How to Buy Downhill Skis for Women

How to Buy Downhill Skis for Women
Female-specific alpine skis are lighter and more flexible than the unisex models. The bindings are often mounted in a forward position to accommodate a woman's lower center of gravity. These modifications do not make them easier skis. Female-specific models for every level of proficiency can be purchased online or at a local ski shop. Selecting the right ski involves an accurate assessment of your abilities with the help of a professional instructor.


Difficulty: Moderately Challenging

Things You’ll Need:
  • Ski boots
Step 1
Enroll in a two-day female specific ski clinic that offers video analysis. At lunchtime on the first day, ask your instructor to determine your ski level.
Step 2
Choose a few women's ski models, which, according to your instructor's assessment, are suitable for your level. Novices, who ski at slow speeds, should look for a lighter, more flexible ski. Women who are learning to carve should look at skis with deeper sidecuts, meaning that the waist is smaller, and the tip and tail are wider. If you're already a proficient carver, and want to begin exploring powder, try a midfat, which will have a 75 to 85-millimeter waist. Recreational racers should look for a stiffer ski.
Step 3
Find a ski shop that allows you to subtract the cost of demoing from the price of purchase. Select three models that are appropriate for your level, and arrange to demo them during your clinic. Choose the models that come with an integrated binding system. They will already have a female-specific forward mounted binding system.
Step 4
Use your skis on the first afternoon of your ski class. Watch the video, and evaluate your skills. Ask your instructor for feedback. Demo the other two skis on the second morning and second afternoon. Compare the feedback.
Step 5
Evaluate your instructor's feedback. If she tells you that you are "in the backseat," which is a common problem amongst female skiers, the ski may be too long. Carving difficulties may indicate that the ski is too stiff. Problems with bumps or powder may mean that the ski has too much sidecut.
Step 6
Select the ski that helped you exceed your technical limitations. Compare the price of the discount offered for demoing against the price offered by online discount outlets.

Tips & Warnings

Boots are actually the most important piece of equipment, and should be purchased before your skis.
The Ski Diva is a women's ski forum, which features reviews of women's skis
Read the ski reviews in Ski and Skiing Magazine
If you are new to skiing, but plan to take many lessons, do not purchase beginner skis. You will quickly outgrow them.

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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