Family & kids, Ski | Nov 23, 2020

How to choose the right size skis for children

Tips & tables
Marietta Hoffmann
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Every beginning is difficult: Even experienced skiers remember their first time on skis all too well, and perfect equipment in the right size is an absolute must for an enjoyable first skiing experience! This is true especially for children beginners, i.e. future winter sports enthusiasts. That's why we at INTERSPORT Rent do not compromise when it comes to children's skis. Everyone who visits us at the rental shop receives skis that optimally fit their height and skill level. In this article, we answer the most important questions about choosing the right size skis for children to set them up for skiing success.

What's the ideal length for children's skis?

The ideal length for children's skis is determined on the basis of height and skill level – just like when choosing adults' skis.

We recommend that children who are just learning how to ski should have skis that go from the ground up to their chest. This ensures that young skiers have good control of their skis and can initiate turns more easily. Besides height, skill level plays an important role in choosing the perfect ski length as well – especially for children. Young skiers with a bit of experience can use skis that go all the way up to their mouth or nose – and if your child is a little race champion, a ski length up to eye level is the right choice. 

By the way: The most important accessory for your little one’s first snow adventure is a good-quality ski helmet. Read more about finding the right size helmet for your child on our RENTertainer blog!

A simple size chart for kids' skis

Skill level Ski length
true beginner height minus 40 cm
beginner height minus 35 cm
intermediate height minus 30 cm
advanced  height minus 15 cm
pro height minus 5 cm

Rule of thumb: Shorter skis are best for children because they are easier to control when you're just starting out!

Absolutely do not go for very long skis for kids. Beginners clearly have a harder time with big equipment – and it's not only their ability that suffers, but above all their enjoyment of skiing! 

How do I find the right ski length for my child?

  1. Measuring & weighing: Determine the current height and weight of your child.
  2. Find your child's size in the table below. Et voilà: You have found the correct length for your child's skis!

A few remarks about the table:

  • If you are not sure and/or your child's height is between two values, weight is a good guide.
  • If your child is light for their height, choose the shorter ski.
  • If your child is heavy for their height, choose the longer ski.

Recommended ski lengths for every age

Age Height in cm Weight in kg Optimal length in cm
3 94 14 70-80
4 102 16 80-90
5 109 18 90-100
6 114 21 100-110
7 122 23 100-110
8 127 26 110-120
9 135 29 120-130
10 140 32 120-130
11 145 36 130-140
12 149 40 140-150
13 156 45 140-150
14 163 50 150-160

*Note: The weight and height numbers correspond to averages and apply to about 50 per cent of children.

You can count on us: The RENTertainers at INTERSPORT Rent will always be at your side to help you choose the right rental skis for your kids.

Don’t forget: It takes properly fitting ski boots to master your first turns in the snow. Find out more in our FAQ about ski boots for children!  

What to take into account for small children's skis

It might sound logical, and it is indeed: The younger the child, the shorter the skis! When it comes to small children, choose short carvers – and they will quickly see some progress and their first successes. However, short skis are not a permanent solution. Especially not when kids have outgrown a certain height or weight. Even if they have gotten used to skis that are too short, it's still easy to switch to longer models because they are known to offer more stability once the skis carry more weight down the hill.

As kids grow older, their skis should be longer. For children over 120 centimetres tall, the length of the skis can be adjusted to suit their height, provided they are good skiers. 

From a height of 160 centimetres and a weight of 55 kilos or more, kindergarten is over. From then on, kids can choose from adult skis. 

More ski size decision aids from the RENTertainer:

Shorter skis are ideal if ...

  • the child is rather delicately built and weighs less than their ideal weight.
  • the child has never skied before.
  • the child tends to ski very cautiously.
  • the child often makes fast, short turns.
  • the child still has trouble turning.

Longer skis are ideal if ...

  • the weight of the child is above the ideal weight.
  • the child is already very good at skiing.
  • the child likes to ski very fast.

Ready to hit the slopes? Then you might be interested in finding out whether your child should learn how to ski with or without poles!  


In the rental shops all over Europe, you will be well advised when you're looking for equipment for your little ones!

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