As I was walking around the London Ski Show last week, looking at the various skis on display I couldn’t help but marvel at the choice these days. There are now so many different types of skis to choose from and some of them like the new Salomon BBR look more like a surfboard than a ski! With my experience skiing for so many years in different conditions and all around the world, I knew what I wanted, but I saw a number of faces around me looking from ski to ski wondering where to begin!
So, I decided to write about what you should keep in mind when buying skis.
The key to having a great time on your heliskiing adventure is to make sure that your equipment is best suited to your style of skiing so that you are left free to concentrate on enjoying yourself! Having the right pair of skis is naturally one of the most important steps. If your skis suit you, they feel more like an extension of your body and assist you to ski the best you can. On the contrary, the wrong pair can seem like you are trying to fight your way downhill!
Here are a few pointers to identify the right type of skis for you:
Know your limits:
Probably the most important element of buying the right skis, is knowing your skiing ability. Buying a ski that is not right for you will seriously hamper your skiing experience and also prevent you from developing your skiing ability.
Beginner and intermediate skis allow you to turn at lower speeds and demand lesser technique while skis for experienced skiers need to be used at higher speeds to ski effectively to give you the feedback you will be seeking, and need a reasonable understanding of skiing technique.
Size does matter:
Choose your ski size carefully. Shorter skis tend to provide you with more stability, ease of steering and are lightweight. These days, as you probably know, powder and carving skis are skied way shorter than in the past. Longer skis give you more speed and are stable over different terrains, with twin-tip or rocker skis now on the market, people are starting to buy longer skis again as a fair proportion of these skis are off the snow when you ski.
Fit your ski to the way you shape your turns:
Your skiing style goes a long way in determining your ideal ski shape. If you like to go on long zig-zagging runs, you need to be equipped with a ski that can handle the speeds you may reach at with these. Skis with prominent sidecuts are recommended for carving runs.
If you plan to ski on different terrains, you need to pick skis that will support you equally well on all of them. And if you like to do tight radius turns, then you equally need to find the ski that can maintain that tight control. Of course, especially if you are a very advanced skier, you may wish to own a few pairs of skis. I personally own a few pairs including own an all mountain pair, powder skis, touring skis, and telemarks.
As you can see buying skis is no small matter, so work out your skiing ability, desired length and key skiing style you are buying them for before you step into the shop and talk to the people there. Chances are they can help you choose the right ski for you better than anyone else! Total Heliski’s retail partner in the UK, Ellis Brigham stock a whole range of skis and they are more than willing to help out our heli skiers friends and clients.