Picking the right ski can be daunting. There are a million skis and even more “technologies” out there. Digging through it all can feel like an endless task. I sometimes even have trouble trying to make sense of it all, and I of all people should know my way around — I own a ski company.
Picking a ski is an important decision that will affect how your winter will play out. Choosing the right ski means a more enjoyable time on the slopes, whether you’re on your once-a-year ski trip or out on the hill almost every day.
I’ll be the first one to tell you to go out and look at other brands, which you absolutely should. But, after talking with literally thousands of people, I know a thing or two about picking the right ski — and more importantly, not choosing the wrong one.
To pick the right ski for you, here are the things to consider.
Factors to Consider:
There are 5 things you need to consider when picking out a ski. Remember, these are aspects that you need to evaluate — not your buddy who tells you stuff. Sure, take it all into consideration, but at the end of the day, you call the shots.
- Length – Of all ski attributes, length is the most straightforward.
- Ski Profile – Enter the ski construction trifecta: camber, rocker, and sidecut. When we design skis, these 3 elements dictate a vast amount of a ski’s performance and feel on snow.
- Waist Width – Width is subjective, but if you know what terrain you like to ski, you can zero in on an ideal width range.
- Stiffness/Flex – There’s no golden rule with stiffness, but there are some north stars that can point us in the right direction.
- Weight – The weight of a ski can definitely have an affect on your skiing, but don’t let it have the final say in what you pick.
Factors Not to Consider
Just as important are the things that you should not consider when picking a ski. With so many things to think about, I would worry about these the least.
- Quality – The reality is that a company that makes bad quality skis goes out of business.
- Brand – Every brand is constantly evolving, and guess what? The designer at your favorite ski brand probably whipped up another pair for a competitor.
- Technology – As an engineer, I love a good technology. The trouble is, most of the ones out there are bad.