HOW DO I KNOW WHAT EQUIPMENT TO GET FOR MY ATHLETE?
General equipment guidelines are defined in the SPAC Athlete and Family Handbook. Like with clothing, for younger athletes, special gear outside of what one typically wears to ski is not required for training or racing with SPAC. Many athletes have a successful experience with the program for many years before buying race specific gear.
If a parent is interested in purchasing new equipment for their athlete (skis and boots), they should consult with the Program Director or their Head Coach for recommendations on length, brand, etc. Mighty Mites, in general, have 1 to 2 pairs of skis. For the younger classes of racers (U8 and U10) they typically use the same ski for Slalom and Giant Slalom. Older Mighty Mites may elect to have a separate pair of skis for Slalom and Giant Slalom. In the Junior levels, skiers often have 1-2 pairs of skis per discipline and some athletes use one pair as a training pair and the other as a racing pair. All skiers are required to wear a helmet.
Properly fitting boots with adequate buckle support is possibly the most important piece of equipment an athlete can have. Most race boots have 4 buckles and a shin strap. Athletes will not be able to have full control over their skis if boots are too big or too stiff. Please be sure to consult a boot specialist when purchasing boots or talk with your athlete’s coach. Young children often struggle with boots being uncomfortable, but defaulting to boots that are too big can actually be dangerous. If necessary professional boot fitters are available to modify boots so that they fit properly and are as comfortable as possible.
In addition to boots and skis all athletes should have poles. Older athletes will have a set of Slalom poles fitted with hand guards to protect when they hit the gates, and GS poles that have a slight bend to them to be more aerodynamic. Race specific poles are not required, but many older athletes like having them.
Finally, older athletes (U14 and up), who are hitting Slalom gates often wear protective guards on their arms and shins. Mouth guards are also recommended for older athletes. If athletes are doing speed events (Super G and Downhill) they are required to wear back protection.
For details on clothing and other small equipment, refer to the Clothing FAQ.
WHAT IS THE HELMET REQUIREMENT FOR SPAC RACERS?
Helmets are required for all SPAC athletes for training. It is recommended that you obtain a helmet made for ski racing so that it can accommodate a chin bar. A chin bar is added to the helmet for protection in training/racing Slalom, particularly when the athlete is blocking gates. A mouth guard is highly recommended when training or competing in Giant Slalom, Super G and Downhill.
CLOTHING/GEAR BUY & SELL GROUPS
Gear can be bought new from a variety of different outlets, both online and in person. Sturtevant’s has race days in the Fall, which are days set aside for ski racing clubs. Used gear is also posted for sale on the following Facebook pages:
SPAC Ski Team Buy & Sell: https://www.facebook.com/groups/393569468067908
TAS Ski Team Buy & Sell: https://www.facebook.com/groups/474508386015805/
CMAC Ski Team Buy & Sell: https://www.facebook.com/groups/CMACBuyAndSell/