Since the triumph of the rocker ski a few years ago, new model series have been developed for the most diverse skier needs. In the meantime, the ski industry has developed its own model range for every skier’s need. Depending on the radius, edge grip or ratio of piste to deep snow runs, skis are categorised according to various models. With this variety of ski models, it can be difficult to keep track and make the right choice. What do I have to pay attention to when buying skis? SnowTrex gives an overview of the ski models.
Ski models at a glance
|Allround carvers||Beginners & leisure skiers||Piste|
|All-mountain skis||All types, particularly for good skiers with occasional off-piste runs||Piste & Terrain/Off-Piste|
|Slalom carvers||Experienced skiers with precise technique||Piste|
|Lady skis||Specifically for female skiers||Piste & Terrain/Off-Piste|
|Race carvers||Extremely sporty skiers||Piste|
|Freeride carvers||Deep snow & terrain skiers||Terrain/Off-Piste|
|Freestyle skis||Snow park & ski trick fans||Piste & Snow Park|
|Touring skis||Ski tourers||Terrain/Off-Piste|
1. Allround carvers
For beginners and leisure skiers!
The Allrounder is a standard ski, which is suitable for beginners and leisure skiers. With its soft shape, this model allows you to make slippery and carved turns. Allrounders are easy to turn, have a relatively low weight and forgive skiing errors. Another argument for the popularity of this model when buying skis is the price, which on average is significantly lower than that of the more specific models. The middle widths of the Allrounder are between 72 and 76 mm, the ski length should be about the body height minus 10 to 20 cm.
2. All-mountain skis
For good piste skiers who also take a quick detours into the terrain!
The name says it all: All-mountain skis are at home everywhere. You can ski on relatively hard slopes with a good grip edge, but also in powdery deep snow due to the softer core. Its medium width of plus/minus 85 mm is wider than that of the Allrounder, but still allows for smooth slope carving. The most common all-mountain skis are designed for a range of 70% slope and 30% terrain. With the “Performance” and “Free” lines, there are also even more extreme models, which focus more on on-piste and off-piste.
3. Slalom carvers
For experienced skiers who have mastered a precise skiing technique and are fast on hard slopes!
With these sharp skis, skiing fanatics can race along hot edges. Slalom carvers are lively skis designed for tight turns with high frequency. With a waist of 63 mm, they have a radius of 12 to 13 m. Slalom models are the only skis that are partly built without rocker, i.e. without negative pre-tension, which is why they can be ridden shorter. The rule of thumb for the length is body height minus 20 cm.
4. Lady skis
For sporty women with all kinds of requirements!
Almost all ski types are also available in the women’s version. The women’s models have the same characteristics as the men’s models, but are adapted to the female stature, i.e. built with different materials and are lighter overall. In addition, the binding sits a little further forward in order to keep control of the ski, even with a lower weight and height. For women’s skis, design and appearance are also very important. The best length for Lady models, depending on weight and skiing ability, is approximately +/- 5 cm.
5. Race carvers
For sporty racers who are looking for a track-true ski!
The sporty upgrade of the slalom is the giant slalom ski. These long skis are true World Cup skis and with an even larger radius, harder flex and razor-sharp edge grip, they are primarily designed for professionals. They require not only enormous strength in the legs, but also a lot of space on the piste because the dynamic swings at high speed reach radii of up to 20 meters. The recommended length is approximately the same as your body size.
6. Freeride carvers
For experienced deep-snow fans and secure off-piste skiers!
The widest skis are the freeride models. After all, they have to float up well in deep snow and offer stability. Their centre can be up to 130 mm wide, while with shovel and tail up to 50% of the ski is bent up. Due to the strong rocker and the wide contact area, these skis have a wonderful lift in deep snow. The waist is not very pronounced, but the ski itself is very heavy. Therefore, strong legs and a good skiing technique in the terrain are indispensable. The rule of thumb for the correct length is up to 5 cm above your own height, always depending on your body weight and skiing ability.
7. Freestyle skis
For playful freestylers and snow park riders!
Freestyle skis are trick skis that enable playful skiing in the snow park and on the slopes. Their special feature is the so-called twin-tip, where the tip and end of the ski are bent up similarly, in some models even identically. There is practically no difference between the front and rear, so that you can, for example, ride backwards easily. The models are very easy to turn, but at the same time very torsionally stiff to withstand the pressure of jumps and tricks in the park. All in all, they are very lively skis, which are ridden with shorter lengths of about 5 cm minus body height.
8. Touring skis
For the nature-loving deep-snow skiers!
Touring skis must meet various requirements both for steep climbs and for the subsequent downhill run. They should be relatively light for the ascent, which is why they are made of special materials and sometimes have minimalist binding systems. As they have to remain controllable in the terrain despite their lightness during the descent, they often have wide mids and rocker constructions. Depending on the requirements, there are tourers that are specially designed for ascents or primarily for safe descents. This should be taken into account when buying skis, as the recommended length varies accordingly.
After the purchase comes the care
Those who own their own skis should always take good care of them. SnowTrex has some tips on how to wax and care for your skis. So, after buying your skis, don’t forget: your own skis also need to be cared for!