Equipment and Gear
Words of Wisdom:
- Teach and remind your athlete to be responsible about their gear and belongs.
- Every race parent should own a permanent, black, fine point Sharpie and put their child's name, CRT and telephone number on everything
- Check out the training center bimonthly for missing items
Working with ski shop personnel is a big part of your equipment selection process. When shopping be sure to deal with a reputable ski shop that is knowledgeable and understands youth race development and the athlete's needs. Stan and Dan Sports has been a supporter of CRT for many seasons knowing and understanding our athlete’s needs. If you ever have questions or concerns on equipment and gear with recommendations, double check with your athlete’s coach. Slightly used equipment is fine as long as it fits well, works for your athlete and meets our coaches’ recommendations.
Dress for Success:
Make sure your athlete dresses warmly and in layers. Not only will your athlete have an unpleasant day if they are underdressed, but the entire group will be impacted as the coach ends up spending more time inside warming up than on the hill training. Avoid these common mistakes: cotton socks, gloves with little insulation or waterproofing, and goggles that fit poorly in the helmet leaving a gap of exposed forehead. Be prepared for all weather conditions. Don’t forget to label everything. Things will be left behind over the course of the season and you will want to get it back.
- Boots are a very important piece of equipment. Proper fit and flex are essential. Don't fall into the trap of buying boots that are a size larger than your child's feet for them to grow. A serious loss in performance, and often comfort, is the result. Boots will pack out some with wear, so they should be tight to begin with. Let your child walk round the house before their first training day to get their feet used to the boots. Boots must fit well and the athletes must be able to flex; poor stance can be a result of boots which are too stiff.
- Boot Flex Recommendations: U10/U12 – 70 and U14 - 90. Always check with your coach if you are in doubt. Click here for a great video on proper boot fitting.
Ski choice is based on the athlete’s height, weight, physical maturity, skill and ability levels and athletic propensity. Other considerations include long term athlete development, optimizing the athlete's learning curve as well as our teaching methodologies. Ski manufacturers each have their own design and philosophy. Characteristics vary from brand to brand. Fortunately, all skis made for junior racing are high quality products. Coaches understand the needs of their athletes as well as ski characteristics and can recommend the best match for results.
General recommendations for those athletes just entering racing program:
- One Pair: Select either a SL ski or a Combi ski; length should be head height; two pairs of skis are not necessary until the athlete has developed the necessary skills or at the U14 level.
- Two Pairs: Select a SL ski that is nose height and a GS ski that is about 20cm longer than the SL ski.
- You should check with your coach, when it doubt. It always a good idea to save a pair of last year’s skis to start your season out on until the mountain has good cover.
USSA has set lengths and turning radius for U14 and older athletes. See chart on resource page.
Helmets and Goggles
Look for comfort, warmth and protection. It's about fit and function, not brand and look, be sure the forehead is covered. All younger athletes are required to wear helmets with ears flaps. Goggles should fit the face well.
Beginning season 2015/16 athletes U14 and older must use helmets that meet the new FIS standards for all USSA GS, SG and DH competitions. This sticker will need to be on all helmets wore by U14 and older; leaving no space between goggle and helmet. When purchasing your goggles do not forget to take your helmet along.
Speedsuits are not required but most racers have them. The suit should fit snugly behind the leg and butt, with minimal wrinkles, yet provide no restrictions or discomfort through all ranges of motion. Fit your suit with garments you plan to wear underneath, like long underwear or a light fleece microfiber. That extra dry layer sure comes in handy on cold training or race days. As kids grow out these tight fitting suits fairly quickly, there is a pretty good second hand market for them; ski swaps and ski clubs are a good place to look for a reasonably prices used suit.
Warm Up Pants
Functional for movement, warmth and dryness. They should stay up high on the lower back in all ranges of motion and help seal all air from coming between them and the jacket. Seriously consider buying bib type pants made of a water repellant/waterproof fabric. Full length leg zips are required ease of putting pants on and off at races and training.
Not too long, not too bulky, functional for layering and movement with water repellant fabrics.
Use ski socks made for skiing and fit properly. They are made with quality material that helps keep feet warm. Wool blended socks are the best. The wick sweat well, and help keep feet warmer even when wet. Ski socks are cushioned in all the right places. They are higher up the leg for warmth and are not made to slide down off the calf. Have at least one identical pair for everyday you ski each week; a minimum of two identical pairs are essential for a weekend athlete.
Team Jackets must be ordered in early March for the next season. Jackets are ordered directly from Stan and Dan Sports. Although you may find some slightly used ones on our ski swap page.
Sweatshirt & sweatpants, t-shirts, hats are Cranmore Race Team logo gear. See information about ordering apparel through the online store.
Sources for Equipment and Gear:
Reliable ski and sports shop specializing in ski racing and posses a good understanding of youth ski racing needs. Work with a sale staff that you can build a relationship over the years and is interested and knowledgeable in offering the brand and fit that works best for the success of your athlete. Talk to your coach for recommendations. They are the ones out on the hill working daily with your athlete and watching how the athlete works the ski though the turn and the results they are looking to achieve.
Local Ski Swaps are great place to pick up slightly used gear. Remember, the key here is it fits well; it’s functional and works well for your athlete. It is a great idea to see if your coach might be able to meet you at the swap or recommend someone you can talk to at the swap. Eastern Slope Ski Club is a great place to find or sell gear you no longer can use. This year’s date is November 8thand 9th for dropping off gear to sell and the sale itself is Nov 10th & 11th at the North Conway Community Center. Many ski clubs run their annual ski swaps during October and November.
Wanted or Sale Postings may be placed on the Training Center bulletin boards for equipment, gear, and clothing.
Tuning Your Skis:
The importance of Ski Tuning cannot be understated – do not send your athlete out on the hill without gear that is ready to perform the tasks necessary to become a successful ski racer. Skis need to have sharp edges and wax for every day on the hill. There are many good videos about tuning, waxing and caring for race skis. New skis are generally not ready for skiing directly out of the wrapper! The following links are excellent resource: