Show me your skis and I'll tell you who you are. Phew! Just look at how many different skis, bindings, and accessories are on the market today!
It's not always easy to navigate the skiing market these days. It's even more difficult to make the right choices. As with all decisions, it is vital to ask the right questions before purchasing skiing equipment. How do I want to carve? Am I a speed junky on the slopes? Or am I more interested in deep powder skiing? Am I an athletic skier? Am I in good shape and can I apply sufficient pressure onto the ski edges? Or do I want to effortlessly make my turns on and off the piste? There are many questions, but even more equipment. The best sources for advice remain your skiing instructor or a specialised sports shop on location. Watching winter sports stars on TV can be quite seductive. However, the "link" between yourself and the snow should be tailored to your specific needs. Take the time to ensure that this is the case. So, for the sake of your skiing enjoyment, ask as many questions as possible. If you are a fan of Alpine ski racers who battle for hundreths of seconds on risky slopes, one is probably inclined to strap racing skis to one's own feet. The aggressive nature of such skis require an aggressive and power-oriented riding style. In addition, the radii are not suitable for common ski slopes! The result is often that the day on the slopes ends early due to frustration and fatigue - or because the skis simply don't do what the rider wants them to do. Let's face it, you don't drive to your holiday in a Formula 1 race car either.
Another phenomenon is the emergence of professional free-skis. It doesn't really make much sense to race down chutes and steep slopes, that one can barely conquer without skis, on broad skis that resemble snowboards. However, free-skiers are "cool", which is why many people want to own the same ultra-broad skis as their idols. Opportunities to use these skis for the purpose they are intended are rare. These broad skis develop enough edge pressure on groomed slopes, but only just. These skis are designed for deep powder. Speaking of powder: powder snow is not an everyday occurence, which means "ultra-broad" skis should be seen as your secondary option.
A hybrid of the two aforementioned ski types is probably the best choice for our terrain. These all-mountain skis feel perfectly at home on well-groomed pistes. The "Rocker" design also supplies sufficient uplift off-piste and on ungroomed slopes. Granted, the latter is rare in modern ski resorts. The closer radius allows cool turns without needing the entire width of the piste. In addition, these skis forgive the odd mistake and even feel good in spring slush. By the way, it is wrong to think of these skis as equipment for beginners. The ski industry has learned how to bridge that gap. One last tip: a proper warm-up prevents early fatigue and unnecessary injuries.
"Ski Heil!" - as we say in Austria.
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