Which Snow Ski Is Right For Me?
- Posted on
- By Brad Nelson
- Posted in Best Skis For You, How To Select Skis
Let's talk about skis, which one is right for you?
There's just over 1500 different models of skis in the ski industry and it's almost mind-numbing trying to read about these, look at the ski tests and figure out what to purchase. People come into the store and they look at skis and the central question is which ski is right for me?
We've displayed skis in our store by groups rather than by brands
We group them by categories or what we feel most represent the skier types that we see in the store. The categories would be (1) groomed snow skiers, (2) all-mountain skiers and (3) backside skiers.
The profile of a groomed snow skier is pretty much a waist width that is under 80 millimeters wide so there these are narrower skis. One thing to keep in mind is that with a narrower ski, getting from one edge to the other edge happens pretty quickly. With wider skis, getting from edge to this edge doesn't happen as fast. If you're a person that likes a shorter radius turn whether it's at Afton or Wild Mountain or it's at Vail and Big Mountain (out west) you're gonna like skis that are narrower through the waist of the ski.
The "all mountain skier" category goes anywhere from about 80 millimeters up to about 95 millimeters wide at the waist
These skis have changed more than just about anything in the industry in recent years. When this type of ski first came out they were more straight cut. They were designed for softer snow conditions. Today, the vendors have put side cut shapes on these skis and that makes them work at all of the groomed areas. They're also going to work in other types of snow like crud or mashed potatoes or cut-up conditions or whatever you might find if you get out west and do a fair amount of skiing out there. If you're looking for an all-around category I would look in this 80 to 95 millimeter category that have turn shapes or turn radiuses of about 15 to 17 meter turn radius.
The last category is the wider or "fat" category
This is the category that started the whole thing with the turn radius changing. These skis are anywhere from 90 95 up to 110 millimeters wide. They're real fat through the waist area. They are wide through the waist so they're not as quick turning on the groomed conditions since it takes longer to get from one edge to the other edge of the ski in a turn. But man oh man when you get them into broken crud snow they are a dream to ski it's like being on combo water skis, you ride high in the snow, you don't struggle, everything works great. If you're primarily a Western skier and you're going to be in snow that is broken and deep, this is a great category for you. It's why you see so many local skiing on skis like this. This trend was started by the Rossignol soul 7 skis several years ago.