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Skis: specifications, types

Riding style

General design features and the main purpose of skis.

Universal (all mountain). Alpine skis for general use, designed for carving and designed mainly for beginners and amateurs. Suitable for different slopes and types of surface — with deep loose snow, with dense, with a flat slope, with mounds, etc. They have relatively low hardness. On each individual type of surface, such skis are generally inferior to specialized models; on the other hand, they are convenient because they allow you to ride on different slopes with relative comfort without changing skis.

Freeride (free style). Freeride is called skiing on mountain slopes outside of prepared tracks, on untouched snow. This type of skiing is considered the most extreme, because. unfamiliar slopes are unpredictable. Accordingly, freeride skis have increased strength. In addition, they have a rather large width, a relatively wide waist (compared to universal skis) and soft toe and heel.

Slalom / carving (aggressive skating). Technically, carving is the main riding style for most modern alpine skiing. This category also includes sports skis designed for classic slalom on prepared tracks. They are stiffer than the all-rounders, but softer than the giant slalom models, with a defined waist and a sidecut with a small radius (see below) to facilitate tight turns.

...ref="/en/list/429/pr-20047/">Freestyle (stunt). This category includes skis designed for ski acrobatics and other types of riding associated with jumps and tricks in the air — slopestyle, halfpipe, newschool, etc. Among these models, specialized options are distinguished, for example Aerials — for aerial acrobatics or P&P (Park & Pipe) for new school. Anyway, "acrobatic" skis are relatively short in length and can be performed in the form of a "twin-type" (see below). Note that mogul and ski-cross are also commonly referred to as freestyle disciplines, however, skis for them are separated into separate categories in our catalog (see below).

For giant slalom. Giant slalom is a type of slalom that involves a long course with a large vertical drop. Skis for this kind of riding have a longer length and larger cutout radius than the slalom/carving models (see above).

Mogul (hilly track). Mogul is a type of freestyle skiing, which involves descending along a track with numerous hillocks (also, springboards for aerial acrobatics may be provided on the track). Mogul skis have a relatively small width and cutout radius, the absence of a pronounced waist, a soft toe, medium bending stiffness and high twisting stiffness.

Ski tour (with a lift). A ski tour is called skiing, in which the athlete must climb the mountain for the descent on their own, without a lift. For ease of lifting, skis for a ski tour should be equipped with skins (devices that prevent slipping back) and special fasteners that allow you to release the heel of the boot when lifting and firmly fix it when descending.

Ski cross (group descent). One of the disciplines of freestyle, closely approaching skiing: skiers go down the track with turns and jumps, and in the final races, the start takes place 4 people at a time. Skis for such descents combine a small cutout radius, which makes cornering easier, and relative softness for “working out” bumps. Inexpensive models come close to universal ones (see above).

Cross-country classic. Cross-country skis are called skis designed to move on a relatively flat surface, including over fairly long distances (tens of kilometers). They are made long, narrow and, unlike the mountain ones, do not have a waist; and running bindings firmly fix the foot only in the toe, allowing the heel to move up and down. The classic style of running involves the movement of skis parallel to each other, ideally along the finished track.

Cross-country skate. A kind of cross-country skiing for skating — along a wide road, with movements resembling the movements of a skater. They have a slightly shorter length than the classic ones described above, as well as a small edging along the edges of the lower part to ensure effective pushes.

– Cross-country classic / skate. Cross-country skis, equally suitable for both classic and skating (see above). According to the design features, it is closer to the ridge ones; it often happens that the claimed type — "purely skate" or universal — depends more on the decision of the manufacturer than on technical features.

Short (skiboards). Very short alpine skis with a symmetrical design, twin-tip shape and a wider width than the classic models. They are divided into two categories — standard (length up to 110 cm) and longboards (110 – 130 cm). The first variety is intended primarily for stunt riding; at the same time, the short design puts forward special requirements for skills, but allows you to perform tricks that are not available on conventional skis. Longboards, in turn, are suitable for freeriding.

Splitboard. Splitboards, in fact, are not skis, but a kind of snowboard. The main difference between such a device and a regular “board” is a collapsible design: a splitboard consists of two halves, which, when separated, turn into a pair of skis. The capabilities of such skis are similar to the ski touring models (see above): they are equipped with skins, bindings with a free heel and are well suited for self-climbing. For the descent, the halves are connected back, the bindings are rearranged, and when driving down, such a board is actually no different from a classic snowboard. Splitboards are valued primarily among those who prefer mountains without a lift and other equipment, or for some reason do not want to use such equipment.

