In the market for a new pair of skis? Lucky. We’ve tried our best to stock skis for all types of skiers. But by doing so you are left with so many options it can be tough to decide which pair is right for you. This buying guide will help you narrow down to the right pair so you can have as good of an experience as possible out on the slopes. If you already know what you want then feel free to browse our entire selection of skis here.
Ski Touring Type
Endurance Touring – These skis are focused more on getting you uphill faster. The lighter weight and skinnier shape allow you to climb with more ease. Both distance and speed are key factors. Shop endurance touring skis.
Freeride Touring – If you’re goal is hitting more aggressive terrain at high speeds in the backcountry, then freeride touring skis are for you. These skis are built to handle extreme conditions. Shop freeride touring skis.
Recreational Touring – A balance between endurance and freeride touring. These skis are designed to perform well uphill and downhill. They are not extremely lightweight or too heavy. Great all-around skis. Shop recreational touring skis.
Length – The right ski length is determined by many factors: ski category, snow type, terrain, personal preference, skill level, and the list goes on. Height and weight provide a great starting point. A general rule is to pick a length that reaches between your chin to the top of your head.
|Height in Feet and Inches||Height in Centimeters||Recommended Ski Length||Shop Skis by Length|
|4’4″ – 4’6″||132 – 137||115 – 140||< 161|
|4’8″ – 4’10”||142 – 147||130 – 150||< 161|
|5′ – 5’2″||152 – 158||135 – 165||< 161|
|5’4″ – 5’6″||163 – 168||150 – 175||161 – 170|
|5’8″ – 5’10”||173 – 178||160 – 185||171 – 180|
|6′ – 6’2″||183 – 188||170 – 195||181 – 190|
|6’4″||193||180 – 200||> 190|
Waist – The ski waist measurement is taken at the middle of the ski, which is usually the narrowest part of the ski. A narrower waist will give you quicker edge to edge turns that are great for harder snow. Wider waists give better flotation in powder and choppy snow.
• Under 85mm – Best for skiers spending most of their time on groomed trails.
• 85mm – 95mm – Primarily used on groomed trails but can hold their own off groomers.
• 96mm – 105mm – The best in versatility. Take them on groomers for medium to long radius turns and also have the ability to float in deep powder.
• 115mm + – Skis that live for the backcountry. Spend as much time as possible on ungroomed deep powder.
Full Rocker – Full rocker skis offer superior float in powder and make carving easier without catching an edge.
Shop Full Rocker
No Rocker – This is the traditional style of skis. Works great on groomers and hard snow. The skis contact points with the snow are very close to the tip and the tail.
Shop No Rocker
Tip Rocker – These types of skis take the traditional No Rocker ski described above but adds a rocker tip giving it an early rise. The contact point in the front is closer to the middle of the ski. This type of ski increases greatly the flotation in deep snow, making it easier to control in deep powder.
Shop Tip Rocker
Tip/Tail Rocker – Tip/Tail Rocker skis have camber in the middle with snow contact points a lot closer to the middle of the ski instead of the tip and tail. These skis are great for freeskiers in parks (can ride backwards), good floatation in powder, and are easier to maneuver for beginners.
Shop Tip/Tail Rocker
Ski Anatomy and Construction
• Top Sheet – Top layer of a ski. Typically clear plastic with a graphic printed on the underside.
• Laminates – Sheets of reinforcing material. Layered above and below the core.
• Core – The very center of the ski. Made from wood or foam.
• Sidewall – The vertical plastic side of a ski.
• Capped – The top sheet wraps around the sidewall down to the edges. Shop Capped Skis
• Semi-Capped – Side wall material is found under foot. Top sheet still wraps to the edges around the front and back of the skis. Semi-capped is in between a full sidewall and capped construction, meaning you get some of the benefits from both types of construction, but not all of the benefits. Shop Semi-Capped Skis
• Full Sidewall – Ski has sidewall material from the tip to the tail. This allows superior power transfer (when the pressure you apply on the edge of the ski while turning transfers to the snow) which gives you better control, especially when carving at high speeds. Shop Full Sidewall Skis
• Carbon – One of the laminate layers within the ski. Offers same construction and durability as a non-carbon ski (typically fiberglass) but sheds a lot of the weight. Shop Carbon Skis
• Waxless Base Pattern – When backcountry skiing, skins are generally required if you plan on hiking up the mountain with the skis under your feet. However, skis with a waxless base pattern allow you to climb without the use of skins because they have a scale like material that gives you traction when going uphill. This does mean that they cannot ride backwards. If the climb is too steep or icy then you will still need skins. Shop Waxless Base Pattern Skis
• Twin Tip – Twin tip skis are when both the tip and the tail are turned up. Originally designed so that skiers could ride both forwards and backwards, it’s now found to make turning (going from edge to edge) much easier. Shop Twin Tip Skis