How to Choose Skis

How to Choose Skis
Choosing the right skis to suit your needs can be a cumbersome task if you don't know what to look for. Many of us make several trips to the local ski shop attempting to select the right skis, only to find that we are more confused than before we started looking. Buying the right or wrong skis can make or break the season. Here are some ways to help you choose skis that best fit your body and skiing style.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Select a ski that suits your ability level. If you are a novice skier, you will want a ski that is soft and short. If you are a seasoned veteran who spends all day on the steepest terrain, select a ski that is stiff and stable at high speeds.
Step 2
Pick a ski that is designed for the type of skiing you plan to do. If you spend most days in the race course, decide whether you need GS, Slalom or downhill skis. All-mountain skis are made for skiing in many diverse conditions and are an appropriate choice if you like diversity and ski the whole mountain.
Step 3
Choose a ski length that is appropriate for your height. Place the ski upright and note where the ski ends. As a rule of thumb, the tip of the ski should be between your chin and nose. When determining the proper ski length, remember that a longer ski will be more stable and a shorter ski will turn quicker.
Step 4
Select the right sidecut for your needs. Sidecut dictates how fast or slow a ski will turn. If you like shorter slalom turns select a narrow waist. For stable skis at faster speeds choose a wider waist. If you like to jump in the terrain park, a relatively straight ski works wonders.
Step 5
Demo skis before you buy them. Many ski shops and ski resorts offer "demo days." These are days when you can take multiple pairs of skis and try them throughout the day. A ski shop may have a season-long demo program that allows you to try certain brands before you buy them.

Article Written By Rob Holzman

Based in the Pacific Northwest, Rob Holzman has been writing outdoor articles since 1997. He recently published the first comprehensive rock climbing guidebook for Pennsylvania and has fiction work published in the "Pacific Northwest Inlander". Holzman has also appeared on FOX television and has been an outdoor consultant for the Discovery Channel.

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