Youth Ski Recommendation

I am curious about people's thoughts on a ski recommendation for my son. He is 12 years old and 85lbs. His tournament PB is 2 @ 30mph (15' off), but most practice sets are running at 25mph. He is currently on a 63" TRA. His coach suggested getting a new ski. I did not grow up skiing the course, so i am not sure of the typical progression when it comes to skis. I assumed the ski wouldn't still be holding him back at this point, but curious what more knowledgeable people think. If you think a new ski is a good step forward, I assume a Radar vapor or D3 ion? Thanks!


  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,131 Mega Baller
    63.5" vapor; 65" when he hits 105 to 110 lbs.
  • chrislandychrislandy Posts: 357 Crazy Baller
    I would have thought hat TRA should see him into shortenings at 32mph
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,131 Mega Baller
    My boy and his cousins all picked up about a pass the day they switched from the TRA to the Vapor. YMMV.
  • Ski_DadSki_Dad Posts: 507 Baller
    i would think his current ski is just fine - not sure why they are telling you that.
  • Ttm2005Ttm2005 Posts: 4
    Thank you for the replies. I guess there will always be different opinions. I won't rush to buy a new one; but keep an eye open for one.
  • brodybrody Posts: 360 Solid Baller
    At his age he is going to sprout fast in a year or 2. If money is no object by a vapor, otherwise I would wait a year and pick up a 65. The 63.5 will likely only give you a season
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,131 Mega Baller
    Keep you eye on I have seen new 63.5" vapors go for as low as $350 (for a few year old model). Also don't be afraid of jumping to a 65"er a bit early to save money, especially if the speed is 30mph and under. Too big is better than too small especially when they are growing.
  • LK_skierLK_skier Posts: 115 Baller
    I put my son on a 65" - which most would say is too big but when they are going slow the bigger ski will help them gain speed across the wake - normally the place they struggle with most - as for their turns, they are normally not the problem.

    And it saves $$ as they grow.
  • bojansbojans Posts: 339 Solid Baller
    @Ttm2005 We moved my son from a 63" TRA to a 63.5" Vapor pro at about that level. It took a few sets to get used to the ski but really did help his performance.

    I have his 63.5" Vapor Pro (2020 model) for sale. If you are interested, drop me a message.
  • SebgoSebgo Posts: 6 New Baller
    I'm also curious. I have a 9 yr. old (60lbs) that is now skiing into 30mph. He is skiing on the TRA as well. What ski would be best for him? what are most of the young (B1) skiers using @ Nationals?
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 239 Baller
    63" TRA carried my boys from 10yrs old to current 16 & 14 yrs old. I was gifted a 66" Vapor Pro and the 16yr old is having his first runs on it now and loves it. we're yet to hit the course yet on the vapor but he was running 30-33mph 15'off previously consistently and was just starting to get into 22'off passes.
  • bojansbojans Posts: 339 Solid Baller
    @Sebgo We moved my son from the TRA at age 10 when he was getting into 28 mph 15 off to the Vapor. He started with a Vapor graphite and when he was 11 moved to a Vapor Pro (not out of necessity, just the opportunity to get a new ski became available). He stayed on the 63.5" Vapor through last year when he was 13 (~115-120 pounds) and getting into 28 and 32 off at 34 mph. He is now on a 65 Vapor pro.

    Many of the kids I see at Nationals are on the D3 kids ski, Goode or Radar. It is unlikely the ski itself will make a big difference in their skiing but at a level around where your son is now it should help him progress quicker.
  • DragoDrago Posts: 1,772 Mega Baller
    65 D3. Stable and predictable."Growing into it": most kids gain weight and ski faster, so you're good for several years until a big growth spurt
    SR SL Judge & Driver (“a driver who is super late on the wheel and is out of sync”)
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,131 Mega Baller
    I'd rather have the kid on a 65" Vapor or D3 Ion than a TRA, for sure. The TRA is fine for an initial learning ski but running buoys my kids (my boy, his cousins, and friends) progressed much faster once they got on better skis. I also agree with err on the side of bigger.
  • Ttm2005Ttm2005 Posts: 4
    Thanks again all for your advice/opinions. I never considered a 65"; so that is an interesting approach. Maybe I will see if i can get him to demo one and go from there.
  • jjackkrashjjackkrash Posts: 1,131 Mega Baller
    Side note. Don't be afraid to throw away the red loop and stick with -22. It is easier to learn connection and swing. I personally think -15 is a waste of time for these kids.
  • BraceMakerBraceMaker Posts: 5,139 Mega Baller
    @jjackkrash I personally don't use 15/22/28 for anyone. I take my ropes apart and install the short loops first. Started doing this when the 15/22 loops started wearing out and realized that 22 sucks anyway.

    Rebuild it so you have all the intermediate loops available unless you ski 38/39/41 - you'll never use those loops and you'll burn out the 15'.
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