Choosing the right ski for you

How to choose the right skis

It wasn’t so long ago that there were only three different types of skis to choose from.

The latest technology offers a wide variety now and it can be a tad overwhelming to know what you are looking for, especially first time buyers of skis.

Where to begin

Assuming that you have skied previously and possibly hired skis before, you are now a keen skier and want your own ski equipment. Start by reading reviews, it will give you an idea of what is out there for you. Visit local ski shops ask advice, visit ski shows and get as much information as possible. These people are professionals and you will be able to liaise with qualified personnel who know the business.

Top models

If you take a look at the top ten or so ski manufactures models available you are more or less guaranteed to find something suitable. You need to consider what snow conditions you prefer to ski in, type of skiing and your ski skill level, take heed their advice.

Take your time and try the skis before you buy

I cannot stress how important this is, you will know if the ski you are trying on is suitable for you or not. How can you know if you don’t try? Try several and you will soon discover which is ideal for you. Focus on your typical skiing conditions, your ability, and your experience.

What are your typical ski conditions?

This will determine which skis are better for you; skis today are designed for pure powder, groomed powder and packed powder conditions. This varies with different resorts, however, rule of thumb is powder reigns in the west and the east hopes for the best.

Ski ability and experience

We all need to start somewhere so your experience may be fairly limited, to begin with. Real experience comes once you have spent time on the slopes. You need to experience a range of different snow conditions learning how to get the best from your skis. Your ability will adapt over time, you will improve with good instructions and as they say, practise makes perfect.

Ability indicators from learners to experts

Learner – skis on the green and blue runs with confidence, wanting to try more demanding terrain. Their technique is good but less confident and slower on speed, bumps and icy or steeper runs. Ideal skis have soft tips and tails giving smooth turns, Sidecuts are helpful and Camber profiles give grip and control. These skis will help boost confidence and help improve ability.

Intermediate – are better skiers who are confident skiing red runs and attempting easy blacks and ungroomed snow. Building their technique they attempt with caution bumps and steep runs and aim to ski off-piste as they progress. Ideal skis are stiffer to aid with grip at faster speeds; Sidecuts are targeted, deeper with a shorter radius. Camber profiles for good grip and mountain use.

Advanced – are very good skiers with all-round skills that can ski all over the mountain, with great technique in most conditions and slopes. Specific design in their skis to increase performance, they are stiffer with excellent grip at high speeds and less forgiving.

Expert – are professionals, top-level skiers, instructors, ex-racers and avid skiers. They use specific usage skis for expert ability levels. The skis vary to the terrain skied, shapes, profiles and dimensions all offer wonderful ski models to give the very best performance.

Listen and learn, take advice and you will be given the correct skis for your ability, in time you will progress your performance and level, enjoy the slopes!