Ski Buying Guide
Identifying and buying the right ski can seem confusing, this guide is here to give you all the tips and advice you might need when picking your perfect set of planks. Key factors when choosing a ski are;
A good starting point is to understand the differences between the different types of skis.
Piste or carving skis are generally narrower types of skis, with performance on groomed and hard packed snow a priority. The narrower ski width allows for quicker movement from edge to edge. A good type of ski for someone looking to improve or dial in their technique.
All-Mountain skis are designed to be as versatile as possible, the best choice when looking for one ski to do-it-all. A mid-width ski that has the versatility for different terrain and snow conditions. Often the choice for yearly holiday goers that want a ski to perform great, whether they are skiing in December or April.
Expert levels skis that are designed for varying off-piste conditions. Stiffer, medium to wide and more powerful skis that offer the stability that is needed for steep, fast skiing in the backcountry.
Designed with floatation in mind! The widest style of ski for when floating on top of fresh, deep snow is your skiing of choice. Often upwards of 110mm wide, this increased base area helps to keep you on top of the snow.
Super lightweight skis that come in lots of different shapes. Designed for people that like to go uphill as well as down.
Choosing the right length of ski is affected by a whole host of different factors, but your height, weight and the type of skiing you want to do, are key.
As a general rule a ski length that sits somewhere between the top of your head and your chin, would be suitable. This is often how a rental shop will help you when selecting the first ski for you to learn on. Whilst your height is a good starting point, if you are heavier than average you would want to go slightly longer to allow for this, likewise a lighter than average person might want to go for a shorter ski.
If you enjoy cruising around on the piste or taking it a bit easier whilst learning/improving you might want to choose a slightly shorter ski. Shorter skis are easier to turn but can be slightly less stable at higher speeds.
A longer ski can be good for people skiing more aggressively in a variety of terrain. Going longer for a backcountry or powder skiing is often the way to go in order, this increases the surface area of the ski that sits on top of the snow and gives you more float.
Your ability level is something you should consider alongside the type of skiing that you are doing.
Beginner: A newer skier might want to go for a shorter, narrower ski to help enable easier turn initiation. A softer flexing ski will also help a beginner skier as it is more forgiving, and can help when technique is not fully mastered.
Advanced: On the other side of the coin a more advanced skier will be looking for different properties in their ski. More advanced skis tend to be stiffer and more difficult to turn when going slowly, however they tend to be smoother and more powerful when going faster.