Tips On Choosing The Right Children's Ski Gear

6 April 2015

A child’s first trip to the snow should be a magical occasion, complete with snowman building, snowball throwing and achieving that first snowplough down the hill without falling over.

But these should-be holiday highlights shatter into the abyss if your child is cold; cue whingeing, crying and pleas of “I want to go home”.

 Kids will have a great time in the right gear

To ensure that a snow holiday does not go into your child’s little black book of never-to-doagains, dress them in the right gear (it’s all about layers), go to a ski resort with suitable learning terrain, and arrange lessons.
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What To Wear

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  • Merino thermal underwear – shirt and pants. Make sure the shirt is quite long so it tucks into the ski pants.
  • Add a mid-layer long-sleeved shirt or skivvy – preferably one that breathes.
  • Next a lightweight fleece.
  • Perhaps the most important item of all is the jacket – make sure it is waterproof, insulated, warm as toast and has plenty of pockets. Choose one that is longer rather than shorter.
  • Good-quality ski or snowboard pants.
  • Decent ski socks – thicker is not better.
  • Gloves or mittens.
  • Neck warmer.
  • Helmet.
  • Goggles – if you have a helmet, ensure they fit together.
  • Hire or buy a pair of apres boots for walking around when you’re not skiing or boarding, as well as a beanie and woollen gloves.
 Gloves or mittens are vital

Check New Zealand's family-friendly resorts New Zealand’s Ski Resorts Are Part Of The Family

What you'll need on the slopes. Essential Ski Holiday Equipment – What You’ll Need On The Slopes


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Tips

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  • For very cold destinations go the extra mile with balaclavas or face masks. For little fingers, buy mittens rather than gloves and put unopened hand-warmers in pockets for easy access.
  • If you aren’t staying in ski-in/ski-out accommodation, hire a locker at the ski field and leave your skis, poles and boots in it at the end of the day. It is such a relief to walk back to the car/hotel/shuttle bus without having to carry everything.

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Hire Or Buy?

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For your first few trips to the snow, hire your skis or snowboards and boots from a reputable shop or at the ski resort.

The benefit of hiring at the resort is that boots and gear can be tweaked if they are not quite right. At some resorts you can hire helmets but check before you go. And parents – set a good example and wear a helmet too.

 Don't go without the goggles

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Lesson Learned

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In the weeks before you go, show your children photos or videos of where you are going, let them plan what to take to build that snowman (carrot, buttons etc) and book them into lessons.

Your kids will progress at a faster rate in ski or snowboard school and will make new friends as well.

Generally, children can start group lessons from three years, or snowboard lessons from age six or seven – much younger at most overseas resorts. Before long they will be blasting past you down the slope and nagging you about going to the terrain park. Oh, and when the next snow holiday is!

Helen Hayes

When not at home chained to the computer keyboard, I love nothing more than checking out ski resorts here and overseas, tropical islands, country towns, big cities, beautiful places to sail, and anywhere I can ride a horse. Twitter @helenhayes4 Instagram @helenhayesmedia