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Choosing new downhill skis might feel overwhelming when you’re looking at all the different types of skis (especially if you’re a new skier or are shifting from groomers to powder). But finding your perfect pair gets a lot simpler when you know what to look for and how to narrow down your options.
When you’re choosing downhill skis, here are some things to consider:
- Your skill level: What type of skier are you?
- Where you ski: It’s important to match your skis to the terrain and snow you’re skiing.
- Ski length: Learn what size skis to buy based on your height and weight.
- Ski shape and stiffness: Camber, rocker, sidecut and ski flex affect how skis feel underfoot.
- Choosing skis for kids: Growing kids mean there are a few things to keep in mind.
CHOOSING SKIS FOR KIDS
When it comes to buying children’s skis, you want to avoid choosing skis that “they’ll grow into.” Longer skis are harder to steer, which makes it tough to learn. It’s always possible to ski on shorter skis with comfort and control, but the opposite isn’t true.
For sizing kids’ skis, a good rule of thumb is youth skis should come somewhere between the child’s chest and nose. If your child is a newbie skier, lightweight for their height, and prefers turning over being speedy, then you’ll likely want to size skis around chest or chin level. If you’ve got a strong, fast ripper on your hands, or if your child is heavier for their height, you’ll want skis around nose height.
If you have a family of up-and-coming skiers, then new skis can be handed down to the next young shredder in line after the current skier has outgrown them. Since kids do grow quickly and are often beginner skiers, many families choose to start them out with rentals, used skis (check the MEC gear swap), or even local winter gear leasing programs in their communities.