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Old 02-15-2021, 07:57 PM   #1
montcalm
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XC/BC skiing with young kids

I tried to start my kids early with this but I didn't have much success. Perhaps others have, but I wanted to share my issues and what I plan to do in the future.

I tried to start my kids around 2-3yo with universal strap skis. They are 4 and we've still had no success with these skis. They are similar to the picture below.



Main issue we are having are boots. The winter boots we have and have seen won't hold the foot tight enough to use these. They simply pull the boot right off your foot if you fall, and then the kid is mad because they have a cold foot and want to quit.

They also seem kind of heavy for a kids. They aren't, but for the amount the boot can handle they seem really clunky. I would not recommend these. Perhaps if you can get the right boot, or have an older kid who can hold their foot in, they might work. It's possible that I might be pushing the age limit on these but I thought they were toddler skis. I think they could probably just go to a dedicated ski boot and try.

My plan now is to just have them take some downhill lessons next year and maybe try renting some kids xc equipment if they are big enough to fit. Expectations are not high, but just to get some exposure.

I did the same thing with bikes when they were 2 and by 3 they had a lot more interest in them and by 4 they were ripping.
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Old 02-16-2021, 09:41 AM   #2
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I started my daughter on 80 cm skis when she was 4 years old
My son started on the same skis at age 3.
Both eventually switched to snow boards around the age of 14.
Don’t waste time with toy equipment, get real skis with modern sidecuts and comfortable alpine boots. Little legs and short feet don’t apply much leverage, short skis are a must.
Now my grandkids are learning and the difference in their fun and ability has been markedly improved with non rental skis and boots.
Most important is to keep the focus on fun and limit the time skiing, 4 hours is an eternity to the little ones.
My ski buddy (brawnyman) regularly takes his three boys BC skiing, even the 5 year old recently climbed and skied 1,000 vert in good powder. The boys love it, even the climbing, but not all kids are the same...
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:09 PM   #3
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We used a Karhu system with a boot designed for the simple strap binding. We did not have any problem with the skis or boots falling off. And the boot was a good winter boot even when it wasn't attached to a ski. Don't know if such a system is still available, and I hate to think how many years ago that was.
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Old 02-16-2021, 12:29 PM   #4
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https://youtu.be/1ERqm_aZxzk

This is them on bikes when they were 3. I don't doubt they could ski with the right gear.

I have a pretty good idea of what they are willing to do, and how to keep it fun for them. With biking we went from riding on a sidewalk, to pump tracks, to riding double track and finally single-track trails. We also bought little mountain bikes with pneumatic tires that weren't cheap once they kind of got to the point where they could outride the Strider brand bikes. The Striders were good until they got to where they could and wanted to ride on trails.

The last thing I wanted to do is have them have bad experiences with it though, and that's kind of all they have had. Luckily they kind of think sledding and skiing is all the same thing, so I think they get the idea that they could go down a hill on skis like a sled.

My wish for skiing was to kind of just let them hike around on groomed trails with those "toy" skis above and maybe glide down a couple small hills to get the feel for what is possible - other than that, just play with them. I kind of did the same things with the bikes and they were just "toys" at first until they got serious about it, and then it was a different kind of toy for them.

Thanks for the info about the boots TG. I have no doubt a good boot that would tighten properly on their foot would be key. We thought about trying to look for something, but by the time we get that sorted out, this winter will be gone... and perhaps next year will be time for "real" skis.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:07 PM   #5
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The guys on another forum report good results with these Balla Hok Skis. The universal binding is good quality. The permanent ski offers sure grip and enough glide for fun

https://us-store.altaiskis.com/product/balla-kids-hok/
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:27 PM   #6
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I just reread your OP...wow, was I off track.
I was thinking you were referring to BC downhill skiing, or alpine touring.
I now realize you're talking about BC cross country skiing, duh!!
Please disregard my upthread comments.
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Old 02-17-2021, 10:53 PM   #7
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No problem. Eventually we may do both Xc and dh in the bc.

It’s probably a bit easier for the kids to learn dh at a ski area and kick and glide on groomed trails but eventually it would be fun to take them to I groomed trails and glades. To me, skiing is all of those things.

As far as Hoks, yeah I’ve thought of those but we’d need a good boot system. I think I’ll just let them try xc with some kids size nnn equipment and traditional skis. If they take to it then we’ll look at something more specialized for bc.

They seem excited about going to “ski school” next year (for alpine skiing)- would have done that this year if not for COVID-19.
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:09 AM   #8
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No problem. Eventually we may do both Xc and dh in the bc.

It’s probably a bit easier for the kids to learn dh at a ski area and kick and glide on groomed trails but eventually it would be fun to take them to I groomed trails and glades. To me, skiing is all of those things.

As far as Hoks, yeah I’ve thought of those but we’d need a good boot system. I think I’ll just let them try xc with some kids size nnn equipment and traditional skis. If they take to it then we’ll look at something more specialized for bc.

They seem excited about going to “ski school” next year (for alpine skiing)- would have done that this year if not for COVID-19.
Not sure if you're on FB or not, but there seems to be a lot of kids xc set ups on Marketplace right now.

Now if I could only find a damn pair of 3 pin boots that will fit me!
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Old 02-24-2021, 11:26 AM   #9
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Not sure if you're on FB or not, but there seems to be a lot of kids xc set ups on Marketplace right now.

Now if I could only find a damn pair of 3 pin boots that will fit me!
Thanks! I'll take a look.

What are you looking for in boots? I'd discourage against buying used boots unless you're confident about them, or they are plastic and you plan on changing the liners.

