Skiing — Designed for descent from the mountain slopes and in skiing.

Cross-country skiing — are used to move over snow-covered terrain for short and medium distances (up to 50 km) at high speed.

Skier Level

Newbie — a skier with no skiing experience or with minimal experience. Soft skis are suitable for this category, as they are easier to ride at low speed. In addition, they soften surface irregularities.

amateur — a skier with skiing experience (several seasons), who has changed several pairs of skis, who knows the technique in various conditions. For this level, stiffer skis are the best option — professional skis from past seasons are often used.

Professional — an athlete skier with vast skiing experience, perfect technique and excellent physical training. For this category, skis of the highest class are suitable — very hard, designed for high-speed and aggressive skiing. Professional skis require regular and quality maintenance.


Classic (Directional) — classic skis, the tail of which is cut off, and the bow is rounded and bent up. The best option for cross-country skiing.

With double socks (Twin Tip) — the back and front of the ski are rounded and bent up. Used to perform tricks in freestyle.

Riding style

Freeride — the most common style of skiing, which allows you to acquire the necessary skills to ski. Skating takes place outside prepared tracks and without tricks. For freeride, wide skis with a highly curved nose are used.

Freestyle — a spectacular and complex style of riding, consisting mainly of tricks. They are performed on the takeoff from ski jumps, in a snowy half-pipe (half-pipe, etc.). Freestyle skis have double toe caps, moderate sidecut depth and just enough width to land comfortably after a jump.

  • Moghul — a kind of freestyle, which is riding on hillocks. The athlete performs a long series of turns on the hillocks. These skis are quite narrow, have medium stiffness and a small sidecut.

Slalom — downhill skiing along a marked slope up to 500 meters long (for women — up to 450 meters) with a height difference between start and finish of at least 150 meters. Slalom skis have a wide nose and tail, a narrow waist. Slalom is a high-speed style of skiing (up to 80 km/h), in which there are often sharp turns. It requires high technique and good physical preparation.

  • Giant slalom — a kind of slalom, in which the length of the track is from 1200 to 2500 meters with a height difference of 350-600 meters between the finish and the start.

Carving — descent from the mountain, implying the execution of an arc (turns) with acceleration. Such skis are lighter in weight, have a deep cut and are quite rigid. Carving skis can be skied both on prepared and untouched slopes.

Ski-cross or Race — the descent of four skiers starting at the same time and passing through turns and jumps together. The skis are similar to carving skis, but less rigid. They are also suitable for freeride.

Ski tour — a style of skiing that involves not only descending, but climbing to the top. Skis are generally wider and shorter than other alpine skis.

Universal — are used for different styles of riding and are most suitable for beginners. Such skis have low stiffness, a small sidecut radius and an average waist (up to 80 mm).


The stiffness of skis is characterized by two indicators — longitudinal stiffness (flexibility) and torsion (torsional).

By longitudinal stiffness, skis can be divided into the following categories:

  • soft skis — designed to master the technique of skiing on mountain slopes. Advantage — high maneuverability at low speeds. They are well suited for skiing on soft snow and prepared trails;
  • medium hard skis — a universal option suitable for most slopes, but require a certain training of the athlete;
  • hard skis — are used for high-speed riding (giant slalom) and riding on hillocks (mogul), but require good physical fitness and high skiing technique.

Torsional stiffness refers to how the skis are twisted, that is, the skis are deformed relative to the longitudinal axis under static load. First of all, torsional stiffness is important for skis designed for driving on icy, hard slopes, as well as carving skis.


Women’s — differ from men’s skis in a brighter design and a platform for fastening shifted 1.5-2 cm forward. In addition, these skis are softer and lighter than men’s skis.

Baby — differ from adults in smaller sizes. They are light and comfortable. Children’s skis are selected for 1 season. You should not buy them «for growth», since it is more difficult to learn to ride on long skis.

Release season

Date of manufacture of skis. The most modern models — skis released this season and made using innovative technologies, are not cheap and are more relevant for professionals. For amateurs and people on a budget, it makes sense to pay attention to the models of the previous season.


Sandwich — consists of several layers of natural and synthetic materials (metal, plywood, plastic). Rigidity is provided by the lower and upper layers. High-end skis are made in this version.

