Frenzy on white powder is a physical activity loved by big and small sportsmen. How to choose skis so that you can enjoy the slopes as much as possible?
Choosing skis – does the type of equipment matter?
Lovers of riding on two boards have been eagerly awaiting the first reports from the mountain regions since the beginning of October, which could indicate that the ski season is about to start. While the first snowfalls in the Tatra Mountains sometimes even occur in the second half of August, year after year you have to wait longer for enough snow to be able to safely ski on the slopes. The warmer the winter, the worse the conditions for skiing, although usually in January the slopes are already full. What, apart from weather conditions, has a direct influence on the comfort and safety of skiing? Properly chosen ski equipment, of course!
It happens quite often that amateurs of skiing on white powder do not have their own equipment. For a short trip out of town they borrow skis from their friends or use the rental services offered by ski resorts. The latter solution is not so bad – an experienced employee of the rental company will help you choose the right equipment for your height or favorite skiing technique. On the other hand, borrowing a random pair of skis from your friends, which will be completely unsuitable for your figure, may result in a visit to the hospital.
Ski equipment – new or used?
If you want to fully enjoy skiing, it is worth thinking about getting the necessary equipment before the season starts. Having your own pair of skis is most beneficial for people who visit ski resorts relatively often. If someone plans to spend a weekend or two on two boards during the whole season, then from the economic point of view it will be more beneficial to rent the equipment.
At this point, there is the immortal question of whether it is more profitable to buy new equipment, or rather to be tempted by a second-hand pair of skis. It is impossible to give a straight answer to such a question, as a lot depends on individual preferences and expectations of each skier. One thing is certain – when buying used equipment, you need to check carefully what condition it is in to avoid unpleasant surprises on the slopes.
What to look for when choosing skis?
There’s no denying that buying new downhill skis is quite a big investment. That is why it is a good idea to find out in advance which elements you should pay particular attention to when selecting your equipment – especially if the skis you have chosen are to last for several seasons. The basic element which plays a crucial role both for the comfort of skiing and for safety is the length of skis which are properly matched to your height. In addition the width of the board, its stiffness and also the shape of the ski are important.
How do I choose the length of my skis?
In the past skis were measured solely in proportion to the skier’s height. Today more variables have to be taken into consideration. Downhill technique also plays an important role. It must be remembered that the longer a ski, the more stable a skier feels on two boards. Short skis, on the other hand, allow for faster turns but increase the risk of uncontrolled tipping on the piste. If you have no experience in this and are buying your first pair of skis, it is worth asking a salesperson at a sports store for advice. He will certainly advise you on the best solution. If this is not possible, you should follow the rule that the optimum ski length is the skier’s height minus 15 centimetres. The length of the skis should also increase in proportion to the skier’s skiing ability.
Does the width of the skis matter?
Anyone who started skiing a good dozen or so years ago certainly has skis which were more or less even along their entire length in their memory (and sometimes also in their cellar). People starting their adventure with skiing had some difficulties with keeping balance on such equipment. Nowadays carving skis are in vogue, which are characterized by a waist – a narrowing at the height of the bindings. This shape of the board makes it easier to control the speed of the descent and allows for smoother entry into turns.
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