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Equipment Guide

The following are our team requirements and recommendations for equipment. Please keep in mind that what your racer needs may be individualized due to age and ability. Further clarification on equipment types can be found below. 


U8 & U10 -Ages 9 and younger


  • A ski helmet & goggles

  • One pair of all-mountain skis (not twin tips)

  • Ski boots with buckles

  • Poles


  • A full-shell hard eared helmet, without spoilers or edges that stick out (Required for second-year U10’s+) & goggles

  • Race-oriented boots with at least 3 buckles.

  • Race-specific skis


U12 -Ages 10 and 11


  • A full-shell, hard-eared helmet without spoilers or edges that stick out & goggles. (Note upcoming U14 helmet requirements when purchasing helmets)

  • 1 pair of race-specific skis

  • Race oriented boots with at least 3 buckles

  • Poles

  • Zip-off race pants

  • Race suit


  • Separate SL and GS skis (2 pairs total)

  • Slalom chin bar, pole guards and shin guards 


U14 -Ages 12 and 13


  • A full-shell hard-eared helmet that meets FIS helmet standards & goggles

  • 1 pair of SL skis

  • 1 pair of GS skis

  • Race-specific boots

  • Zip-off race pants

  • Race Suit

  • Slalom chin bar, pole guards, and shin guards


  • Training shorts

  • Separate SL & GS poles



  • When in doubt, ask a coach! We want to see our racers succeed and be comfortable throughout the season and would much rather help guide you to the right gear early in the season rather than be addressing issues once we are on snow.

  • PLEASE LABEL ALL GEAR. Name and phone number is best!

We know ski racing is a very gear-intensive sport. If your family has financial restraints that keep you from being able to procure the appropriate gear for your child, you can request equipment rental at registration.  If you have questions, please contact Scott directly. We want to see ALL of our athletes succeed and have multiple team resources and avenues to help.


SKIS  *see note on ski tuning below*

U10’s and younger will generally use 1 pairs of skis for both SL and GS events. This one pair of skis is preferably a race specific style. Please no twin tips. Depending on each racers progress separate skis for SL and GS may be appropriate by U12. By U14, two pairs of skis are required. Bindings should be mounted and adjusted on the ski according to boot size and skier weight.



This will depend on the discipline and ability, but the general rule are as follows:

If the racer has one pair of skis these skis should measure to between their nose to the middle of their forehead. If two pairs of skis, slalom skis will generally be chin to nose height, while GS skis will be forehead to slightly taller than head height. At U14 USSA regulation on ski length and radius begins- see the USSA Alpine competition manual for details. 



For beginner racers only boots with buckles are required. As racers hit U12 or are skiing at a higher ability, race specific boots are highly recommended. The correct fitting boot is VERY important! This can make or break a race season, both in your racer’s comfort on the hill, and their ability to control their skis! A note on boot flex: please try not to go too far over your racers weight with the flex of the boot (Example: a 60 lb racer in a 80 flex boot would be too stiff!)



U8’s are encouraged to be using poles throughout practice. U10’s and older will be required to use poles at practice. Poles are required to have both functional pole straps and baskets. You may see curved race poles (GS poles). These are only recommended if your racer also has a separate pair of straight slalom poles. Pole guards for SL are not required but may be encouraged starting at U12 age. It is preferable that if pole guards are used, they are either removed on GS days or you have a separate pair of GS poles to ensure racers can learn proper tucking form.



Required for all racers. For races, helmets are required to meet USSA rules which means they must be a “full shell” (hard shell that covers ear). Please make sure goggles can fit over your racer's helmet and fit on their face comfortably without large gaps. Goggles with clear or light yellow lenses for night skiing are recommended. Chin bars on helmets are not required but may be recommended starting after U12. Chin bars should never be worn during GS practice as it can be dangerous in the event of a fall at higher speeds.

***At U14 helmets are required to have a FIS-approved sticker for GS races (more info here)***



Race suits are used at races for all age groups U10+. Borrowing a race suit is always a good option for young racers who do not attend many races or beginner racers (we have a limited amount of team suits for lending out at racers). It is recommended that committed racers and racers U12+ have their own race suit that can be worn to practice as well. After the first few practices race suits will be expected to be worn by U12’s and U14’s to practice.



We love the rope tow, and the rope tow loves to eat gloves. Please make sure your athlete has durable gloves and/or glove covers for practice. Having an extra pair of gloves for wet days never hurts!

Links to gloves suitable for the rope: 

Kinco gloves at the Option 4 link can be found at local hardware stores in adult sizes.



Layers are important! Racers will need lots of warm layers. Preference to many layers rather than one big jacket so racers can shed layers as the move and get warm at practice. Ski pants that have full zip sides makes race day much easier and are recommended.



There is lots of used race equipment out there that has plenty of life left and can serve your racers well. You do not need to break the bank for the newest and best of everything. Buying the appropriate used gear at the Abenaki Ski Swap or from other racers who have grown out of it is a great option. There are also many online resources to find gear like Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. For boots we recommend working with a coach at the swap, or going to a ski shop and getting a boot fitter to help. When looking at used gear the most important things are if it fits the needs and ability of the athlete and that its in good enough condition to make it through a whole season.



Even the best skis aren’t any good if they aren’t tuned properly. Whether used or new, skis should get a race prep tune before the beginning of the season. This at least needs to include edges being sharpened (to an edge angle of 3º) and bases being waxed, scraped and brushed. Most ski shops are able to this, however always make sure to specify the angles of the edge. It’s best to do a full race prep on skis before the season (yes, even on new ones!) which also includes a base grind (to a base angle of 0.5º). Racers will also need tunes throughout the season, especially before races, to make edges are sharp enough to handle hard racing conditions. These can be done by a shop or with tools at home.

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