We can help find the right equipment for you
Today’s skis are made better than ever before. Recent innovations in technology have resulted in a huge variety of awesome product to choose from. Since 1992, when ELAN invented the carving ski, the ski world has experienced an explosion of fantastic snow toys. The 15 major ski companies now produce over 70 models of skis in each brand, covering every snow type and skier type imaginable. With over 1000 different ski models to choose from, how do you narrow things down to just a few choices that will work for you?
These are some important factors to consider when choosing the right size and shape of ski for yourself:
- Terrain — Where will you use the skis MOST of the time?
- Snow Type — Soft and fluffy or hard and fast?
- Speed. Do you prefer to control your speed or point ‘em straight down?
- Turn Shape — Tight turns in moguls or long turns on groomers?
- Versatility — One ski for everything or several skis for different snow types?
- Size Matters — Are you a big, powerful skier or a smaller ‘finesse’ person?
- Gender — Yes, there is a big difference. Finally, the Ski World is making great skis for women.
- Aggression — Stiffer flexing skis work better for more aggressive skiers, and vise versa.
FIGURING IT OUT
How to Pick the Best Equipment for You
Generally speaking, wider skis work best in softer, deeper snow and powder. Narrower skis work better on groomed runs and packed snow. Taking in to account that there are certainly regional differences, the AVERAGE width of skis produced and sold in 2018 was 78mm wide at the waist, or narrowest part of the ski, under the foot. Eastern North America and most parts of Europe tend to ski on even narrower ‘carving’ skis more often than not. Western North America and isolated regions of Japan and Europe ski on wider ‘powder skis.
Experienced skiers most often buy two or three pairs of skis in order to take advantage of whatever Mother Nature has to offer. The rest of us usually go for the average. Average length of skis sold to women is 155cm. Average for men is 170cm. Longer skis require more speed, aggression and better balance to work most effectively. Shorter skis are easier to turn quickly to control your speed and direction changes.
Now, this is not to suggest that everybody should be skiing on the average size of skis. Proper research should include on-line study and consultation with your ski buddies. We hope to be able to clear up any doubts that you may have regarding what will work best for your own skiing style.
SKI CONSTRUCTION changes dramatically from model to model. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- ‘Twin Tipped’ skis are for skiing backwards. If you don’t plan on riding switch, you will generally have better edge grip at the end of your turns with a conventionally shaped tail.
- ‘Rocker’ makes skis turn easier. (Think of the rocker on the bottom of Grandma’s favorite chair).
- ‘Camber’ is the opposite of ‘Rocker’. Skis with more camber provide better edge grip and ‘rebound’ – the force that propels you from the end of one turn to the start of the next one. Camber is great for groomed runs and icy surfaces. Rocker is easier in powder snow and assists in learning to ‘carve’ for the first time.
- ‘Side Cut’ is the ‘hourglass-like’ shape of your skis. The sexier the curve, the quicker the ski will turn for you. The longer, straighter skis with less sidecut give you more stability when you go straighter and faster. Elan revolutionized the ski world in 1992 with the advent of the Parabolic (patent pending) ski shape. Skis became far easier to turn thanks to the smart people at Elan.
- The ‘core’ of the ski is what the entire ski is built around. The guts of the ski, if you will. Polyurethane foam is used for light weight, flexible cores. These are best for light weight people skiing at slower speeds and facilitate ease of turning. Wood laminated core material provides better shock absorption, vibration control, strength and rebound, and is preferred for skis designed to go faster!
- ‘Titanium’ is blended with aluminum and added to skis to provide more stability and edge grip on harder snow at higher speeds. All mountain skis and race oriented carving skis often have ‘Titanal’ top sheets inlaid for this reason. It’s heavier, but it’s smoother and more stable at high speed. 4D (patent pending) technology from
- Elan takes this concept to the next level by reshaping Titanal into convex and concave shapes to enhance edge grip, reduce vibration and lower weight in their Amphibio (patent pending) series of skis.
- Carbon Fiber is used to provide rebound with less weight. It works most effectively when it is bonded to wood, as it does not dampen vibration very effectively without a solid backing. Carbon fiber ‘tubes’ in the Elan Tubelite technology (patent pending) provide better rebound and support the edges of their light weight skis more effectively than flat woven sheets of carbon fiber, thus creating a more lively ski with better grip on packed snow.
- 'Fusion Bindings’ (patent pending) from Elan are integrated with the ski at the factory. By milling in to the ski and inserting a reinforcement plate during the construction process, Elan have been able to produce the world’s only integrated ski and binding system. It’s been proven to be the most efficient binding in the world, positively effecting retention, release and carving power while reducing the sheer forces exerted on the ski/binding system during the turn phase of skiing. Better grip, better glide, better performance, reduced risk of injury. Worth checking out!
Please feel free to stop by our store in Banff to see for yourself what goes into making a ski. We can’t wait to see the giant grin on your face after experiencing what a properly fitted ski can do for your confidence!