Start em early, start em on the right gear! Though the ski touring market is somewhat limited in the way of kid-specific gear (especially touring boots), this package is ideal for the pre-teen / early-teen youngster, and emphasizes ease-of-use, safety, and value. Secondhand gear can be unreliable, and not always ideally matched for a particular application style. In addition, the size/length of the gear may be ill-suited, and can lead to experiences in which the user vows never to ski tour again. By getting the right style and right sized gear the first time, you'll save a lot of headache and your youngster will have more enjoyable and productive experiences.
The Dynafit SL80 ski is the perfect ski for a youngster to begin their ski touring career on. Stable and predictable when descending, and light and smooth when climbing uphill. The lengths offered are 129, 139, 149, and 158cm, and one of these should be well-suited to match their size and abilities. In addition, the ski flex is quite manageable and the micro-sidewall underfoot ensures solid edging ability and durability. Also, the notched tip allows for easy skin attachment and removal, which is a big plus.
The Dynafit Rotation 7 binding is specifically designed for smaller individuals who require smaller release values, which allows the binding to release appropriately and consistently relative to their size. Also, the 22mm of boot sole length adjustment should offer plenty of extra space to grow into, and the three riser heights for tour-mode allow for smooth skinning.
The Scarpa F1 boot is a great choice for youngsters due to being offered in a mondo size 21.5 (22.0 shell size, as Scarpa breaks their shells on the half-size), which is the smallest boot size offered in the touring boot market. The boot is easy to negotiate, with the BOA closure system over the instep, and a beefy velco strap shin buckle. The stock Intuition Liner is quite comfortable and warm. Great range of motion in walk-mode and a nice, moderate flex in ski-mode makes this a winner for all-purpose touring.