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Before choosing your skis, you should ask yourself some serious questions and above all establish some fundamentals!
5 things to bear in mind: shovel, rocker, waist, tail, camber.
The shovel, this affects your ski’s handling. The wider it is, the easier it will be off -piste.
The rocker (the upward turn of the shovel): the more it is accentuated, the easier the ski will be to turn in deep snow.
The waist, if it is wider than 85mm, quite wide, it will be suitable for off-piste skiing. If it is narrower than 85mm, it will be better suited to the piste and more responsive when changing from edge to edge.
The tail, if it is wide you will be more stable. If it is a twin-tip it is suitable for freestyle and landing backwards. If it is flat (or «without rocker», as we say in skier jargon), you will have more control and better handling on the piste. If, on the other hand, it is «with rocker », you will have a more all-round ski.
The camber, (last awful word, promise) is the curve of the «unweighted » ski, or the ski without bindings or a skier.
Just as a raclette can’t be made with any sort of cheese, each type of skiing has its own type of ski.
Piste: as the name suggests, it’s for the piste. No secret so far. Wider shovels but a narrower waist, they are more responsive to your movements.
The wider the tail, the greater the grip on hard snow but the ski is less forgiving.
Up to 80 mm wide at the waist.
All-round: « all mountain » for the initiated, these are proper little chameleons, with «access all areas» passes. From powder to hard snow via soft snow, they adapt to all terrains. If you’re one of those skiers who like to move from off-piste to elegant, wide turns on the boulevards, these skis are made for you!
From 78 to 90 mm at the waist.
Freeride: for powder lovers, off-piste regulars. Longer shovels and a broader waist, they allow for more fluid and graceful riding in the powder or in heavier snow.
From 90 to 120 mm at the waist.
Freestyle: these are for snowpark freaks, hooked on two-way skiing.
Twin tails essential and bindings mounted more centrally on the ski to facilitate turning.
From 80 to 85 mm at the waist.
Once again, it all depends on your height and your skiing ability. For piste, all-round and freestyle skis, skis between 5 and 10 cm less than your height are recommended. For our freeride buddies, it’s better to choose a ski your own height or even a bit longer.
There, you can go to bed less ignorant and tomorrow you can brag to your office colleagues about your freeride skis with their 90 cm waist.