Balla is the word for a kid or child in the Altai Mountains so it seemed appropriate for our kids version of the Hok. The Hok is a playful ski even for adults, so we felt it was the ideal type of ski for a kid to learn to ski on. Yes, it is slower then a regular ski, but the Balla Hok is stable, easy to use, and can go up or down with equal ease. It is the perfect tool to just go out and play in the snow.
We feel the Balla Hok, especially when matched with a universal binding, can be the first ski starting at age 5 or so and go up to 8 or 10 years old, depending on the size and proficiency of the child using it. We have had a year of testing with some kids around our region and results have been really positive.
The Balla Hok comes with 3 inserts matching the 3 pin tele hole pattern (same as the adult Hoks) but no heel piece inserts. This is also the hole pattern for the Universal binding. We have cut down our adult sized universal binding so that the binding fits shoes down to about a size 12 kids, depending on the shoe type. This is the option when you select the Balla Hok. The advantage to the universal is your child can use whatever boots he or she chooses (winter boots!) and can adjust the binding to grow with feet…. one ski and binding lasting for years!