Like any other ski, picking the right length park ski is extremely important. If the ski is too long it will be difficult to learn new tricks on, and less maneuverable in general. If the ski is too short it will be unstable on fast in runs and will cause you to land backseat on jumps. Ideally, a park ski should come up to about nose height on the skier. Most popular park ski models come in adult sizes, as well as a limited range of junior sizes.
Another thing to look at when buying a park ski is the width of the ski underfoot. Beginner park skiers will require a narrower ski that is easier to maneuver and learn on, while more advanced skiers will require a wider ski that will provide more stability for big jumps and high speeds. Unlike carving skis, the turn radius of a park ski is a mostly irrelevant factor, so don’t get too caught up comparing models based on this.
Choosing a binding for a park ski is also an important factor. Park skiing, by nature, puts an incredible amount of stress on the equipment so it is especially important to have a solid, heavy duty binding. Adjustable bindings with any sort of track or plate are very impractical for park skiing. These binding systems are great in some applications, but in the context of park skiing they add unnecessary weight and have too many moving parts that could break. Flat mount or fixed mount bindings like the Head Mojo, Look PX, and Pivot styles are a great choice for park skiing.
Remember that park skiing can be dangerous, so having the right safety equipment is just as important as the right skis and bindings. We all know that wearing a helmet isn’t everybody’s favorite thing to do, but getting your child a “cool” helmet is the best way to ensure they wear it. These days low profile helmets are what’s popular, so buying your child a big egg shaped racing helmet might not be a great idea. Helmets with removable ear flaps like the Smith Maze and Smith Holt are perfect choices for park skiers of any ability level.
Lastly, even if your child only spends some of their ski time in the park, don’t be afraid to buy them twin tips. These days more skis are being made with twin tips then without, and they are not made strictly for the terrain park. Hopefully this has been informative to some of you parents out there and will help you narrow down the selection when buying park skiing equipment for your kids.