How to choose the best skis might be an overwhelming question for you, especially if you are a beginner. But, it is not hard as it seems and in this ultimate guide we will show you how to recognize the skis which will fulfill all your needs. In general, there are several things to keep in mind when choosing skis:
- Ski length
- The shape of skis
- Skill level
- The type of slope and snow
We will discuss all these in detail in our ultimate guide, so stick around and read all about it.
How to Choose the Best Ski Length
What size the skis should be? Well, it depends on your height, weight, skill level and your preferences. In general, we recommend the beginners to search for ski length slightly shorter than their height. When you stand next to the upright skis, their end should be somewhere between the top of your head and your chin. You should reevaluate the length of your skis based on several parameters.
If you are an absolute beginner, or you haven’t been on skis for a long time, you should choose shorter skis. With shorter skis you will be able to make quick turns and corrections, and it is more likely that you would avoid falling. Longer skis are faster and harder to steer in general, so it is clear why we don’t recommend them to beginners.
As we already said, the ski length depends on the terrain where you’ll ski as well. If you want to ski on the groomed runs and slopes designed for skiing, you will likely choose 10 cm shorter skis than your height if you are a beginner. In the end, if you are an experienced skier you should choose 5 cm shorter skis than your height, while the professionals can choose the skis of their height, or even slightly longer. If you want to try free ride or powder, off-piste skiing, you should be aware that it is not recommended to beginner skiers. But if you really want to try it, always wear a helmet and ski on the slopes that are not steep. In that case, choose the skis that are 5 cm shorter than you, while professionals should choose the skis at least 5cm longer than their height.
How to Choose a Correct Skis Shape
There are two basic ways of curving the skis, camber and rocker. Skis with camber arch are the widest in the middle, while rocker cut is a reverse-camber, and those skis are the widest on their ends. Beginners probably wouldn’t spot a difference. It is the easiest to see these shapes when there is no weight on the ski. You can even use a combination of the two, which results in a moustache shape.
Skis with camber generally have softer flex. Softer flex means that the boots on the skis are more comfortable and warm. We recommend these skis to beginners, on an easy groomed blue slopes.
Skis with rocker are recommended to more experienced skiers and for powder skiing. They are giving you more float than camber skis, but on the harder snow you will lose turning ability, because the edge is in a lesser contact with the snow.
Combined type gives some from both worlds, especially maneuverability, since they often feel like a shorter ski, because of its shape.
How to Choose the Best Skis for Beginners
If you just started skiing, you probably don’t know anything about skis, right? You’ll just take the first skis they offer you. If you are taking classes from an instructor, he should know which skis are suitable for you, but it is not hard to decide on your own. Basically, you should always go for shorter and wider skis, because you will have better control, less speed, which means less falling. Of course, it depends where you are skiing, but we already covered that in the first part of the guide.
Slightly more experienced, intermediate skiers are probably getting bored on blue slopes. They are starting to explore red and even black runs, so they need a different set of ski traits. Usually, they need slightly stiffer skis than beginners, and they usually go for camber and rocker combinations, depending on the slope and terrain.
Experienced skiers can use every ski which suits their skiing style. In general, they need narrower, carbon skis for a smooth ride at higher speeds. Also, their skis are usually very stiff when compared to beginner.
Choosing skis for each snow and slope type
There are many different snow and slope types. You always want to match the skis with the conditions. If you are skiing mostly on groomed slopes, you should go for camber in most of the cases. Adjust stiffness and length of the skis depending on your experience and you are good to go!
For mixed conditions, you should go for all-mountain skis, because they are covering all. You can go from powder to ice with no sweat, and you should use a camber-rocker combo. These skis should be slightly shorter than the previous type, to accommodate the conditions.
Skiing on powder requires floating skis, built specifically for an off-piste terrain. Those skis are longer and narrower than the regular.
When choosing skis, you have to pay attention on details. Even if you are an absolute beginner, you should try to pick the best pair for you. By doing so, you will fall in love with this sport and start the ride of your life.