Wintertime is here, and with it comes your favorite winter activities. If you love to ski, you know you must keep your skis in good shape with some proper maintenance. What if it’s time for a new pair? Maybe your pair is worn out from too many trips. Or perhaps you simply want to take advantage of new ski technology that is available. Or maybe you are a beginner and are ready to buy your own pair of skis. Whatever your reason for getting new skis, here are some technical specifications you should know before making a decision:
The most common type of ski is the all-mountain ski. These skis are designed to handle most types of slopes and skier preferences. All-mountain skis are a good choice if you are a beginner. If you like to go off the groomed slopes, and hit the deeper, more powdery stuff, then consider some all-mountain wide skis. They can handle a wider range of conditions than typical all-mountain skis. If you are mainly a backcountry skier, consider getting powder skis, which are specially designed for the deeper snow. If you love do tricks and perform maneuvers with your skis, then you might want to pick up some twin tip or freestyle skis. This type of ski is great if you need more flexibility and are more active. There are also backcountry skis, which work well both in the deep powder as well as on groomed slopes.
Before heading to the sports store, you should have an idea of what your sidecut radius is. This is basically how sharp your turns are. The smaller the sidecut radius number is, the faster you will be able to make turns. Skis have a curve on their sides, this is what determines the sidecut radius. Choose a lower number if you want quick turns. Choose a higher number if you prefer to go faster downhill and need less flexibility.
Generally, the more experience you have with the sport, the longer the ski you want. For kids and teens, shorter is better. You’ll also want to take into account your weight, height and what terrain you will be skiing on. Shorter skis are better for trails with twists, while longer skis will enable wider turns on groomed slopes.
Camber and Rocker
Another consideration is whether you choose a great pair with a camber or rocker. A camber is an arc on the bottom of the ski which provides some spring during skiing, giving you a snapping sensation as you turn. Rocker is the opposite of camber, it provides an opposite arc on the ski, and this is the most typical type you will find.