This article was originally published here.
There are three key things to consider when you’re choosing your skis: where you’ll be skiing and the type of skiing you’ll be doing, your skill level, and your body shape.
Do you like carving nice turns on the ski slopes? If so, then we recommend downhill skis. Fairly narrow, these skis give you more responsiveness from one turn to the next, as well as good traction.
If you’re just as happy on-piste as at the edges of groomed slopes, and love having fun with the way the slope undulates, choose all-mountain skis. They’re fairly wide (between 75 and 85mm) with a fairly long tip and a slight rocker that makes them a really versatile pick that’s easy to handle no matter the quality of the snow.
Prefer powder? Then it's a pair of freeride skis you need. They’re very wide (over 85mm) and have a rocker at the front and/or rear, so they float smoothly on powder snow while being manoeuvrable.
Finally, if you prefer terrain parks, doing jumps and trying new tricks, choose freestyle skis, which have double tips, and are light and strong for easy handling.
Level 1: Beginner
You’re a beginner if it’s your first time, of course, but in the skiing world, a beginner is someone who wants to progress but doesn’t want to tackle the tougher trails or slopes just yet. When you’re choosing your skis, make sure they’re beginner friendly. On our website you’ll see it called out in the description, and in store, one our friendly team members will be happy to help.
Level 2: Advanced
Advanced skiers are comfortable on green to red slopes and most snow types. You’ve probably mastered skid turns and want to progress onto carving turns, or if you’re already there, perfect your technique. Look out for ‘intermediate’ and ‘advanced’ when you’re shopping for your skis.
Level 3: Expert
You ski fast in all types of snow and on all slopes, and you know perfectly well how to vary the different turns (small radius, wide, carved turns, skid turns). You’ll be able to ski on most skis, but you should look out for designs specifically for expert skiers as they’ll enhance your performance as well as making your session more fun.
The shorter the skis, the more maneuverable they are. That's why beginners should choose shorter skis. Heavier skiers can choose bigger skis.
Generally, if you’re skiing on-piste, you can choose skis that are 5 to 15cm below your height
All-mountain skiers can choose skis that are the same height as them, down to as low as 10cm shorter than them.
Your range is from 5cm shorter than you up to 10cm bigger than you.
Opt for skis that are either your height or between your height and 10cm less.
Your weight will also influence your ability to control your skis. For example, a light skier will find it harder to control and ‘bend’ a rigid ski, so should go for flexible to medium-flex skis. Heavy skiers should choose a medium ski. Rigid skis are only for expert skiers.