Skiing has come a long way since the inceptions of the sport. Skis used to be mostly one size fits all, with large wooden straight skis. These skis were adapted from the earliest models that were mainly used as a mode of transportation in harsh winter climates. In order to get to the level of skiing that exists today many advancements in the technology and even appearance of ski equipment had to take place.
Today there are a wide variety of skis to choose from, and frankly the decision can be a little overwhelming if you aren’t experienced with all the variations in ski type. I hope this article will help make your decision a little easier and have a deeper understanding of which type of ski will be right for you.
When it comes to experience level it’s important that you know you preferred style of skiing. For instance, if you’re a beginner you don’t want to end up buying the wrong type of ski for you. Usually, you’ll want to rent first and experiment with ski styles until you find the perfect fit.
Different Gender Categories
Most skis are broken down by men, women, and children. This has to do with the differences in size of muscle and body mass. Children’s skis as a whole are much smaller and lighter. While most women’s skis usually have a shorter tip to keep the boots closer together.
Skis According To Purpose
Beyond the initial categorical distinctions skis are further broken down by their use and purpose on the mountain. Note the numbers below don’t signify a ranking of ski types. When choosing the style of ski that’s best for you make sure you choose based upon the width, stiffness and shape.
1. All-Round Skis
All-round skis are usually the most common type of skis. These offer the user a little bit of everything and are very flexible.
All-Round skis that have a thicker waist and a larger surface area tend to do better on groomed runs. While All-Round skis that have a thinner waste and smaller radius can sink more easily in deeper snow.
If you’re looking for a ski that is good for ice and harder runs, then go with a heavier and harder ski.
2. All-Mountain Skis
All-Mountain skis are generally designed for asking in softer snow, as they have a greater surface area and radius than the All-Round type of skis. However, this type of ski is also considered to be a “good for many conditions” type of ski.
3. Junior Skis
Junior skis are designed with the younger rider in mind. Most of the junior skis are racing models, so the skis can handle very light weights. Younger skiers that are more aggressive wouldn’t be well suited for the race model junior skis.
4. Freeride Skis
Freeride skis allow the rider much more freedom. These skis are well-suited for big mountain riding, powder and off the groomers riding. These skis have a very low stiffness and let you experience the pleasure of carving through deep snow.
5. Park Skis
Park skis have been growing in popularity in recent years. Especially, among the younger generation of skiers. These skis are engineered specifically for skiing in freestyle parks.
6. Cross Skis
Cross skis are a blend between competition oriented skis and All-Mountain skis. These skis are also more universal in nature. However, cross skis are a little more demanding than their All-Mountain and All-Round counterparts.
7. Race Skis
Race skis are specifically designed for the steep and hard slopes that have been crafted for competitions. There are also Slalom skis that are designed for slalom racing. These skis usually have a very small radius and are very long.
8. Cross Country Skis
Lastly, there are Cross Country skis. These skis are for a very specific style of skiing. Cross country skiing is usually seen as an alternative to downhill skiing.
Overall, when you’re selecting the type of skis that’s right for you it’s a good idea to consult with a ski and boot fitting professional.