How to Choose Freestyle Skis

How to Choose Freestyle Skis
Within the past decade, you have probably noticed some interesting changes at your local ski area. Because of the growing popularity of what is known as new school or freestyle skiing, many resorts are either redesigning or building new terrain parks and super pipes. As such, ski manufacturers are now designing new models of freestyle skis. However, there are so many different models that it's easy to become confused about which type of ski to choose.
Fortunately, freestyle skis all have one thing in common: They are twin-tipped skis. Why two tips? In contrast to traditional alpine skis, which are curved upwards at the tip, but flat at the tail, freestyle skis are curved upwards at both the tip and tail. This enables the skier to ride backwards and perform a variety of tricks. Nonetheless, there are still a variety of different types of freestyle skis. Some are only suitable for the terrain parks, while others are more suitable for powder and the backcountry.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Step 1
Determine whether you need freeride or freestyle skis. Although many people use these terms interchangeably, there is a slight difference between the two. A freeride ski is also a twin tip. However, its fatter waist makes it more suitable for powder. Fortunately, because of its curved tip and tail, it will perform decently in the park. As long as you are not looking for a competition ski, a freeride is a good compromise for anyone who likes the powder and the park, but can only afford one pair of skis.
Step 2
Consider the ski length. While there are no hard and fast rules, shorter freestyle skis provide more agility than longer ones. In general, most jibbers choose a freestyle ski that is a few centimeters shorter than a traditional alpine ski. It's a matter of basic physics. Observe the elementary movement involved in skiing the terrain park. When you get to the top, you need to perform a jump turn to change directions. If your skis are too long, you can easily catch an edge in the process.
Step 3
Opt for a gender-specific ski. Since women usually weigh less than men, women's freestyle models are more flexible.
Step 4
Decide on graphics. Although this should not be the main reason to choose a pair of freestyle skis, great graphics have a wonderful psychological effect. This can be particularly helpful in freestyle competitions.

Tips & Warnings

You can get great deals on freestyle skis at the end of the season. Always demo before you buy.
You can get great deals on freestyle skis at the end of the season.
Always demo before you buy.
Freestyle skis are not for novice skiers.

Article Written By Lisa Mercer

In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.

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