I know a few people with monster feet that use the Alpina Alaska. Other people who like a more traditional boot like the Crispi Antarctic (or Sydpolen if you want Goretex).

Last edited by montcalm; 02-24-2021 at 11:39 AM..
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Old 02-24-2021, 12:52 PM   #10
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Thanks! I'll take a look.

What are you looking for in boots? I'd discourage against buying used boots unless you're confident about them, or they are plastic and you plan on changing the liners.

I know a few people with monster feet that use the Alpina Alaska. Other people who like a more traditional boot like the Crispi Antarctic (or Sydpolen if you want Goretex).
I just bought an old wooden pair of classic xc skis, so looking for a very basic three pin classic boot in size 45.5 or 46. Everything seems to be sold out...
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:00 PM   #11
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Yeah, that's problematic right now, or so I hear.

Hmmm - the Alaska would be great for those. Very warm, supportive and great flexibility (zero hot spots for me). Might be tough to find though until next season. I wouldn't hesitate to buy those used though if you find a pair in good conditions in your size. They stay soft and pliable and have a rubber rand that kind of keeps the footbox in the same shape. The stock inserts suck, so if they have them, toss 'em and put in some from your hiking boots or some Dr. Scholls, etc...

I wouldn't buy any old 3 pin boots - two issues. They usually mold to the persons foot who broke them in, then the leather gets old and dry and won't reform. Blister madness. Second is they tend to crack on flex line or at the pin holes. Pin holes can be fixed, sometimes, if it's not a full split. The others need a resole and that can cost far more than what the boots are worth, not to mention it's getting hard to find cobblers who do it anymore.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:06 PM   #12
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Yeah, that's problematic right now, or so I hear.

Hmmm - the Alaska would be great for those. Very warm, supportive and great flexibility (zero hot spots for me). Might be tough to find though until next season. I wouldn't hesitate to buy those used though if you find a pair in good conditions in your size. They stay soft and pliable and have a rubber rand that kind of keeps the footbox in the same shape. The stock inserts suck, so if they have them, toss 'em and put in some from your hiking boots or some Dr. Scholls, etc...

I wouldn't buy any old 3 pin boots - two issues. They usually mold to the persons foot who broke them in, then the leather gets old and dry and won't reform. Blister madness. Second is they tend to crack on flex line or at the pin holes. Pin holes can be fixed, sometimes, if it's not a full split. The others need a resole and that can cost far more than what the boots are worth, not to mention it's getting hard to find cobblers who do it anymore.
Awesome - I'll look. I was hoping to find a pair of those Whitewoods. They're cheap but would work for what I want these for. But the Alaska look good, but are a lot more coin.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:10 PM   #13
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For sure.

The Antarctics are awesome and less expensive, but will take some break-in and a lot of maintenance i.e. oiling/sealing.

Alpina does make some less expensive boots, but I've not tried them i.e. Montana or something. I don't think they have the waterproof liner like the Alaska. Probably a lighter duty sole, but the Alaska is pretty soft.

https://us-store.altaiskis.com/produ...m-3-pin-boots/

A little cheaper, and maybe they have them in stock.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:23 PM   #14
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For sure.

The Antarctics are awesome and less expensive, but will take some break-in and a lot of maintenance i.e. oiling/sealing.

Alpina does make some less expensive boots, but I've not tried them i.e. Montana or something. I don't think they have the waterproof liner like the Alaska. Probably a lighter duty sole, but the Alaska is pretty soft.

https://us-store.altaiskis.com/produ...m-3-pin-boots/

A little cheaper, and maybe they have them in stock.
The Montanas could definitely work...thanks.
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Old 02-24-2021, 01:29 PM   #15
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You bet. Let us know how they are if you buy them.

Knowing where you live you'll likely get some more modern skis at some point - there's a lot of great XC/BC skiing within an hour from your back door that you won't want to miss - Hoffman Notch, Botheration Pond, Pharaoh Lake, Satanoni, Upper Hudson Loop, Essex Chain, etc... Get after it!
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:11 PM   #16
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You bet. Let us know how they are if you buy them.

Knowing where you live you'll likely get some more modern skis at some point - there's a lot of great XC/BC skiing within an hour from your back door that you won't want to miss - Hoffman Notch, Botheration Pond, Pharaoh Lake, Satanoni, Upper Hudson Loop, Essex Chain, etc... Get after it!
I'm a new xc skier as of last year, and have a pair of Rossi BC65s, which I love. I really wanted a pair of wooden skis just to have vintage and to play around with waxing.

PXL_20210221_181231954.jpg
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:14 PM   #17
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I'm a new xc skier as of last year, and have a pair of Rossi BC65s, which I love. I really wanted a pair of wooden skis just to have vintage and to play around with waxing.

Attachment 19876
Do you have nnn? On the other skis?

If so it would probably be cheaper just to put new bindings on the woodies. Plenty of people use them with system bindings these days
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:23 PM   #18
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Do you have nnn? On the other skis?

If so it would probably be cheaper just to put new bindings on the woodies. Plenty of people use them with system bindings these days
My Rossi's have NNN BC, and my older Alpinas have SNS Pilot
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Old 02-24-2021, 02:28 PM   #19
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My Rossi's have NNN BC, and my older Alpinas have SNS Pilot
Nice. So I assume you have some nnn bc boots you like?

If so, then I’d recommend a binding change on the woodies. You might not like the Montana (new ski boots are always a gamble) and it’ll cost twice as much for those boots as it will for some nnn bc autos.
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