How To Choose Skis
Knowing how to choose skis revolves around knowing where you’d like to ski and the type of skiing you plan to do. The ski tourist, who skis a couple weeks a season on powder, will not have the same skis as a year round alpine skier. Once you have decided the terrain and discipline, you will have the most important information necessary to choose skis that fit your style.
- Select a terrain. Powder is virgin snow that offers skiers a smooth surface to move on. Going too slow will cause you to sink and lose your stride, so choose a ski with a lot of surface area to take full advantage of powder. The deeper the powder, the fatter the skis should be, so adjust for powder depth. If you like going off the trails where you are likely to encounter trees and snow depth is less predictable, look for skis with an enhanced hour glass shape to promote sudden maneuvers. For skiing on ice, you want a ski with a slightly narrow waist and a lot of metal. If you can't decide on a terrain or want to try them all, all mountain skis are sufficient. These skis are geared toward the expert and the advanced intermediate skier and work well on all surfaces, though they don't allow for as high a degree of skill advancement as skis for a particular surface.
- Choose your skiing discipline. The two main types of skiing are cross-country and Alpine. Cross-country skiing, also referred to as Nordic skiing, is the most popular discipline since it incorporates all skill and age levels. These skiers ski wide expanses of snow covered land which requires and builds physical endurance, so they choose skis that attach at the toe of the boot. Alpine skiing, which is also called back country or downhill skiing, involves skiing downhill at a considerable speed. The sport generally involves slalom racing, but most ski resorts in colder climates offer trails for recreation. Alpine skiers choose skis that attach at the heel and the toe of the boot.