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Choosing right skis

Updated on May 22, 2012

To start our adventure with skiing we need to get proper skis. At the first glance it's easy - there are a lot of sport stores where we can buy them. But usually the first visit in the store ends with a headache.We will most probably find ourself surrounded by dozens of skis of different types and brands. With such a wide choice it's not easy to choose the best ones which will fit our custom needs. Of course, the best way is to reach for the top shelf. We have such top brands as Atomic, Blizzard, Fischer, Volki, Rossignol, K2, Salomon and many others. That doesn't help much, does it?

Skis brand is only a name, we should stick to those known to us, but most important are the parameters of our skis. Those include length, hardness, the material they are made of and intended use. If we want to ride straight and fast, with a longer turning radius, we should choose a longer skis. While standing they should reach our forehead or, in the case of good skiers,  they should be equal to our growth. For more dynamic skiing with faster turns we should choose shorter, but less stable, skis. They should reach our chin. Length has to be adjusted to our skiing style, body weight and skills. Basically the more experienced we are, the shorter skis we can choose. 

Lets move to the concept of hardness of skis. The shorter they are, the harder they should be. In opposition - longer skis should be softer. This feature helps ride dynamism. Harder skis will allow us to ride faster and do more rapid moves.The softer ones will make the ride easier, but not as dynamic. For beginners soft skis are recommended.

Knowing our skills and preferences we can choose our target group of skis. There are groups such as Race, Race Carv, All Mountain, Lady, Park'n'Pipe, Skitour and Junior.

Race Skis

Those skis are dedicated for good and very good amateur riders. In this group we can distinguish slalom skis (12-15 meters turn radius) and giants (21-27 meters long, high speed turns). They are good for hard, well prepared slopes.

Race Carv Skis

They are similar to race skis but the material they are made of is softer. This group is addressed to intermediate skiers and should be used on well-prepared, hard routes. Turning radius starts from 10m, and the longest is 17-18m.

All Mountain Skis

Skis targeted for almost everyone from average to very advanced riders. They are universal and can be used on both groomed and not groomed slopes. They are distinguished by a greater width of boards under boots.

Lady Skis

Those skis are lighter, softer, more colorful and, of course, designed for women. To this group can belong skis from any other group.

Junior Skis

Skis designed for children. One shouldn't buy skis for children in advance. So always choose those which are adequate for child's age.

Ski tour

Lightweight skis prepared for skiing and mountaineering. Can use them both for walking up as well as for downhill skiing.They are not so good for regular skiing but in return we have two in one.


Park’n’Pipe skis are wider and longer than others. They make skiing on fluffy snow easier, are stronger, more resistant to scratches, shocks, etc. They are designed for rides outside designed routes, their design reduces vibrations when jumping, bindings mounted centrally improve the balance and the fronts and backs of skis are curved up. Skis for freeride.


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