Ski: Choosing The Skis That Are Right For You

Beginner, advanced or expert skier – there’s a ski that’s right for everyone! Adapted to the skier’s style and frequency of use, the skis should offer comfort and skiing enjoyment, while ensuring you stay safe as your competence improves.

The criteria to bear in mind are as follows:
– the technical level of the skier
– the use (freestyle, freeride, on-piste, all terrain)
– the skier’s body shape.


The construction of a ski


Useful to know

Choosing skis requires knowledge of certain technical terms relating to the structure of the equipment

Camber

The camber of a ski signifies its camber when “empty”, without the weight of you the skier and/or its bindings: skis have different cambers: very curved or flat, depending on their use and how you want them to perform.

Usually, skis have a standard camber throughout their length, complete with rocker (raised section) at the tip and/or heel, for power and control.

  • Traditional camber
    when the ski is placed on the ground, contact with the snow is at either end – the tip and the heel – but not in the middle, which remains slightly raised up due to its arched shape.

    › Ideal for use on groomed slopes.

  • The reverse camber, or rocker
    the opposite of the traditional camber, the point of contact is in the middle of the ski, with tip and heel raised to give a banana shape.

    › Ideal for freeride use

  • Tip rocker
    the ski has a standard camber, combined with a tip rocker giving excellent control in the turns.

    › Ideal for use on groomed slopes.

  • Tip and heel rocker, or double rocker
    the standard camber combines with a rocker front and rear, for good traction on snow and great floating qualities through powder.

    › Ideal for freeride use

 

Edges

The edges are the metal pieces that run down either side of the base of the skis, allowing them to grip the snow. They require regular grinding so that they continue to cut into the snow. The expression “to catch an edge” implies putting pressure on the non-load-bearing edge, which often results in a fall!


Types of skis

Beginners prefer to stay on-piste, but for advanced and expert skiers, all terrains are possible! Broad or narrow, long or short, there’s a ski for every type of skiing.

  • Downhill skis
    For skiing on groomed slopes, beginners, advanced and expert skiers go for short and fairly narrow skies, supple and stable, offering good reactions: perfect for controlling speed and direction. For exploring and enjoying the mountains, they’re ideal!
  • Versatile skis
    For use on- as well as off-piste, skiers choose versatile skis, broad (around 80mm) with a fairly long tip: good lift on powder and manoeuvrability on-piste guaranteed!
  • Off-piste/freeride skis
    Those who prefer virgin snow and powder go for broad skis (100mm minimum), offering good lift off-piste, with a rocker front and rear for better support and directional control.
  • Freestyle skis
    The skis of choice for the freestyler in the snowpark or on-piste need to offer good handling, whether in the air or on the snow! They must be lightweight to make performing tricks easier, and allow you to travel forwards and backwards with ease, while able to cope with landing jumps. Double-tipped skis are the ones to choose.

 


Sizes

Ski size again depends on what you’ll be using them for, as well as your own size.
For more information, here is a table showing ski sizes based on the different parameters to take into account:

THE ADVANTAGE YOU GET WITH WED’ZE

The shorter the skis, the better the control! Beginners should choose skis 5-10 cm shorter than they are. As for longer skis, they offer better stability but are less manoeuvrable, and therefore for use by experienced skiers.

The stiffer the skis, the more responsive and technical they are! So their use is reserved for advanced to expert skiers who like speed and turns. Supple skis, on the other hand, are perfect for beginners and skiers looking for an easy ride!


Bindings

A binding is made of 2 parts:
– the frontal binding, which holds the front of the boot
– the rear binding, which holds the rear of the boot

The bindings have a spring system that opens and releases in case of a fall, to avoid injury. The bindings are adjusted to suit the skier. Your ability and body shape (height and weight) determine your choice of bindings and their adjustment.
For beginners, it’s recommended to use bindings that are fairly supple to allow them to come off very easily in case of a fall. Experts go for more rigid bindings.

The DIN index shows the binding’s adjustment value:

Beginner skier Intermediate skier Advanced skier Professional skier

 


Ski poles

To complete your choice of skis, don’t forget your poles! Designed to help you with your skiing, they need to be the right size.

To select your poles, they should be turned upside down, held vertically, with your hand placed under the ring to form with the forearm an angle slightly less than 90°.

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