Ski’s – GearGuide


The ski industry is huge and booming, meaning there is a huge variety of skis on offer; there are specialized skis for just about every kind of skiing you can think of, or all-mountain ski’s that will make you feel comfortable in a variety of conditions. And then there are ski’s that are perfect for novices up to ski’ that will meet the challenge of the ambition of advanced riders.

So how do you go by choosing the right ski for you? Our GearGuide covers a number of important points you should know about skis.

Image: Salomon Equipe 8 Skate

There are quite a few different disciplines (riding styles). There are many types of skis. The choice for a ski is very personal and depends on your weight, length, experience and what you want to do. That’s why we really need to pay attention to buying (or renting) skis.


  • Disciplines & ski types
  • Length (Size)
  • Stiffness (Flex)
  • Camber/Rocker

Disciplines & ski types

gearguide-skis-comfort-Nordica-Transfire-78-TI-defDo you prefer to rattle down Buckel pistes, do you especially like off-piste or would you rather cruise down the red or blues? It is wise to check with for yourself where you will use the skis most.

Image: Nordica Transfire 78 TI – Comfort/Piste

The difference between your level and the level for which your skis are meant should be too big. Is this the case? Then you have to get used to your new skis, and that takes time. You will spend less time skiing and improving your technique.

  • Comfort/Piste/Allround
  • All-mountain
  • Off-piste/Freeride
  • Slalom
  • Freestyle

Comfort/Piste/Allround ski’s

These are generally the more flexible skis that ride and run easily. These skis are quite forgiving. Of course, you can also ride and carve at speed. These are perfect skis for the average skier. The skis are both great for the beginner and for the advanced skier.

All-mountain ski’s

gearguide-skis-allmountain-rossignol-experience-98-defDe name says it: whatever you want to do, you will manage on all-mountain skis. Ski, park, and powder are all in play with these skis and therefore it’s no wonder it’s the biggest and most popular category of skiing. Of course, here again, there is a lot of difference in construction and rigidity between the many models but all-mountain skis that fit your own level are a very safe bet.

Image: Rossignol Experience 98 – Allmountain

 Off-piste/freeride ski’s

gearguide-skis-freeride-K2-SideSeth-defBackcountry riding, squeezing down couloirs, making your way through narrow trails, or painting the blue skies with huge powder sprays. Its where skiing becomes poetry in motion. Freeride skis are generally meant for off-piste work and for skiers who love speed and drawing their own line. Because they are often made to be quite stiff or very specific to off-piste riding, this category is not really suitable for a novice skier.

Image: K2 Sideseth – Freeride

Slalom ski’s

gearguide-skis-slalom-Head-Worldcup-i.SL-defRiding a slalom is really for skiers with proper skiing technique and powerful legs. The slalom ski is specially made for specially, groomed, hard packed (icy slopes) and short cut corners. These skis are fitted with a camber profile (more about that later). This means the ski is constantly under great tension. The power you put into a slalom ski, will be driven back to you through this camber tension.

Image: Head Worldcup i.SL – Slalom

Freestyle ski’s

gearguide-skis-freestyle-salomon-suspect-defThese skis are made for use in and fun parks. Ski’s to jump and jib with. Rails and boxes, flatland tricks. They are light and have two ‘tips’ which make jumping, skiing and landing backward easier. These skis often also perform well on piste and bring a lot of flexibility and fun to your riding. Freestyle skis are easier to ride at a shorter length, think about ten centimeters shorter than your body length.

Image: Salomon Suspect – Freestyle

Length (size)


One of the most frequently asked questions is “How long should my skis be?” The length of your skis is mainly determined by the ski discipline, your experience, and weight. Your weight is a good indicator when determining the right length. Your personal preference is also an essential factor. Do you find maneuverability important; then you go for short skis. While longer skis are better for higher speeds.

As a rule of thumb, the ski should reach to your nose or forehead. Experienced skiers will choose skis that are slightly longer than their own length. Sellers or rental places that know their stuff will know which skis are suitable for which weight. It is, therefore, worthwhile to follow the advice of your shop owner – especially when you start.

Stiffness (flex)

Stiffness describes the flexibility of your skis. Ski’s always have two types of “flex”: along the length of nose to tail (longitudinal) and across the width from side to side (torsional flex). The extent of this flex, so how easy or difficult it is to be bent, is called “stiffness”.

Generally, beginners will prefer more flexible skis because they are less sensitive to bad techniques and errors. Less stiffness makes the skis easier to turn at lower speeds. As a beginner you are also working on improving your technique and your turns and less stif skis are much more forgiving.

The stiffer the flex of the skis is the more stable it stays at high speeds and in cut corners. That’s good news for an advanced skier, but if you only have a few weeks of experience and you want to buy your first skis then a softer, less ski is a better choice.


ski-profilesThere have been many developments in the shapes of the skis in recent years. The terms Camber and Rocker are often mentioned and these are very important terms that can determine your choice for a certain ski.

  • Traditional camber (see profile 1 in picture) – standard “nose” and “tail” and in the middle the camber. The longer the camber, the greater the distance that the skid edge hits the snow (effective edge). These skis are doing well on hard-packed piste snow. In addition, the camber creates a tension in the ski, so when the pressure drops, for example, when a bend is reached or at a jump, the ski returns to its original shape. The effect of this is called “pop” and adds extra energy / speed to your exit.
  • Camber met Front rocker en of Tail rocker (Profiles 2 and 3) – Adding rocker to tip is a powder run easier, the effective edge becomes shorter but is still enough for those beautiful carve bends on the piste.
  • Full Rocker / Zero camber (Profile 4) The ski is almost flat. Good contact with the slope, easier edge to edge transitioning than a camber, but less grip than camber. Also good for the powder.
  • Reverse camber / Rocker (Profile 5) – Between the “nose” and “tail” in the profile is convex, like the bottom of a rocking chair. This gives you a shorter effective edge, so its less suitable for long fast carves at high speeds. But it makes for a maneuverable ski, initiating turns is easy and in powder, this ski has more float.

There are many combinations of the camber and rocker possible, and there are constantly new variations on the market. So you can say that:

  • More camber: more grip, more control at more speed, you’ll have to work harder for your tunes, and they are a bit less maneuverable.
  • More rocker: more mobility, more float, more flexible, easier for park and powder.


A possibly less noticeable part of your ski, but with great influence on performance and price is the base of the ski, that is, the bottom that is in contact with the snow. You actually have two types: “Extruded” and “Sintered.” The base material is made of polyethylene pellets(P-Tex). A part of the difference is the way that the wax with which the board is treated (crucial for smooth running over the snow) is absorbed by the base.

Extruded: P-Tex is melted under high heat, causing the polyethylene pellets to melt together. This creates a flat and smooth material. There are no pores and its a bit harder for the wax to be absorbed by the base. It is more durable and easier to repair. So, if your budget is smaller, or you know you’re going to be banging up your board jibbing in the park then an extruded base might be the best choice for you.

Sintered: P-Tex is compressed under extremely high pressure. This creates a strong and durable base with pores. The pores allows wax to be absorbed really well. Boards with this base are much faster, but more expensive to buy and more expensive in repairs. Do you have space in your budget, do you really want to bomb down the mountain and are sensitive to how good a board runs, then the sintered base is for you.

Base Schema