Alpine skiing gives a lot of incomparable emotions, but it has a very high injury risk. In order to protect yourself as much as possible, you need to resort to a quality choice of equipment, as well as carefully approach the choice of the skis themselves, paying close attention to the main characteristics.


  1. The best ski manufacturers
  2. Types of skiing
  3. The main criteria for choosing skiing
  4. Choosing skiing for a child
  5. Choosing skiing for beginners
  6. Choosing ski boots

choosing the right skis

The best ski manufacturers

Not every model is able to withstand the harsh regime of ski operation, and therefore, when choosing skis for high-speed maneuvering in such conditions, preference should be given exclusively to high-quality and well-known products:

  1. Salomon;
  2. Tisa;
  3. Fischer;
  4. Rossignol;
  5. Atomic;
  6. Madshus;

Before you give your choice in favor of a particular model, you should not only study its characteristics, but also read the reviews of specific athletes who use the device in real conditions and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.

Types of skiing

Modern models of alpine skiing are divided into several categories depending on the style and technique of skiing.

Carving skis (Сarving)

carving skis

Classic models designed for high-speed maneuvering on specially prepared sites and tracks. They are very popular with the regulars of ski resorts. The width at the waist is 65-70 millimeters, the nose has a wide elongated shape, thus providing ease of maneuvering during the descent.


  • High functionality;
  • Convenient to manage;
  • Allow the possibility of riding in an arc;
  • Designed for skiing on prepared tracks;


  • Quite expensive;
  • Not suitable for skiing on an unprepared slope;

Skis for free skiing (freeride models)

Freeride skis

In a sense, these models are the opposite of carving. They are intended for skiing on virgin snow and an unprepared slope, and therefore have the appropriate characteristics. Such models are much wider – the minimum width at the waist is 80-82 millimeters, there are models up to 100-110 millimeters wide. Features a wide toe and heel.


  • Excellent for skiing on uncleaned virgin soil;
  • Withstand ski jumping on rough snow;
  • Allow the performance of various tricks and maneuvering in an arc;
  • Stable and maneuverable;


  • Quite expensive;
  • Require certain skills, not suitable for beginners;
  • Difficult to master;

Universal skis (all-terrain models)

universal skis

They include the advantages of the types described above and allow you to ride with equal success both on specially prepared tracks and on virgin snow. An excellent choice for beginners who want to learn proper riding technique. The width at the waist varies between 65 and 80 centimeters, the shape of the nose and heel is wide, curved.


  • Universal;
  • Sufficiently maneuverable and comfortable;
  • They allow you to ride both on virgin soil and on a specially prepared track;


  • Mediocre handling;
  • Not suitable for complex tricks;

freestyle skiing

freestyle skis

Models designed for free skating and performing all kinds of acrobatic elements, tricks and jumps. They are characterized by a significant waist width (80-100 centimeters) and a relatively small own length. Thanks to the special shape, they allow you to drive with equal efficiency in both directions;


  • Universal;
  • Equipped with twintips – special elements that allow you to ride both forward and backward;
  • Allow you to perform various acrobatic elements and ski jumping;
  • wide;
  • Powerful and hardy;


  • Roads;
  • Not suitable for beginners;
  • Require certain skills;

Racing skis (Racing)

downhill skiing

Extremely professional models designed for high-speed maneuvering. With the appropriate technique, they can easily develop a speed of 80 or more kilometers per hour. Powerful, rigid and resistant to mechanical stress. They do not differ in large width – about 72-75 millimeters at the waist, and longer than all of the above models.


  • Rigid;
  • Allow to develop tremendous speed;
  • Minimum coefficient of friction;
  • hardy;


  • Narrow specialization;
  • Serious training and the ability to maneuver at speed are required;
  • High price;

The main criteria for choosing skiing

selection criteria for alpine skiing

According to this parameter, all alpine skiing is divided into several classes.

  1. Soft alpine skiing, 6-8 grades. Models designed for beginners forgive many mistakes made;
  2. Alpine skiing of medium hardness, grade 8-10. Universal models that can be recommended for purchase to both a beginner and an advanced amateur.
  3. Hard skiing 10-12 class. The destiny of professional riders, they require sophisticated control and maneuvering techniques;

Turning radius

A parameter that determines how maneuverable and comfortable the skis will be in control and how suitable they are for use in certain conditions. The value of this parameter can vary from 10 to 40 meters. The higher the value, the more skill specific skis require.