Age and gender

"Gender" and "age" affiliation of skis.

- Unisex. Skis designed for adults (as well as teenagers of the appropriate height) regardless of gender. Usually, they have a restrained or relatively neutral design, the size may be different.

- Women's. Skis designed for women are slightly smaller than unisex models. In addition, they are often made in a characteristic flamboyant design.

- Baby. The main feature of children's skis is their short length, which allows a child who has not grown up to "adult" height to comfortably ride them.

Ability level

Approximate skill level the skis are designed for.

— Newbie. Equipment designed for those who have no (or little) skiing experience and are learning the basics of skiing.

— Progressive. Models for those who have mastered the basic skills of riding, but still need practice to use skis confidently.

— Average. Models for amateurs who ride regularly and in large quantities, but in relatively uncomplicated conditions.

— Experienced. Skiing for those who have surpassed or intend to surpass the experience of the average skier (go to more difficult tracks, learn new tricks); also suitable for the initial training of athletes.

— Expert. Professional models designed primarily for athletes.

The more “professional” a ski is, the more features it provides, but the price comes at the cost of difficult handling and the need for specialized skills. Therefore, when choosing according to this indicator of skiing, you need to soberly assess the level of the skier. Also note that some models may be suitable for several levels at once. For example, skis for advanced skiers can be comfortable enough for initial training, or vice versa, quite advanced and suitable for intermediate levels.

Size (length)

The length of each ski. First of all, stability and turnability depend on this indicator: the longer the ski, the easier it is to keep it on course and the harder it is to turn.

The choice for this indicator depends primarily on the height of the user, however, for different types and styles of riding (see above), recommendations for height will also be different, they should be clarified in each case separately from special sources. It is not worth neglecting the recommendations for size: skis that are too long will be bulky and make it difficult to manoeuvre, too short will be unstable and will fall heavily on loose snow.

Sidecut radius

The radius of the curved line that forms the sidecut of the skis. Such cutouts are typical for mountain models — they are necessary for successful cornering at speed. At the same time, the smaller the cutout radius, the more pronounced its curvature, the greater the difference in width between the toe / heel and the waist, and the higher the steering (smaller turning radius). In turn, for "high-speed" skis (for example, for giant slalom), the radius of curvature is usually small.


Directed. Classic ski shape. In such models, only the toe is bent up, and the heel is straight, rectangular (or close in shape to a rectangle). The directional shape is designed only for forward movement — when moving backward, the heel is almost guaranteed to burrow into the snow, locking the skis. This, on the one hand, reduces the risk of rolling "in the wrong direction", on the other hand, it somewhat limits the possibilities for tricks.

Twin type. Twin-type skis are bent up not only in front, but also in the back (moreover, the heel, usually, has the same width and shape as the toe). This allows you to ride them both forward and backward with equal success. This possibility is relevant primarily for trick riding, so twin-tips are used mainly in skis for various types of freestyle (see "Type and style").

Partial twin-type. This category includes skis, both ends of which are rounded, but differ in width. At the same time, unlike the "full" twin types, the heel in such models does not necessarily bend upwards — it can be straight. For a number of reasons, this form is popular in a wide variety of types of alpine skiing.

Tip width

The greatest width of the skis in the front.

The ratio of the width of the "nose", "waist" and "heel" allows you to estimate the radius of the side cutout (see above) — there is a special formula for this. In general, wider skis (with the same length) are more passable and less “fast” than narrow ones — they fall into the snow less, but they also go worse forward.

Waist width

The smallest width of the skis in the middle part, usually, in the attachment area.

The ratio of the width of the "nose", "waist" and "heel" allows you to estimate the radius of the side cutout (see above) — there is a special formula for this. In general, wider skis (with the same length) are more passable and less “fast” than narrow ones — they fall into the snow less, but they also go worse forward.

Tail width

The greatest width of the skis in the back.

The ratio of the width of the "nose", "waist" and "heel" allows you to estimate the radius of the side cutout (see above) — there is a special formula for this. In general, wider skis (with the same length) are more passable and less “fast” than narrow ones — they fall into the snow less, but they also go worse forward.


A ski base is called a skid (the lower part that is in direct contact with the snow and is responsible for sliding), but only if the base material is different from the core material. In cross-country skiing, such a design is found in isolated cases, but for mountain and stunt skiing, slippers are required. Usually, polyethylene with various additives is used as the base material; Here are the main types of such polyethylene:

— Sintered (sintered). The production technology of sintered polyethylene includes sintering under pressure and applying micro-notches directly at the factory. Such a material is strong, hard, glides easily and provides higher speed than extruded, but is more expensive and more difficult to repair. It is used mainly in professional skiing.

