At Skiers Edge we have a staff capable of getting you onto the right ski. Be ready for questions about your techniques, where you ski, how much you ski, and your goals. Answer the questions honestly so the staff can determine what ski is best for your ability, the conditions you like to ski, and where you want your skiing to go.
Once you make an educated decisions about which ski you would like to purchase, we will re-tune, wax and mount your indefinable binding to the ski for NO CHARGE!
How do I pick the correct ski size?
The truth is that there is no magic formula for determining the perfect size ski for every skier. Factors such as height and weight provide an excellent starting point but there are other things to consider. Ski category, snow type, terrain and personal preference are just some of the things to take into account. The general rule is to pick a ski length that is somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. Advanced and expert skiers may choose skis that are slightly longer than head height.
Within your suggested ski size range there are several reasons to choose a shorter or longer ski. A shorter ski will be easier to turn but not as stable as a longer ski. A carving ski with a skinnier waist and a smaller turn radius can be skied at a shorter length than an all-mountain or freeride ski with a larger turn radius and fatter waist width. Rockered skis are easier to pivot between turns and can be skied slightly longer than comparable camber skis.
Reasons to size your skis shorter, closer to your chin:
- You are a beginner or intermediate skier.
- You weigh less than average for your height.
- You like to make short, quick turns and seldom ski fast.
- You want a carving ski with camber and rocker.
Reasons to size your skis longer, closer to the top of your head:
- You are skiing fast and aggressively.
- You weigh more than average for your height.
- You plan to do the majority of your skiing off the trail.
- You plan to ski a twin-tip ski.
- You want a ski that has a lot of rocker.
Different ski brands don’t always measure length in the same way; so it’s possible that a ski size from one brand may be a slightly longer or shorter than the same size in another brand.
Ability level has become somewhat less relevant as ski technology has made it possible for a beginner to ski a much wider variety of skis. Still, there are certainly features that differentiate skis for different ability levels.
Ski Style and Feel
There are many factors that contribute to the way a ski feels and performs. These three elements of ski shape play a big role in determining a ski’s suitability for a given skier.
Ski Waist Width
This is the measurement at a ski’s width at the middle (waist) of the ski, which is usually the narrowest point. Narrower waist widths are quicker edge to edge during turns, while wider waist widths provide better flotation in powder and choppy snow.
You will usually see ski dimensions specified by a 3-number measurement for the tip/waist/tail, like 115/90/107mm. In this example 115mm refers to the tip width, 90mm refers to the waist width, and 107mm refers to the tail width.
Turn radius is the shape of a turn determined by the skis dimensions (tip, waist, and tail width), usually expressed in meters. The narrower a ski’s waist is in relation to its tip and tail, the shorter the turn radius and therefore the deeper the sidecut. A ski with a deep sidecut (short turn radius) will make quicker turns, while a ski with a subtle sidecut (long turn radius) will turn more slowly and is typically more stable at high speeds. Some modern skis combine two or more radii on a single edge.
Type of skiing, intermediate all-mountain
All-mountain, Park & Pipe
Although camber has been around since long before rocker, we classify it as a type of rocker for purposes of simplicity. Rocker is also known as reverse camber, so think of camber as reverse rocker.
This is the traditional profile for skis and snowboards. Camber is a slight upward curve in the middle of a ski or board, with the contact points – where an unweighted ski or board contacts the snow – close to the ends. Camber requires more precise turn initiation and offers superb precision with plenty of power on groomed terrain and harder snow. The rider’s weight puts an even and concentrated pressure on the edge from tip to tail, resulting in increased edge hold and better “pop”. Racers and high level park riders often prefer camber.
Rocker (also called reverse-camber) is just as it sounds – camber turned upside down. All skis and snowboards, rockered or cambered, when put on edge and weighted in a turn achieve reverse-camber. Cambered skis and boards produce more pressure on the snow at the tip and tail since they have to flex further to achieve this curve. The term rocker is borrowed from watersports where rocker is common. Rocker skis and snowboards offer superior float in the soft snow and increased ease of turn initiation with less chance of “catching” an edge. As skis in general get wider, rocker helps keep the new shapes maneuverable for a wider range of skiers. Wide ski and board shapes designed primarily for powder are often rockered.
