Skiing is one of the most popular winter sports. Every year millions of people hit the slopes for some fresh air and fun, and every year more people discover the joys of skiing. Because it is an equipment oriented sport, however, those without the proper ski gear, new or old, may get frustrated and discouraged. This article will guide you in selecting the best equipment for your level and style of skiing.
New skis are arguably the single most important piece of ski equipment. Choosing the right pair of skis for your level and skiing style will help you get the most enjoyment out of your skiing time. Your skiing ability is the single most important factor in choosing a pair of skis. Beginners and intermediate level skiers need skis that can be easily manoeuvred and experts require more specialized skis. The variables in choosing a pair of new skis include materials, type, length, shape, and stiffness.
Skis were originally made of wood, but very little wood is used in modern skis. The most common materials are fibreglass and aluminum. Other more exotic materials like Kevlar, titanium, carbon, and boron fibres are also used. New skis these days are often made from a variety of materials to provide various degrees of flexibility and strength in the different parts of the ski. The core of the ski can be made of wood, foam or some other material. The tops and sides are usually made of fibreglass or aluminum. The base of the ski is a synthetic polyethylene edged with steel.
Skis are designed for different types of skiing. For example, cross country skis are longer and thinner than downhill skis because they are made for gliding along straight paths rather than making quick turns down a hill. But there are more than just two types of skis alpine (downhill) skis come in a variety of shapes and styles depending on whether they will be used for racing, freestyle, powder or packed trails.
Shorter skis are easier to turn. This is why most beginners start off with a pair of short skis. Short skis are also used by certain types of freestyle skiers. Longer skis are faster, so they are used by racers and expert skiers who like the challenge of a fast run. Longer skis are also suitable for a greater variety of snow conditions. The proper length of ski is determined by skiing style, ability, and the weight of the skier.
Skis come in various shapes which are suitable for different types of skiing. For example, skis which are narrow in the boot area are capable of making sharp, fast turns. Skis which are wider in this area offer more stability and will make broader turns. The overall length of the ski when taken into consideration with the various shapes results in skis with a wide range of characteristics.
Stiffness is determined by the materials and shape of a ski. Longer skis are usually stiffer than short ones and are therefore more stable at high speeds. Shorter skis are not as stiff, so they offer greater manoeuvrability at the expense of high speed stability. Knowing your skiing style and level will allow you to choose new skis of the appropriate stiffness.
Find out when you should rent and when you should buy skis.