How to Choose Downhill Skis and Ski Wear

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How to Choose Downhill Skis and Ski Wear

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There aren’t too many outdoor activities that are more exciting than downhill skiing. The temperatures can get absolutely frigid and there are only a pair of skis between you and the snow as you hurtle down the hill. That’s why it’s important to choose the right skis and ski wear when you’re ready to hit the slopes. Here are some tips to make sure you’re properly equipped.

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Skis – Things to Consider One of the first things you need to consider when you want to choose downhill skis is what level you’re at as a skier. There really aren’t any skis available that are right for every ski level, so figuring out where you are on the scale is an important step. Advanced – when you’re advanced you’ll be comfortable skiing black diamonds and most varied terrain. You can make large and small radius carved turns and use pole plants whenever you need to. Expert – when you reach the expert level, you can make it down the hill at high speeds on any kind of terrain, including tracked powder, groomers, moguls, and powder. You’ll also use pole plants with proper timing and body positioning at all times. Most skiers won’t take too long to figure out what level of skier they are, and you’ll also need to choose which type of terrain you prefer to ski on. Your height and weight will also come into play once you get into the shop and it’s time to buy. Many ski aficionados recommend buying your boots before you buy skis.

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Here are the general skier skill levels with a brief explanation so you’ll know where you stand: Beginner – as with anything else, a beginner is someone who has very limited skill, who likely has minimal skiing experience. A beginner will usually make wedge turns on a relatively easy, groomed trail. Advanced Beginner – once you’ve become comfortable on the beginner runs (green runs) and you’re starting to make it down the intermediate runs (blue runs) from time to time, you’ll be known as an advanced beginner. Most advanced beginners will start using parallel positioning in the completion part of the turn. Intermediate – when you’re an intermediate you’ll ski the blue runs without much trouble, and you’ll be on your way to making complete parallel turns. Advanced Intermediate – as an advanced intermediate, you can ski all the blues comfortably and you can even handle some black diamonds and uneven terrain. You can make skidded parallel turns at moderate speed and you can also use pole plants.

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Common Types of Skis Downhill skis, also known as alpine skis, consist of a fixed boot and binding and the actual ski. Some of the common types of skis you may encounter include: All-Mountain Skis – these perform well in many different snow conditions and at most speeds. Narrow all-mountain skis work better for groomed runs where wider skis do better in powder. Twin Tip Skis – these have a curved up tail with the basic tip. They used to be more popular with freestylers, but now they’re also available as all-mountain skis. Powder Skis – these are designed to more or less float on top of powder, which is ideal for places that get a lot of big snowstorms. These skis are quite a bit wider than most, which prevents them from sinking into the snow. Race Skis – these are longer, narrower and more stiff than average all-mountain skis. Race skis are meant for going fast and carving up some varied terrain.

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In the end, you’ll have to take all the different factors into consideration, and in many cases you’ll have to utilize the help of one of the pros at your ski shop. Unless you know from experience, have someone else help you out with the final decision. Choosing Ski Wear The average skier needs protection against the elements, no matter what skill level they are. Here are some tips to help keep you warm and dry for a great time on the slopes every time. Avoid wearing cotton clothing right next to your skin. Wear three layers; a wicking layer, an insulation layer and a protection layer. This will cover the bottom, middle and outer layers for ultimate protection. Keep your head warm with a knot hat or proper helmet. Wear goggles to protect your eyes. Wear gloves or mittens to keep you hands warm and dry. Wear proper ski boots to keep your feet comfortable and dry. http://www.skisnowvalley.com/winter/things-to-do/1st-timers/clothing/ Ski Snow Valley http://www.skis.com/Buying-Guide-for-Skis/buying-guide-skis,default,pg.html Skis.com

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