  1. For beginner riders and amateurs, skis with a turning radius of about 16-18 meters will be required;
  2. Professional models designed for downhill skiing have a turning radius of 35-40 meters;
  3. Skis designed for slalom, with their small length, can have a turning radius of up to 25-30 meters;

Choosing skis by height and weight

Choosing skis by height and weight

It is traditionally believed that the longer the skis, the more convenient it is to maneuver them and the greater the speed the rider is able to develop. However, it is wrong to go to the store and buy the longest models on sale, the following factors should be considered when choosing:

  1. Rider height. Skis that are 10-15 centimeters taller than the height of the skier are considered optimal;
  2. The weight. The more weight a person has, the longer the skis should be. This is due to the need to compensate for the increased bending at the attachment point. An alternative to choosing long skis in this situation may be to opt for a model of a more rigid class;
  3. Short skis are more maneuverable than long skis, but they are much more difficult to manage. It is for this reason that such models are the lot of professional riders;

ski geometry

Three parameters should be taken into account:

  1. The width and degree of roundness of the nose. The wider and rounder the nose, the easier it is for the rider to maneuver on the track. And vice versa, a nose of a narrow and elongated shape is capable of developing increased speed, yielding to a wide one in maneuverability;
  2. The width of the waist is the narrowest place in which, as a rule, fasteners are installed. The wider the waist, the more passable the skis are. For skiing on equipped tracks, models with a waist width of about 65-68 centimeters are suitable, but if it is the case with virgin snow, wider models, about 70-73 centimeters, should be preferred.
  3. Heel construction and width. The situation is similar to that of the toe: the wider and rounder the heel, the more maneuverable and safer the ski turns. The narrow and pointed heel is the lot of high-speed professional models;

Ski binding type

This parameter indicates the maximum load that the mechanism allows for intensive use. It is indicated by numerical values, where each unit determines 10 kilograms of the rider’s weight. The situation is viewed from two angles:

  1. For beginners and amateurs, fasteners should be selected according to the principle of “dead weight – 1-2 points”. For example, with a dead weight of 80 kilograms, fastenings of 1-2 classes less than 8 should be preferred. 6 or 7 class of fastenings will be optimal;
  2. For experienced riders who regularly practice downhill skiing, the parameter is determined in the opposite direction – the weight of the rider plus 1-2 points. Thus, the above described 80 kg experienced rider in this situation would require a class 9-10 binding;

Choosing skiing for a child

The criteria for choosing skis for a small rider are in many ways similar to those for adults with appropriate adjustments towards the height and weight of the baby. You should choose the most stable and maneuverable models that are suitable for mastering the technique of skiing and teach the child to stand confidently on skis. In the future, as the skills of the young rider grow, more unified ski models may be required.

Choosing skiing for beginners

For a beginner rider who does not fully master the skiing technique, skis must have the following criteria:

  1. Class – universal or freeride;
  2. Length, exceeding by 10-15 centimeters, his own height;
  3. 6-8 hardness class;
  4. Wide and rounded toe and heel;
  5. The class of installed fasteners depending on the weight;
  6. Waist 72-75 millimeters wide;

Choosing ski boots

ski boots

Properly selected ski boots must meet the following requirements.

Boot size

It is necessary to select shoes for skiing only by trying on. It should be carried out on the sock in which the skating will take place. After all the fasteners have taken their place, it is necessary to apply a dynamic load and see if the leg is securely fixed, if there is any play and discomfort.


Unlike classical skiing, alpine skiing involves the use of exceptionally hard and high boots that securely fix the ankle and allow you to clearly control the trajectory of movement.

Number of belts

The more clips on the boot, the more securely the foot will be fixed and the more fixed its position will be during intensive descent from the mountain. Models equipped with a four-point fastening with variable tightening force are considered optimal. You should also pay attention to the width of the belts – the larger this parameter, the more securely the lower leg is fixed while riding.

Shoe width

It is selected individually, taking into account the geometric dimensions and anatomical structure of the leg. It is divided into three categories:

  1. Narrow block – 88-96 millimeters;
  2. Medium-sized block – 95-100 millimeters;
  3. Wide block – more than 100 millimeters;

The design and material of the liner

  1. The liner is an internal soft insert designed to protect the foot from cold and moisture. It is made of dense membrane materials and completely repeats the contours of the rider’s legs. There are three main types of liner on sale:
  2. Classic shapeless. A boot that has a fixed size and is selected by trying on;
  3. Moldable. A soft liner in a standard size that requires wear-in, during which it gradually takes the anatomical shape of the rider’s leg, repeating its contours and curves;
  4. Fill liner. The design is similar to molding and is also designed to create an anatomically shaped internal structure;
  5. As a heater, you can find felt (in cheap models), natural fluff, as well as thinsulate synthetic material, which is currently the most modern heat insulator.

In the following articles, our experts tell you how to choose skis for your child and the secrets of choosing cross-country skis.