Skis come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. They are designed to perform in specific snow conditions and with certain styles of skiing.
Conditions regularly change in the mountains. We can have blue skies one day and storms the next. The snow might be beautiful crisp hero snow, smooth corduroy pistes, two foot of fresh pow or rock hard ice. But whatever the conditions the mountains are always stunning and there is always fun to be had. So, if you want to make the most of the mountains, which ski should you use to rip around the pistes or float through waist deep snow?
Ripping around the pistes
We’re blessed with exceptional pistes in the Three Valleys and to make the most of the perfect corduroy you should ski on a piste specific ski. Piste skis have a distinct shape, they’re narrow underfoot, somewhere around 75mm, and widen at the tip and tail. They have more camber than other skis. To help the ski grip more they’re stiffer in flex, this provides precision with plenty of power so they will grip on hardpack and ice. They can vary in radius but look for something around a 15m radius, these will suit both short and long turns.
Covering the whole mountain
If conditions are mixed or you want to ski the piste and explore the fantastic backcountry terrain on offer, then try an all-mountain ski. An all-mountain ski will be around 90mm underfoot. They will still have camber but also rocker at the tip and tail which will keep skis floating in powder and also increase ease of turn initiation on piste with less chance of catching an edge.
Floating through the pow
When you wake up to deep, fresh snow then you should reach for a set of powder skis. Typically 110mm underfoot, and featuring full rocker. All skis when put on edge and weighted in a turn achieve the rocker shape. Cambered skis produce more pressure on the snow at the tip and tail since they have to flex further to achieve this shape. Rockered skis are already there and these skis focus on one thing and one thing only, floating effortlessly through pow providing a surf-like, playful feel. The rocker and the width of the ski keeps you upright but the downside is that they won’t perform on piste.
We don’t all have the luxury of choosing from our quiver to find a ski to suit the current conditions. But if you’re interested in playing on some different styles of ski during your stay, whether that’s to play around on different skis or to help you decide which to buy, then The Boot Lab’s new ski testing service might be of interest. The Ski Lab enables skiers to try some of best skis from their extensive range, either for one day at a time or for the week. Their knowledgeable team can help you pick the best tool for the job to ensure you have an awesome week on the hill.