If you are a first timer in the YSL program, plan on attending at least one race, but aren't sure how committed your child is, or simply cannot (or do not want to) afford more than one pair of skis for your athlete then I suggest buying/finding/borrowing 1 pair of all mountain skis that roughly come up to your child's nose in height.
If you are a first timer in the YSL program, plan on attending at least one race, and your kid is fairly committed to racing then I would suggest you find/purchase 1 pair of rock/free skis that should be about up to your child's nose in height. And 1 pair of "race" skis (new or used) that can be either GS (Giant Slalom) or SL (Slalom) side cut that should also come up to your kids nose in height. If you are thinking to yourself "what is GS/SL side cut?", don't worry it is just the shape of the ski and it is clearly labeled on every race ski.
If your child is a committed athlete and plans on racing the entire YSL circuit this winter then I would suggest that you purchase 1 pair of rock/free-skis, 1 pair of SL skis that come up to their chin in height, and 1 pair of GS skis that come up to their eyes in height. It should be noted that many racing parents and athletes feel it is necessary to have 3,4 and 5 pairs of skis... that is not the case. At the YSL age, 1 or 2 pairs of WELL KEPT all around skis is all you need. If you want to spend the money then by all means feel free to purchase a pair of GS, SL and free-skis for your kids, but just know that it is not necessary to do this. It should also be noted that the above ski length sizes are rough estimates of the size of your athlete's ski. There is some wiggle room here, so if you already have a pair that are a few inches above or below their nose, don't worry about it. I just don't want any of our athletes skiing this year with skis up to their belly buttons!
If you are a U14 athlete or older and are planning on competing in a USSA race this year you must purchase a helmet that abides by the new 2015-16 USSA standard. Your helmet does not abide by the new 2015-16 standard unless your helmet has the following sticker:
I repeat, all U-14's and older MUST have the new FIS approved helmet in order to compete in any USSA GS, SG, or DH. This means that the athlete's helmet MUST have the sticker that is shown on the attachment above, otherwise they cannot compete in USSA races.
Every athlete who plans to compete in a Northern Division race this year must purchase a USSA membership. To do so, follow these steps:
1.) Go to http://my.ussa.org/ and create an account if you don't already have one.
2.) Once you've created an account, click on the membership link and become a member. It's pretty straightforward.
**If you are a U14 or younger you need to purchase a USSA "Youth" membership. If you are a U16 or older you need to purchase a USSA "Competition" membership.
Northern Division Races