If you are thinking of buying a new pair of skis for the next season, this is the right time! In many cases, in fact, the prices are lower in the period of least use. The choice of the type of ski may not be so simple, however; the offer is very wide and you must pay attention to some important aspects before proceeding with the purchase.
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SKIS
In most cases, the skis you buy are used for several years and, above all, for the less experienced, it can become very difficult to make a choice precisely because every year new varieties and new brands enter the market.
If you have had a pair of skis for many years entering a sports equipment store you may realize that your beloved skis are now obsolete and that the offer has expanded a lot since you bought yours. If, on the other hand, you are new to the sport and this is your first time buying them, you will understand that your skis are not all the same and that, as a result, a careful evaluation is required.
Let’s see, then, what are the criteria to be evaluated to choose a pair of new skis and how to navigate between the various offerings in the market.
WHAT TO CONSIDER
The questions you should always ask yourself before buying a pair of skis are:
What is the technical level of the skier?
What use will he make of it?
What are your physical characteristics?
THE TECHNICALITY OF THE SKI
The types of skis differ according to the specific characteristics of the equipment, which are: soul and sidecut.
The core is the inner part of the ski and regulates its technicality according to the structural rigidity of the tool, which depends mainly on the materials that make up its core. Mainly composed of wood, injected or composite, the core “tells” us about the rigidity of the ski; a more rigid ski is more technical and performing, while one with a softer structure will be easier and less tiring to use.
The sidecut properly refers to the shape of the ski, which determines the radius of the curve. To clarify, let’s say that the greater the difference in width between the spatula, the centre of the ski and the tail, the smaller the radius of the curve.
CATEGORIES OF SKIS
On the market there are different categories of skis, some more suitable for expert skiers, others for amateurs and others for those who are approaching this sport for the first time, and also the different types differ depending on the use that you make of their skis.
Let’s discover, therefore, how to orient ourselves in the choice and how to choose correctly the type of ski and its measures.
This type of ski is suitable for most skiers, and is the most suitable for beginners. They are easy to handle skis that are effortless to use and can protect you from the gross mistakes typical of inexperienced skiers.
Allround skis have a wide centre that increases stability, balance and adaptability to all types of slopes and snowpack.
To be sure of buying an Allround ski of the right size, it is necessary to take into account the weight and skill of the skier; for the less experienced it will be sufficient to consider a height of 10/15 cm lower than that of the person, for skillful skiers and for those heavier we recommend tools of the same length as the skier or less than 5/10 cm.
Allround skis are suitable for a variety of situations and therefore decidedly versatile; within this category we find performance sports characterized by a soft structure that facilitates the entry into the curve and also the conduction (perfect for skiers in evolution) and high performance, for dynamic and aggressive, with better performance on high speeds (for experienced skiers).
ALL MOUNTAIN SKIING
This tool category is quite similar to the Allround, with the difference that All Mountain skis are wider and generally softer in a dynamic situation, i.e. in deformation. These characteristics make them suitable for use on fresh snow, while at the same time ensuring stability and grip even on compact and hard slopes.
The limit of this type of ski is the rapidity of reversal during rapid edge changes, this is because of their width; wider skis behave better off-piste, more sidewalks adapt better to carving on groomed slopes.
All Mountain skis, like Allround skis, are also divided into: sport performance (novice skiers) and high performance (expert skiers).
In terms of size, it is recommended to buy skis 5/10 cm shorter than the person in the case of inexperienced skiers of the same height of the person up to 5 cm longer for those more technical.
This type of ski is divided into two subcategories: special slalom and giant slalom.
These are skis that guarantee great responsiveness and excellent handling when reversing in narrow radius turns. They are suitable for skiers who prefer a technical style and the ideal size is the same as the height of the person in the case of light skiers and not too aggressive and 5 cm higher for heavier and more aggressive skiers.
These skis are the most suitable for high speeds, provide great stability and excellent edge grip on hard snow; suitable for skiers who prefer wide range turns. The size indicated for light and not very aggressive skiers is the same as the height of the person, for more aggressive and heavier skiers up to 5 cm more.
Within this category there are Freeride and Freestyle.
Freeride skis are very high performance off-road and their characteristics make them ideal on fresh snow; the accentuated length allows greater buoyancy, the wider sidecut that distinguishes the front ensures excellent handling and the smaller one of the rear makes them more stable.
The latest generation of Freeride skis have the so-called “rocker” shape: the tip and tail are raised off the ground to allow for excellent buoyancy. Some Freeride models have a twin tip that allows for off-piste evolutions.
For heavy or experienced skiers the ideal size is up to 10 cm more than the height of the person, for less powerful skiers and for those who need more maneuverability you can decrease the measures.
Freestyle skis have allround characteristics and twin tip shape, they are very easy to handle in a wide variety of situations, they are light and easy to conduct even in evolutions.
When it comes to Freestyle measurements, it is important to evaluate the mounting of the bindings; if mounted in the middle, they make the skis better suited to evolutions in the park; if mounted more towards the tail, they make the skis more stable both off-piste and on groomed slopes. The size varies from the height of the skier up to 5/10 cm less.