Rocker/Camber skis pair a traditional cambered profile underfoot with an elongated, early rise tip or tail borrowed from fully rockered skis. More and more all-mountain and big-mountain skis are being built with this profile. Because of its asymmetric shape, this profile does not ski switch as well as other profiles, but if you are looking for an all mountain charger that floats in the fluff without giving up too much hard snow performance, Rocker/Camber is a great choice.
So what is better? The answer: No one profile beats the other and it really comes down to your personal preference. Typically, camber offers better edge hold and stability on hard pack and at high speeds, while rocker offers more float in the powder and a more forgiving ride. Some rocker can be great for beginners because it facilitates easier turn initiation. Advanced riders who like a loose feel may also enjoy riding rockered skis.
You will find that the lines between different types of skis are more and more blurred these days so that many skis fall under more than one category.
As the name suggests, all mountain skis are for skiing the entire mountain. They are designed to handle anything you throw at them including powder, ice, groomers, steeps, heavy snow, and everything in between, but they aren’t necessarily a master of any one terrain or snow type. If you’re only going to own one ski to do it all, this is what you want. That said, all-mountain skis come in a range of shapes and widths to match the specific needs of different skiers. All-mountain skis generally have what we call mid-fat waists that range from 80-110mm. The key is to figure out where you will be spending the majority of your time on the mountain and what type of terrain you like to ski most. Remember, it’s not just about what you ski now but what you aspire to; trust us, today’s skis can help you make leaps in ability that will blow you away.
These skis are for the deep days. If you like to find powder stashes at your local resort, go on backcountry missions for the freshest of fresh or heli ski trips to BC, powder skis are what you need to stay afloat. Skis in the powder category are wide (115 mm or more in the waist) and most often have some form of rocker or early rise plus a relatively soft flex. Some have unique sidecut shapes like inverse sidecut; the tip and tail are not always the widest parts of the ski. Many powder skis today are versatile enough to handle mixed conditions and harder snow.
Big Mountain Skis
Big mountain skis are designed for charging big lines with high speeds and big airs. These skis vary in width from wide, powder-oriented skis for skiing Alaska spines to narrower, mixed condition skis for ripping the beat up headwall at your local mountain. Skis in this category tend to be on the stiffer and heavier side, often with more rocker in the tip and less in the tail.
For those that like the classic feeling of laying a ski over on edge and arcing a perfect turn, carving skis are what you want. These skis have narrower waists and shorter turn radii for edge to edge quickness and responsive turn initiation and exit on groomed runs and hard pack. The beginner-intermediate skis in this category are designed to make learning how to turn as easy as going from pizza to French fries.
Park & Pipe Skis
Park and pipe skis, often called freestyle skis, are for skiers who spend the majority of their time in the terrain park. If jumps, rails, and jibs of all kinds are your thing then check out this category. Though traditionally park and pipe skis have narrower waists with full camber profiles, this category is incorporating more rocker patterns and different shapes. You will almost always find these skis with twin tips as well as other park specific features like thicker, more durable edges, dense extruded bases, and butter zones.
Alpine Touring Skis
Also known as back country skis, alpine touring (AT) skis are designed for going uphill as well as downhill. These skis are typically light for their width and many feature fittings that accept climbing skins. AT skis vary in width and weight, with the wider heavier versions usually used for winter/deep snow touring and the skinnier, lighter skis usually used for spring/summer/long distance touring.
Skis designed specifically for women are typically lighter, softer, and shorter. Women usually have a lower center of gravity and less body mass than men of the same height and therefore exert less leverage and force on their skis. Women’s skis require less force to power and turn; this is accomplished by using thinner, softer cores and less laminate layers in the construction. Also, to tailor the performance to women, mounting positions are often a centimeter or so further forward on these skis. There are plenty of hard charging skis built for women these days and the graphics often feature fewer trucks, skulls and blood than men’s graphics. Of course there is no reason a female skier cannot ski well on a men’s ski, and vice versa.
System skis come with bindings in one convenient package They use a plate or plates that require a specific model of binding. System bindings usually do not come attached to the skis, and you should always have a certified technician adjust your bindings to your boots. System skis give a more uniform flex under the foot for better edge hold on the hard pack.
Skiers Edge also has a variety of different poles. These poles range in sizes, aluminum content and colors. Come see if we have anything that you like!