How to Choose Downhill Skis

Last updated 05. February 2020

Buying downhill skis is an important part of being a skier.

You have to look at a variety of details before coming up with an ideal purchase. Here are the main tips from skiing experts when it comes to buying new downhill skis.

Skiing Experts Main Tips When Buying Downhill Skis

1) Know the Terrain

Begin with the terrain.

You want to know where the skis are going to be used. Are you going to be on a trail? In the woods? In open spaces? It’s important to find skis suited to where you will be riding.

For example, one option that might pop up would be a “backcountry” terrain where you don’t have clean trails, snowcats, lifts, or even lodges. You are essentially going to be out in the wilderness moving from place to place with your skis. This makes it important to find something that can manage an uneven terrain. While others may end up going to an alpine terrain, where you have groomed trails that vary in difficulty.

2) Find the Right Size and Fit

It is easy to find perfectly fitting ski gloves. But you have to think hard about the fitting of your skis before making a purchase.

According to experts, you should be looking to grab the downhill skis, stand them up vertically, and see where they line up in relation to your face. The best option is going to be one that is close to the eyes. Of course, there are times where you will want to go with something longer but that is not the case in alpine resorts. Stick to this rule as a beginner and you will be well on your way to a great pair of skis.

If you can’t find the right size, it’s better to go a bit shorter as those are easier to control for beginners. Remember, more length equals more speeds as you are able to get more leverage as you move downhill.

3) Know Your Skiing Style

Each person is going to have a unique skiing style and that is going to play a role in their choice. You want to know what your skiing style is like and make the purchase in line with this particular variable. Professionals know what they want but it takes a bit of time as a beginner to nail this part down.

Most people should be going with a traditional alpine set that is going to work well at an alpine resort. This is where beginners go as they look to enjoy a good slope and have fun at the same time.

You can also purchase backcountry skis, which are going to be designed to handle the rigorous nature of wooded areas and unmarked trails. If that is your style then it is best to get something able to handle those bumps along the way. Otherwise, you are going to fall flat on your face!

For individuals that are going to be completing jumps (not recommended for novices), you are going to want something that is lightweight and easier to jump with. These specific skis are designed for the purposes of doing tricks, so you will want to keep this in mind. The same applies to those who want to enjoy freeriding skis, which can make it simpler to launch upwards without getting stuck in the snow.

Keep your skiing style in mind while making a decision.

4) Find the Right Type

The final tip is to find the right type because each person will want something different. It’s not just about the skiing style or size. You also want something that is the right type.

For example, you may want something that is able to adjust in all situations such as an all-mountain ski set. This will have good edges and make it easy to turn on most powder runs. While, some may want to go with an all-mountain wide set, which is going to work well in backcountry setups. The beauty of this option is knowing you can play around with different terrains and still have a good time with the skis.

If you are going to be heading out for a simple powder run then it’s time to find powder skis. These are ideal for those riding on powdery snow because they’re designed to handle such terrains. Of course, they won’t do well in any other situation!

A lot of people want to go with a lighter set in comparison to what’s used at alpine resorts. This is where a backcountry ski set can help manage a variety of situations without breaking a sweat.

The final type that is available on the open market would be a twin tip ski set. This is going to be used by those who need something lightweight that has a good “lift off” when it comes to upwards acceleration. If you want to nail jumps, you need this feature. Otherwise, you are going to fall or get trapped as you go up the hill.

These tips should go a long way in choosing an ideal pair of skis.

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