How to Pick Ski Equipment

How to Pick Ski Equipment
The dizzying array of gear on the market for alpine skiers can make choosing equipment a daunting task, but a few strategies can greatly simplify the process. Having your own gear can significantly improve your skiing, as rental gear is often ill-fitted and ill-chosen. While the initial investment might seem steep, over several years of use, even if you are just skiing a few times per season, it will more than pay for itself.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Buying Equipment

Things You’ll Need:
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Custom insole or orthotic
Step 1
Create a budget for how much you can spend overall on skis, boots, bindings and poles. While skis are the flashy purchase, you will get far better performance results if you devote 50 percent of the budget to boots.
Step 2
Find a store that has a good bootfitter who can customize the boots to the shape of your feet, doing additional work like punching out the shell and molding the liner boot to your feet.
Step 3
Determine your current ability and the level you want to be. Expert skiers need beefier gear to withstand high speeds and forces, and recreational skiers and park and pipe skiers often prefer softer flexing skis and boots.
Step 4
Try on many pairs of boots at different flex indexes to figure out what flex best serves your needs, then take the boots out to demo them before buying. Wear a custom insole or orthotic when trying out boots.
Step 5
Choose skis that will match your needs. Slalom skiers and recreational skiers prefer shorter skis that make turning easier, and expert skiers and powder skiers prefer longer skis that will be stable at speed and float well in deep snow. Hardcore skiers often get multiple pairs of skis for different types of skiing.
Step 6
Measure the length of your ski poles by flipping them upside down. Your elbow should form a 90 degree angle with the pole touching the ground and your hand gripping the pole under the basket.
Step 7
If you want to ski in the backcountry at all, buy adjustable length poles.
Step 8
Choose goggles that have switchable lens options so that you can use darker lenses on sunny days and clearer lenses at night or on cloudy days.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

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