Cap — consists of a wooden or acrylic core, a sliding surface and a cover made of durable material (glass or carbon fiber). Such skis do not delaminate, unlike the “sandwich”.

  • Monocoque (full cap) — a kind of cap in which the lid plays a decisive role, and not the core. A monocoque is a closed structure that combines sufficient rigidity and light weight.

Hybrid – a combination of sandwich and cap technologies.


Rostovka — the length of the ski from tail to toe. The comfort, efficiency and safety of riding depends on this value. The size of the ski depends, first of all, on the weight, the athlete, and also on the style of skiing (the terrain and riding conditions are also taken into account). The greater the weight of the athlete, the longer the skis should be chosen.

It should be noted that short skis have the best maneuverability, this is a good option for prepared and hard slopes. Long skis are more stable at speed, so they are comfortable to ride on high mountains, wide and long runs.


turning radius

This value means the controllability of the skis and is determined by the radius of the side cutout of the ski. The length of the radius of the circle along which the side cut is made. The smaller the radius, the tighter the turn the skier can make.

Edge contact length

This parameter means the length of the edge that is in contact with the surface on which the skis slide. The contact length of the edge depends on the radius of the sidecut of the ski — the smaller the radius, the greater the contact length of the edge.

Ski width

The width of the ski is characterized by three dimensions — the width of the nose (front), waist (central) and tail (rear).

  • Nose width — skis with a wider nose turn well and are distinguished by good cross-country ability in deep snow, and with a narrower nose, it is easier to switch from one side of the ski to the other (turn over).
  • Waist Width — determines the stability of the ski on the turns, and hence the amount of effort of the athlete to keep it. Skis with a narrower waist require more power, skis with a wider waist require less.
  • Tail width — skis with a wider tail have more acceleration when exiting a turn, skis with a narrower tail have less and, thus, ski control is simplified. Models with a narrow tail are recommended for beginner skiers.

Important: for riding on prepared tracks, skis with a narrow waist (up to 70 mm) are better suited, models with an average waist (from 70 to 85 mm) are universal, that is, designed for most slopes, skis with a wide waist (from 85 mm) are optimal option for virgin lands and unprepared trails.

Children’s skis

Important: the choice of skis for children has a number of features.

  • For a baby 3-4 years old, you should purchase short (length is slightly shorter than the height of the child) and wide (7.5-8 cm wide) skis. Children 5-6 years old can pick up skis that are 15 cm longer than their height and 4.6-4.8 cm wide.
  • It is advisable to choose plastic skis. They are stronger than wood and do not need a special ointment. It is important that the skis have notches that prevent rolling back.
  • For kids aged 2-6 years, skis are purchased with soft or semi-rigid bindings that are suitable for ordinary winter shoes. Older children (from about 6 years old) can buy skis with hard bindings and ski boots.
  • At first, ski poles can not be purchased — without them, it will be easier for the baby to master the skills of balance. The child will need sticks when he masters the principle of sliding. The height of the sticks is up to the armpits. It is better to choose a light stick with rubberized tips and a clip-on strap. The tips of the stick should not be sharp, having the shape of a ring or an asterisk.


It is necessary to choose skis based on the level and experience of the athlete. For beginners and inexperienced, you can buy inexpensive models of Ukrainian, Russian or Chinese brands Amplid, Dragon, TISA, Plastkon. They are completely enough to gain the first experience of skiing, as well as understanding your future goal in skiing. If you have no plans to develop, and you just ride on weekends for a couple of hours, then the products of these brands will be enough. Problems can arise if the skier weighs more than 70 kg, since inexpensive skis are most often not designed for such a weight.

The best ski manufacturers are Armada, Atomic, Black Diamond, Blizzard, Elan, Fischer, Head, Line Skis, Rossignol, Salomon, Volkl. These brands produce top-class sports equipment for professional skiers in any style of skiing. Such skis are expensive, but at the same time they are a model of manufacturability and quality: weight, strength, materials — a combination of the best characteristics. It is worth buying them if you are sure that skiing is an activity for you.

Useful advice: if after buying expensive skis you still have cheaper ones, use them for the first and last snow, this will allow you to scratch the new pair less.


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