When New School skiing, otherwise known as park or freestyle skiing, became popular, proponents began to realize that this highly athletic sport required a completely different type of ski. This type of skiing involves skiing backwards, otherwise known as skiing switch, jumping, riding rails and skiing past obstacles. While basic alpine skis might be sufficient for some of these tricks, those who want to excel in this sport usually end up purchasing twin tip skis.
Twin Tip Skis
Look at a pair of alpine skis. You will notice that they have a curved up front, otherwise known as a tip, and a flat tail. In contrast, twin tips have a curved up tip and tail---thus the name twin tips.
You Can Ski Backwards
Many freestyle tricks involve backwards skiing. However, freestylers are not the only skiers that require this skill. A ski instructor, who wants to observe what his or her students are doing, may also use a pair of twin tips. While it is possible to ski backwards on regular alpine skis, you will need to adjust your technique. This is not necessary with twin tips.
Due to their soft tips and stiffer tail, twin tips provide better float in powder. In fact, there is actually a new line of powder-specific fat twin tip skis.
Since they are narrower underfoot than traditional alpine skis, twin tips can provide sharper movements, which are essential for performing park tricks.
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.