How to Select Snow Skis

How to Select Snow Skis
If you're an avid skier, one of the best investments you can make is your own pair of skis. Owning skis not only saves you thousands of dollars in rental fees, it can also save you valuable time at the resort and will help you become a better skier in less time than renting a different pair of skis each time you ski. But how do you decide which ski is right for you?

The secret to buying the best pair of skis for your ability and skiing style is to begin by doing a little research. Taking a few minutes to ask the right questions and read what other people have to say about skis will help you to become an informed shopper.
 

Instructions

Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Selection of skis at a ski shop
  • Access to the Internet
  • Ski reviews
  • Notebook
  • Pen
 
Step 1
Visit your local ski shop and speak with one of the sales associates about the differences between the various types. Learn the differences between freestyle, freeride, all-mountain and powder skis. Each type of ski has a unique application that may or may not fit your needs. Take lots of notes from your discussion.
Step 2
Research skis on the Internet using the information that you collected at the ski shop. Read the most recent ski reviews in Ski and Skiing Magazine and narrow down your choices to several specific manufacturers, models and lengths. Try to match the skis' application to the way you like to ski. For instance, if you enjoy spending time on intermediate groomers, opt for some of the all-mountain or expert skis.
Step 3
Identify what the most important features are in a ski. What are the features that you absolutely can't live without? What are bells and whistles that are not important? For instance, if you like to ski powder or off-piste (backcountry), you'll need a fat or super-fat ski -- a narrow ski won't fit your needs. If you're shopping for a ski/binding system, you'll have fewer choices.
Step 4
Rent or demonstrate the top three skis of your choice the next time you go skiing. Experiment with different lengths and models by the same manufacturer. Shoot for consistency by skiing the same runs with different skis and takes notes about what you like or dislike about each ski.
Step 5
Choose one or two skis based on your research and start looking for the sales. Most ski shops are anxious to liquidate this year's inventory of skis to make room for next, so see if you can get a deal. Try contacting manufacturers directly or get in touch with their ski reps. Oftentimes, they'll have skis in stock that they'll sell at huge discounts.
 

Tips & Warnings

 
Do your research before you buy. Read the customer reviews for the skis that interest you. Look at what the ski instructors are skiing on.
 
Do your research before you buy.
 
Read the customer reviews for the skis that interest you.
 
Look at what the ski instructors are skiing on.
 
Be wary of deals that are too good to be true. Always test drive skis before you buy them. Avoid buying demo skis from rental shops.
 
Be wary of deals that are too good to be true.
 
Always test drive skis before you buy them.
 
Avoid buying demo skis from rental shops.

Resources

Article Written By Allen Smith

Allen Smith is an award-winning freelance writer living in Vail, Colo. He writes about health, fitness and outdoor sports. Smith has a master's degree in exercise physiology and an exercise specialist certification with the American College of Sports Medicine at San Diego State University.

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