Skis, Boots, Poles
Racing skis are an investment for all racers. Used racing skis, as well as other quality skis, can be a great deal if they’re in good shape. Buying them during off-season is also a great option. Also, check out newer selections at a local ski shop. At U14 and up depending on the level, discipline-specific skis (slalom, giant slalom, super G) are needed. Consult with your coaches.
-> Ski Buyer’s Guide
Boots should have a precise fit and be flexible enough to pressure forward and get skis on edge. As the racer progresses and grows, a stiffer boot may be more suitable. Visit a good boot fitter for the best custom fit and recommendation (as well as any needed modifications). For racers, make sure they are fitted for ski racing. Use the user’s guide if you decide to purchase them used or from a self-helped retailer.
-> Boot Buyer’s Guide
Poles should be sized just right. Either too long or too short will promote and instill bad habits in early development. Poor poling techniques will become evidently ineffective (or counter-effective) as the racers become more competitive.
-> Pole Buyer’s Guide
Helmets are required for all GPSC youth members. All racers will need full-face helmets. They should not have padded ears, and should fit properly. At U14 and above, shin guards are required.
- Speed Suit (Racers only)
This aerodynamic suit fits tightly for race day. They’re optional yet popular at most levels, and you can find used suits by checking out swaps or speaking with parents.
- Zip-Off Pants (Racers only)
At the start, racers can zip these off without taking off their boots. Make sure they have a full zipper up both sides, and that the zipper is in good shape.
Gear for Protection (Racers Only)
Protective products help prevent injuries. Depending on the level of the racer, you may need need or consider the following gear.
- At U12, racers may choose to use shin guard for slalom. No other race specific protective gear will be necessary.
- At U14 and up, to ski tall pole slalom, helmet with chin guard, shin guards, pole/knuckle guards and padded gloves; full knuckle guards are preferred over half sized ones.
- At all levels, mouth guards are highly recommended for prevention of concussions during a fall and mouth injuries from poles snapping back. An inexpensive mouth piece from a sporting goods store is adequate.
- Back guards have become popular over the last couple of years for “speed events”. There are claims that they can prevent fall injuries. Use them at your discretion.
- Protective clothings in addition to the padded race suit helps to prevent injuries to the body. Chest protection is highly suggested for female athletes when skiing tall pole slalom. Other various models are available offering protection to a variety of other body areas (e.g. forearm, upperarm, shoulders, etc.).
Bulk Hand and Toe Warmers
You can buy a whole box for a fraction of what ski shops will charge. Note: It has been observed that these items have a effective shelf life of just over a year. Buy with caution.
Put Your Name on Everything
Label everything! Skis and accessories can easily be confused and mixed up on race day.