WPRC Equipment

EQUIPMENT

HAVE:

All athletes need to have their own skis, boots, poles, helmet, and goggles. Helmets are mandatory, all of the time, for both training and racing. If an athlete does not have their helmet, they are not allowed to train or race. Helmets and skis must comply with USSA regulations. Please refer to the Equipment Guide below for more details. We ski in all types of weather, so please be prepared and dress accordingly each day. Don't forget that the mountain temperatures and conditions can fluctuate greatly throughout the day. It's best to have more clothes and not need them, than to not have enough to wear.  

PLEASE DON'T:

Music devices with headphones should stay at home. Sunglasses are not allowed during training (goggles must be worn.) SL chin guards must be removed from helmets for GS gates. SL pole guards are not allowed on ski poles for GS gates.  

ALWAYS:

Always put your name on everything! A lot of equipment and apparel looks the same and can be easily mixed up in the lodge or out on the rack. Use a permanent marker to label everything you have!  

Equipment Guide:

Helmet: All kids need them all the time and they should be hard shelled helmets (no soft ear flaps). There are USSA certification requirements for helmets at all USSA races. Please refer to the USSA “Alpine Competition Guide” or “Ski Helmet Regulations” document for ski helmet regulations:

Skis: Younger and first time racers only need one pair of skis for both SL and GS. We recommend getting a “mid length” SL ski. As racers advance and age, they will perform better on discipline specific skis. General guidance would be 2 pairs of skis for last year U12’s who have high expectations or when it’s something you can afford and want to do. As racers progress even further with the sport, they may desire dedicated race and training skis for each discipline, and they may want Super G skis for speed events. In general ski length can be tested as follows: For an SL, the ski should be between the chin and nose For a GS ski, the ski should go to the top of the head There are USSA requirements for ski length and radius by discipline and age group. For U10 athletes and U12 athletes, there are no rules or specifications, but merely recommendations. For U14 and older athletes, there are specific rules to which the athlete must comply. Please refer to the USSA Competition Equipment Rules in the “Alpine Competition Guide” or the “Alpine Equipment Guide” document for rules and specifications by age group. USSA Rules - http://ussa.org/alpine-programs/athletes/rules Please consult your coach with any questions regarding ski selection and specific rules.

Ski Boots: Proper boot fitting is essential for success. The appropriate flex for an athlete’s size, strength, and skill is crucial for allowing the athlete to carve the ski. Please make sure that boots are buckled appropriately as well, loose buckles may be more comfortable but they hinder performance.

Ski Poles: Younger and first time racers only need one pair of poles for both SL and GS. Once athletes start to cross block SL gates, we recommend two pairs of ski poles, because racers shouldn’t use pole guards when running GS. To see if the ski pole is the right length, using the following test:

  1. Flip the pole upside down
  2. Stand straight
  3. Grab the pole under the basket
  4. Tuck the elbow to your side with the forearm at a 90 degree angle
If the forearm is not at 90 degrees, but slopes up slightly that is fine. If it slopes down, the pole is too short. If it slopes up more than a few degrees, it is too long.

Protective Gear: Helmets are mandatory, but other protective gear is optional. These items may include shin guards, pole guards, chin guards, back guards and padded clothing.

  • SL – As athletes start to clear SL gates, they will want pole guards. Any athlete cross blocking SL gates needs shin guards and pole guards. Shin guards should be Junior (JR) shin guards that cover the knee, but don’t ride up into the thigh. A shin guard that rides up the leg is too big. Chin guards that mount to the helmet are optional. If used, they can only be used in SL and have to be removed before training or racing GS.
  • GS – As an athlete tighten their race line in GS, they will start to brush the GS panel at high speeds. Padded clothing and forearm guards protect the athlete’s arms and shoulders from the impact with the panels.

Speed Suit: Speed suits are optional, but popular at most levels. Younger and first time racers usually forgo this expense and race in their coats and jackets. As racers progress, the kids feel faster and more confident racing in a speed suit. Remember, if an athlete uses a speed suit, they will want to have pants that zip-off completely without requiring them to remove their boots.

Coat: Most kids have jackets that do the job just fine. A nice warm coat that isn’t so stiff you child turns into a mummy will be perfect.

Warm-ups: Kids should have a good pair of skiing warm-ups. As kids start to race with a speed suit, they should have a pair of “zip-up” warm-ups that have zippers running the full length of the leg. Make sure the zippers work!

Base Layers: On an “average” day, every child should have: Long john top and bottom Turtle neck Fleece top Fleece bottom or jogging pants On a really cold day, add a second base layer and or a fleece vest.

Gloves: Good gloves make a difference. Mittens are great on a cold day. Some kids use disposable hand warmers on really cold days. Glove padding is nice for gate clearing, but not a must have.

Neck Warmers: Athletes often use either balaclavas, neck gators, or scarves to cover their faces and necks when it turns cold or the mountain is blowing snow. Younger racers often make this part of their standard kit.

Socks: Socks should be made for skiing, a medium to heavy knit. No street socks, their feet will freeze. “Extra-thick” socks can be a problem unless the ski boot is too big. Don’t have them wear two pairs of socks on a cold day, it is too bulky and cuts down circulation. Some kids use disposable boot heaters on really cold days.

Ski Tuning: Keep skis tuned and waxed by either yourself or a shop. It really helps the athletes in training for skis to be tuned weekly. Wax often, particularly after a stone grind. Your child is at a disadvantage in practice as well as in races if their skis are not properly sharpened. This will allow them to develop the confidence that their skis will hold.

Team Uniforms:

WPRC purchases team uniforms every 3 years. Team uniforms are not required, but many of the kids have them. When new uniforms are purchased, orders and checks are collected in March at the year-end banquet. Uniforms are delivered the following fall and are available for pick-up at the start of the ski season. For years when an order is not being placed, the best source for a team uniform is to purchase a used uniform from an existing member. The club sometimes has a few extra unused uniforms. Inquiries can be made to the Program Director.

Equipment Swap:

WPRC members looking to buy or sell equipment may post messages to the WPRC Facebook page