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How to Choose the Right Pair of Skis

[title size=”4″]When looking to buy, rent, or demo skis, there are a few important factors to consider:[/title]

  1. Where do I usually ski when I am on the slopes?
  2. Height, Weight and Ability level.
  3. Do you want a condition specific ski or one ski for all conditions?

Today’s skis are built to perform across a wide range of conditions, from powder and crud to carving on the groomers. One of the largest misconceptions in the ski world today is that having a bigger, wider ski means you have to give up performance and handling. It is the exact opposite. A larger and wider ski will give a skier a wider platform on which to stand thus creating more stability/comfort.

When you hear ski talk you also have to know what we refer to as far as “waist size” or “under foot” width. This width is typically what determines the type of ski you have.

So where do you ski? If you ski groomers 80 percent of the time, you will want a carving ski with a waist of 72 to 82 mm. For an all-mountain skier, the typical size waist these days is 87 to 97 mm. For crud, powder, and off-piste skiing, your ski needs to be anywhere from 98 to 110 mm. Powder and powder only skis are 115 mm to 128 mm.

[title size=”4″]A general rule of thumb for length of skis is as follows:[/title]

Expert – Top of your forehead to same height as you.

Intermediate – Tip of your nose or upper lip.

Beginner – Shoulder for true beginner and bottom of chin for novice/ aspiring.

Wider skis now have two technologies you need to know about: Early Rise and Rocker in the tip of the ski.

Early rise: Early rise in a ski means the actual contact point is further back towards your ski boot. Imagine having a bent ski tip in the good old days. Early rise means that the ski is going to engage later in your turn instead of right away when you pressure the ski. The point of the technology is to allow for the skier to feel their way into the turn instead of the ski hooking up the second it is pressured. Early rise does not mean your turn is softer or less powerful. It means you can enter the turn without the ski hooking up and throwing you off balance.

Rocker Tip: Many people see the big Rocker tip skis and feel it’s too much, and too non-traditional. I can tell you as a professional skier who spent over 10 years building skis with and for ski manufacturers that Rocker tip technology is the best thing to happen to skiing since plastic ski boots. You will ski better and easier because the tips take the brunt of the punishment moguls and crud dish out. The softer, higher tips absorb the energy so your body doesn’t have to. Rocker tips also act like a water ski and get you up on top of the snow versus being stuck under it and feeling like you are fighting the snow and tripping and falling over. This holds true when skiing on groomers after they get skied out and there are push piles of snow on the run.

Twin tips: Twin tip skis are for skiers who want to get funky. You can ski backwards, jump, and land backwards (also known as fakie). The nice thing about twin tip technology is that the trickle down effect has led most ski manufacturers to now place a rounded and turned up tail on skis. This makes the ski release at the end of your turn instead of holding on and digging into the snow. The result is that a skier will not be stuck on your tails as often and this translates to better balance and stronger legs on the ski hill.

Even our beginner/novice rental skis all have early rise technology to make skiing easier and more efficient. The only skis found and made anymore without early rise technology are race skis because racers want to lay the ski over and have an instant power band.

All the skis for rent, demo, and purchase at Fleischer Sport have only the latest and greatest technology for you to enjoy. Our professional staff will make sure we put you on the best ski for the conditions and your ability level. If you have any specific questions, please be sure and ask.