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Items being returned for a refund must be returned within 30 days of receiving your order and in original condition with all swing tags still intact. Return postage costs must be covered by yourself.
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Buying your very own pair of skis can be a daunting, yet exciting task. The ski world has exploded in the last 10 years with new technology to help skiers get the most from the sport they love. There is an immense amount of information when it comes to buying a new pair of skis- we hope to guide you through the mogul-field of tech, terms, and types to find you the best ski!
First we need to know what skiing ability you are at, as this will give you a good idea of what level of ski you need. There is a wide range of skiing abilities, but we've simplified the levels into the three areas below. (You will also notice that on all our skis we've categorised them into the following levels.)
• Recreational: It's your first time on skis, or you've only done a week or two here and there. You stick to the nursery slope or the easy greens and are transitioning from snow plow to parallel skiing. After a little while you are feeling more confident on greens and try some blues slow and cautiously, work on your parallel turns.
• High Intermediate: You favour mainly blues and reds and parallel turning is no problem. You are starting to pick up speed and are becoming more confident on harder runs. Eventually you start cruising the reds and try some off piste, even catching a bit of air from time to time.
• Advanced/Expert: You seek out the groomed blacks, and enjoy off piste and steep bumps. You ski black runs at higher speeds and enjoy steeper off piste. Eventually you will give backcountry or heli-skiing a try and may even be at instructor level.
Note: Another factor to keep in mind if you are female. Women's skis are created with women in mind- lighter weight, different centre of gravity, and of course different graphics. You can filter our skis by women's specific!
Next step is identifying what type of terrain you prefer to ride. Many of these can overlap each other, and of course more than one may appeal to you. However prioritize what terrain you favour, and shop skis accordingly.
• Piste/All Mountain: The piste or narrower all mountain ski is primarily built for groomed piste. They can be taken off piste if you so desire but, they won't perform as well. These skis will give you edge grip and stability on groomed runs, and tend to be a bit heavier. A narrow waist also defines these skis.
• All Mountain/Freeride: Your All Mountain ski does what it says on the tin. This ski will take you all around the hill, a bit off the pieste, into the powder and even a play in the park but still perform well on the groomed pistes
• Freestyle/twintip: A freestyle ski is primarily for playing around the park. Bright graphics, twin tips (for riding switch) and serious pop defines these skis. Freestyle skis vary in terms of their flex but most of the skis are quite flexy and forgiving. If you aren't buttering or grinding rails - these probably are not the skis for you.
• Freeride: A freeride ski will be used off piste at every possibility as they excel in soft snow conditions. Waist widths are traditionally wider, but this ski can still hold up in a wide range of conditions and are actually quite stable to ski on the piste.
• Big Mountain/Backcountry: You enjoy heading off piste where the deep powder exists. Big mountain/backcountry skis are wide, and generally start with a waist of 100+. These skis do not handle the piste very well at all. Backcountry skis have features which allow skins to be attached for ascending the mountain where there are no lifts.
Shape should be your first stopping point now that you've nailed down your skill level and terrain preference. Depending on the type of terrain you are riding, skis are created in different shapes with different forms of rocker or camber. Have a look below at the standard shapes:
• Camber: Traditional camber has a slight upward curve at the tip. With a cambered ski, the skiers weight will be distributed evenly along the edges for precision turns and great edge hold. Ideally suited to hard packed snow.
• Rocker: A rockered ski has the opposite profile of a cambered. The weight of the skier will cause the tip and tail to rise, making a rockered ski float great in powder and easy to manoeuvre.
• Rocker/Camber: You've also got skis that are a combo of both rocker and camber. There are many variations on this shape. The benefit of this, is the ski works great in a number of different conditions, on and off piste.
Simply put, choosing a length of ski depends on your height and weight. However, it's not as simple as that. The length you choose will also depend on the terrain you are skiing, the type of ski you choose and your ability. We've created this reference chart for you to take a look at, it will give you a rough guideline of the length you should choose.
|Rider height (ft)||Rider height (cm)||Ski length for All Mountain||Freeride skis||Big Mountain|
Some other factors that will influence the ski feel is the turn radius and waist width. The turn radius refers to the measurement of the natural turn of the skis, which is defined by the sidecut. A ski with a deep sidecut (short turn radius= smaller number) will make quicker turns, whilst a ski with a shallow side cut (large turn radius= larger number) will make long sweeping turns.
The waist width is the measurement underfoot. Why does a waist width matter? It will make a difference on how your ski handles- a narrower waist width (example 60-79), will be quicker to edge in turns. All of our pieste skis have a narrow waist. A wide waist (greater than 100) will be harder to edge in turns, and is far better in deep powder due to the increase in surface area of the ski. The All Mountain or Freeride ski is going to be somewhere in between a narrow and wide waist (80-100mm).
Core construction will influence how the ski handles on the snow, as well as altering the flex of the ski. Different layers of materials are composed to create the ski, with wood being at the core of a good pair of skis. Manufactures use many different key words to explain the ski and its construction, but don't let all those buzz words confuse you. Different types of wood are used for either a stiff ski or poppy flex. Other materials such as fiberglass, and metal (often titanal) are added for strength or to soften vibration. Rubber and carbon fibre are also used. Lighter materials such as bamboo make skis lively whilst simply putting more wood and metal in the core will make a ski heavier but very stable and powerful.
The amount of flex a ski has is the amount a ski will bend both lengthways and torsionally. Softer flexing skis are an easier ride, and stiffer skis a more challenging ride, with more stability.
Sidewall vs Cap Construction
Another key feature you will spot when looking at ski construction is if they are sidewall vs. cap construction. A ski with cap construction is when a skis top sheet stretches all the way to the skis edges and there is no sidewall. Generally speaking skis with a cap construction are easier to turn and more forgiving. A beginner would enjoy skiing on a capped ski and they are sometimes cheaper to buy as the construction process is easier. There are also partial cap skis which is when the top sheet curves part way to the edges with a small sidewall. Used in off piste skis that still need some level of on piste performance. Sidewall construction: A ski that has a full sidewall running along the edge of the ski will have better grip on hard packed snow and ice. Sidewalls protect the core of the ski, add strength and help with grip and stability. They save weight and create a more durable ski. One last popular form of construction is a bit of both - sidewall under foot for strength and stability and cap construction in the tip and tail to reduce swing weight.
The last point to touch on with regards to construction is the base. A skis base will vary according to its P-tex number. Cheaper skis may have a grade of P-tex listed as 1000 which will perform fine but for the best running speed on a ski look for grades over 3000 as you can really feel the speed difference.
Ski manufactures are always coming up with the latest and greatest in kit, and for the upcoming 2015 season, we have some exciting things to look forward to.
• Weight: Skis are becoming lighter in the tip and tail for a lighter swing weight. Companies have created a honeycomb structure in the tip and tail for flex and up to 20% weight reduction.
• Material: Some companies are creating skis made of all bamboo- this creates a light and flexible, eco-friendly ski.
• The 'early riser' and 'early taper' are being seen in more skis, this also helps create lift in deep snow but mainly assists with easy turn entry.
When purchasing skis and bindings from us we are happy to fit your ski bindings to your skis for FREE before sending them out to you. To do this we will need to know the following information for the person who will be using the skis:
- Ski Ability (beginner, intermediate, advanced)
- Ski boot sole length (see right)
- Binding mounting position (if applicable)
During the checkout process you can enter this information.