Best for untracked wilderness terrain, powder and groomed runs. Backcountry skis open the wild, untracked areas of a mountain to you. With the help of climbing skins, you can ski uphill to reach fresh, untracked snow and then remove the climbing skins to enjoy the ride down. With this freedom comes the responsibility of acquiring the mountaineering and avalanche awareness skills necessary for ensuring your own safety.
In general, with the tails of your skis on the ground, the tips should touch you somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. Skis on the shorter end of that spectrum appeal more to novices because they're easy to turn. Veteran skiers often prefer skis on the longer end for a faster ride.
Waist: Of the three dimensions, waist width is the most critical. Narrow waists allow you to establish an edge sooner, resulting in speedy, usually nimble skis that are ideal for groomed runs. They can also shift from edge to edge more quickly. Wide waists deliver more surface area (more area to make contact with snow), which makes them preferable in soft snow and powder.
In actuality, you can make tight turns and big arcing ones with the same ski but knowing the sidecut radius can give you an idea of what kind of turns the ski really excels at. In general, skis with low sidecut-radius numbers (low to mid-teens) are better for making tight, short-radius turns. Higher numbers (upper teens and beyond) indicate skis better suited for long-radius turns and fast descents.
Integrated bindings: Skis that come packaged together with bindings are a popular choice for many all-mountain skiers. Skis with integrated bindings can be desirable because the ski manufacturer has already determined that the bindings are a good match for the skis so you can be assured that they will provide good flex, edge hold and turning.
This category includes your primary ski gear: skis, bindings, and boots. All retailers on this list carry the popular all-mountain skis from top brands, but moving outside of those items reveals some variation. In ranking the retailers, we placed an emphasis on consistency of stock as well as carrying a good assortment of products. Backcountry excels in the high-end market, including ski equipment for alpine touring and deep powder, while REI has a large stock of resort gear. Specialized snowsports retailers like Evo have the widest selection covering nearly every category, including skis for youngsters and park and pipe.
To help you find the perfect pair of skis, the New York Post chatted with two ski experts and asked a few key questions. To skip this FAQ section, click here to jump to the best expert-approved ski brands.
Völkl Ski was founded in 1923 and is based in Straubing. As one of the biggest ski brands in the world and one of the last remaining manufacturers in Germany. The brand combines traditional craftsmanship and high-tech innovation to create precise, high-end skis. Prices range from $400 to $1,300.
Head is an American-Austrian manufacturing sports equipment company widely known for its iconic tennis rackets but started with manufacturing skis. In 1947, Howard Head designed the first metal ski, and three years later, HEAD Ski Company, Inc. was founded. Looking for cutting-edge designed skis? HEAD is the place to shop. The average cost for a new pair of HEAD skis is $900.
Founded in 1955 and based in the Austrian alps, Atomic has helped redefine the skiing experience for skiers of all levels, from beginners taking their first turns to the most outstanding athletes pushing their boundaries at the very top of the sport. According to the brand, they produce almost half a million skis every year. Prices and styles vary.
Blizzard is an Austrian sports equipment company founded in Mittersill, Salzburg, Austria, in 1945. Blizzard is currently a division of the Tecnica Group S.p.A. and specializes in the manufacturing of alpine skiing equipment, specifically skis and accessories. Prices and styles vary.
How do you know which skis are right for you? Considering the number of choices, from all-mountain varieties to big mountain and backcountry, the buying process can be confusing. The answer depends on your experience level and preferred skiing style. If you're a beginner, we highly recommend choosing a ski that's versatile enough for a number of conditions and terrains. When choosing a pair, it's also important to consider the types of locations and terrains you'll be skiing, and how often you actually do it. When it comes to ski length, it all depends on your height, weight, and ability. Whether skis should be narrow or wide is dependent on your floatation preferences. Considering there's quite a lot to take into account before buying your perfect pair, don't be afraid to ask one of our in-house experts for help, so you can hit the slopes and sharpen your skills for seasons to come!
We will mount your ski bindings for free whenever you order skis and bindings. If you order boots, too, we can adjust them so they are ready to hit the slopes right out of the box! Just be sure to fill out the mounting form that comes up after checkout.
We will mount your ski bindings for free when you order skis and bindings. If you order boots, we can adjust them so they're ready for the slopes right out of the box! Be sure to fill out the mounting form that comes up after checkout.
Fitting cross country skis is different then fitting alpine skis. Instead of fitting the ski by height, the skis that we carry are fit by weight. Check the charts below to see which size you need. Still have questions? Don't hesitate to give us a call at (877) 812-6710 and let us help you.
When kids are young and growing fast, renting is hands down the best option. You can get a child season rental for around $100-130, depending on their size. Kids will outgrow boots and skis nearly every single year until they are about 13 for girls and 16 for boys (recognizing every child is different). At that point, it may not be as much about growth as the cool factor of having your own skis. When your kids reach those teenage years, you could consider buying them a ski that will work for multiple years, and then just rent the boots until their feet stop growing.
