
  • Shin Guards
  • Hand guards that attach to poles.

Ski tuning equipment:  Properly maintained ski’s easily glide across the snow and hold their edge in all conditions, allowing for quicker skill acquisition and making skiing easier and more enjoyable at all levels! Conditions can change quickly here at Mt Washington, we can have a foot of light fluffy stuff in the morning that becomes wet slop by the afternoon and arrive the next morning to find a very hard surface (ice)….Ski’s need to be maintained daily, especially for those in programs U12 and above!

 

Keep your wax kit simple to start and build it as you/your athlete moves through the program.

Basic kit should contain:

  • Wax for a variety of snow temperatures, mainly warm, +2 to -4.
  • File guide, 90 (0) degrees for younger athletes, up to 87 (3) for older athletes.
  • Good file! A good file will cut better, remove less edge, make ski’s sharper faster and make ski’s edge last longer.
  • A diamond stone, medium grit.
  • Plastic scraper
  • An iron to wax with, preferably without holes in bottom. Irons are often available for use in cabin.
  • At some point every racer will need vices for skis, it is impossible to properly tune skis without vices. These are often available in club cabin for use.