5 steps to choosing the right ski for you
When going on a ski holiday, you need the best skis for you in order to fully enjoy those few days of pure, snow happiness. But ‘the best for you’, doesn’t always necessarily mean ‘the most expensive’.
We started the ski season early this year with a trip to Sölden, Austria, and we are not going to lie - it was amazing! We had tons of sunshine and cool skis to test. That made us think, how do you choose the right ski (especially when the choice is so vast)?
Luckily, we met up with Charlotte La Cour, Country manager for MDV (Marker, Dalbello, Völkl) in Denmark so she could give us the answer, like a Yoda in the ski environment. She has been skiing for the past 26 years and has left her career as a lawyer for skiing, well, just because, she loves it!
First things first - what do you want out of the experience?
“It’s really really really important to get the right gear! And when I say ‘the right’, I don’t mean necessarily ‘the most expensive’. It is the equipment that fits you and that can bring you further! Depending, of course, on what you want.”, says Charlotte.
Even if you just want an easy, chill run down the slopes - you still need to take that into consideration. You don’t want to end up getting stiff, pro, flashy skis that will make you work hard for the money you’ve used.
“So there are several things but the very first one is the purpose. ‘Do I want to have fun on the piste, should it be easy?’ - then you choose skis that are easier and lighter. Or ‘Do I love racing? And do I really want to run fast?’ - then race skis it is.
‘Do I want to go a little bit off-piste once in a while? And in which conditions? Is it different conditions?’ - then you need skis that can run in both hard pack and in softer snow. Or.. ‘Do I go in...Japan?’ - then I’d better get wide and soft ski for freeriding in the massive snow.”, adds Charlotte.
Four extra parameters you should think of
- Skier level
Try to estimate how good of a skier you are, and be honest! Charlotte, for example, has an easy recipe:
“Normally, when I am in the shop and I am a bit mean, I say that when talking to a man I take about 50% off from what he considers his skill level is. If I am with a woman, I put on at least 30%, maybe more! So that’s an important thing - be realistic!”
“Do you ski on-piste, or off-piste? - be aware of that and also be true and realistic”, advises Charlotte.
We all want to get in the powder, but will we really get the chance to? And how often will it happen? Think of the terrain you actually ski on when going to vacations.
“When do you go skiing? That is another thing. Is it when the pistes are hard and cold or do you go when they are softer and the snow is more packed into bunks? So the conditions - you need to definitely look at that.”, says Yoda Charlotte.
If you are not an early bird and would rather go in the afternoon when the others have already plowed through the tracks, then you need skis that fit these conditions. Maybe a more all-mountain than an on-piste profile?
Yes, your body matters - a lot! Charlotte points out the level of fitness as a factor here. Also the weight and height, “which have something to do with how stiff, wide, and long your skis should be”, says she. So put that in the equation as well and drop that chocolate bar!
Invest in newer skis - it is worth it
“People can get so much more by choosing ski with modern technology. Of course, you can always get good old skies but you sign up for so much more with a new pair, because there’s been a lot going on in the last 5 years in ski development.”, says Charlotte and we know it is true because if anyone nerds about ski technology, that is her!'
Getting a pair of newer skis will help you go further, ride longer, and enjoy way more being out there in the snow!