The typical rental ski is narrow under foot, which makes them a good fit for groomed runs. Rental skis in general do not perform well in soft conditions or off piste. The quality of rental ski can vary widely from shop to shop. A good adult rental ski will have a wood core rather than foam; a wood core will provide a stiffer flex, allowing you to carve better and carry more speed. For kids, foam core skis are easier for them to maneuver. We carry Nordica, Fischer, and Rossignol in our rental fleet.
Demo skis are higher quality skis from the retail inventory that are available to rent. You can only rent demos skis for a day, but it is a great way to try out different skis before you buy. Most shops will apply the cost of one demo rental toward the cost of a ski that you purchase.
Visit us in store to shop a huge selection of skis, snowboards, apparel and more. Whether you need new gear or want to take advantage of our expert ski and snowboard services like boot fitting or tunes, you can find everything you need for winter on the mountain.
Kids grow up quickly. From bikes to skis and snowboards, get gear that can grow with them. When your child's equipment no longer fits, trade it in and save big. It's the easiest and most affordable way to get your child the gear they need every year - for both winter and summer.
No skier has revolutionized freestyle skiing more in the last decade then Henrik Harlaut, and his signature ski, the EDOLLO, continues to support him every step of the way. Rocking our thickest steel edges and base construction, the Edollo is built for maximum nose-pressability, durability and confidence in the park. AR Nose Rocker and AR75 Sidewall construction will help you emulate the style king these skis are named for.
First, though, determine whether you need new skis. Many skiers don't realize the physical forces at work on the boards. While all skis are designed to perform, the sheer physics involved mean that your boards have a limited lifespan."A ski has an average life of about three to five years," said O'Donoghue. "Skis are just a bunch of layers. It's wood, and foams, it's plastics, it's epoxies, resins and fiberglass, all built layer on layer. Most skis built today are laminates. Which means the bottom layers are always longer than the top layers, and every time the ski flexes, all those layers sheer on each other."Over time, the core is fine and fiberglass is fine, but the adhesion of the layers to each other breaks down, and the ski doesn't have the same spring that it used to have," he said. "It'll get you down the hill, but you won't have anywhere near the power transmission or the energy boost that you get when you rock back and load the tail of a ski, exploding out of a turn. That stuff fades."We refer to that phenomenon as skis getting "banged out." That's exactly what happened to my KVC Comps. So how do you know when it's time to upgrade?"You'll notice it when you grab your skis, and squeeze them together when they're base to base. You can feel it," said O'Donoghue. "If you have to push hard to get the skis to go together, you've got life in them. If you squeeze just a little bit and they go right together, there's no spring in the ski. And that spring is important. That's the ski retaining its shape, which means it has life."
"Vertical sidewalls provide more direct transfer of energy, thus accommodating more precise turns and more ambitious skiing," said O'Donoghue. "Slanted sidewalls are more forgiving."Finally, there's the metal vs. non-metal debate."Adding metal into the ski adds dampening. It's still the best way to dampen the ski for high speed," said O'Donoghue. "If you're a skier on hard surfaces and you want to go fast, then you need to think more about metal. And the price of skis comes from the quality of the metal you put in the ski."Look at a Völkl, and the way they keep the weight of the ski down at the high end is milling really high-end titanal alloys into that ski," he said. "It's thinner metal. It's machined differently, and that's what you're paying for."If there's one major caveat that O'Donoghue has, it's the ever-popular "Demo Day." These events, where manufacturers descend on a particular ski area en masse to showcase their latest products, seem like a consumer's dream. Not so fast, said O'Donoghue. There are simply too many variables on the slopes, including the snow and weather conditions that day, to make the best decision."Demoing skis is like taking a car for a test drive," said O'Donoghue. "You take out a Honda, and then you take out a Lexus. You might detect subtle differences in the vehicle. But really, from a track performance point of view, you have no idea of any significant differences. The reality is that the dealer is doing it because they want you to establish ownership with the vehicle before you get back to the dealership, so that you're more likely to buy the car. It's all designed to create an emotional bond with the product."However, on mountain Demo days are a great way to test skis without a commitment or emotional attachment. Consider it a mission, be objective and be patient. Once you've identified where you want to go and what to get out of a ski, demoing a pair or three of skis in the same day is a great way to inform your selection. Similarly, the options and quality of on-mountain rental skis has improved significantly over the past decade. Rent a ski that meets your needs and the day's conditions. After some runs if you don't like the way it skis head back to the shop, share your feedback and trade into another pair.In short, be smart, and find the right ski for your skill level by doing some research, discussing choices with a ski professional and put them to the test. This approach will pay big dividends.Image: Powder.comRelated Articles:How to Buy Ski Boots: Tips from an Insider.Getting Ready for Ski Season.Ski Gear Checklist (PDF).Prepare to Ski. 041b061a72