— Extruded (extruded). Slippers of this type are produced using a simpler technology than sintered ones and do not have notches. They are softer, have medium strength, slip less and are not suitable for high speeds. On the other hand, if the goal of the skier is not the highest possible speed, this option is also quite acceptable; while extruded polyethylene is much cheaper and easier to repair.

Core material

The material from which the main part of the ski structure is made.

- Wood. A traditional ski material that is still popular today; used in most skis of all types and price categories. Depending on the type and processing method, wood can be given different torsional and bending stiffness, this material has good strength and is quite inexpensive. However cross-country skis made of wood (see "Type and style") are somewhat more difficult to use than plastic ones. So, they need to be lubricated with the so-called holding ski ointment, and there are a great many methods of lubrication and types of ointment (in particular, different types of ointment are recommended for different temperatures). And in the thaw, such skis can get wet and glide poorly. On the other hand, wooden skis “grip” better and slip less.

— Plastic. Plastic is less suitable for serious loads than wood, therefore it is used very rarely, mainly in cross-country skiing. Such skis have a notch on the underside in the middle part where the boot is located, which allows them to do without lubrication. On the other hand, the plastic surface tends to slip when moving backwards, and lubrication may still be necessary in some conditions. Also note that plastic cross-country skis are made only for the classic course.


The design determines the cross-sectional view of the ski — primarily the overall shape, as well as the features of the top cover and sidewalls.

Sandwich. In the "sandwich" (or "sidewall") design, the sidewalls covering the core are made separately from the top "cover". In cross section, the ski looks like a clear trapezoid; the core itself is usually made of several layers of dissimilar materials. The sidewall provides good strength and reliability, it allows the edge to effectively “bite” into the snow during turns and skating pushes; in addition, such skis are easier to repair than caps. Their disadvantages are a little more weight, as well as an increased likelihood of damage if the skis are accidentally crossed.

Cap. In cap-type skis, the core is covered from above and from the sides by a continuous protective shell, due to which a trapezoid with rounded upper corners is obtained in the section. Such products are somewhat lighter than "sandwiches" and are not as prone to damage in collisions, but they have less rigidity, as a result — they are more prone to side slip and are less controlled at high speeds. And the repair of "caps" is much more difficult.

Flex rating

A characteristic that determines the ability to work out the loads created by skis, depending on the weight of the skier and the speed of laying turns.

- Soft (soft). Soft skis will fit light skiers (up to about 75 kg) to achieve rapid progress in classic skiing. Their block part is tightly pressed against the surface of the ski track, which slows down the speed of movement.

- Medium (medium). Skis with medium stiffness are addressed to people of average weight (75-95 kg). If you stand on such skis, they should leave a minimum gap between the block and the floor under load (about 0.5 mm).

- Stiff (hard). Rigid skis work out high loads well and are suitable for mastering fast skating when riding on relatively flat horizontal surfaces. Models of the Stiff class leave a gap of 1-2 mm between the floor and the last, they are also intended for heavy skiers.

- X-Stiff (super-hard). Super-hard skis will serve as a good purchase for a weight of more than 100 kg for adepts in skiing with the breeze. This category usually includes racing skis for skating.

In box

Additional items included in the package.

Sticks. Most skiing styles involve the use of poles. At the same time, such equipment is found mainly among children's skis; it is more convenient for an adult user to choose sticks separately, according to their specific skills and preferences.

— Fastening. Mounting brackets are included, eliminating the need to purchase them separately. At the same time, “native” mounts are most often optimally suited for skis, while with third-party mounts there may be difficulties. On the other hand, this option is not always optimal: it is more convenient for some skiers to choose bindings on their own, at their discretion.

Also note that if there are mounts, their model may be indicated in the characteristics — for example, the popular brand Atomic uses a designation of 3 letters and 2 numbers, like “XTE 10”. Knowing the mounting model, you can find detailed information on it and clarify how it fits certain requirements.

Release year

Year, more precisely — the season for which the skis were issued. Each winter season is at the junction of calendar years, so the model year is indicated by two numbers — for example, 2020/2021, 2019/2020, 2018/2019, 2017/2018, 2016/2017, 2015/2016, etc.

Model ranges are constantly replenished, and existing models are being improved. Accordingly, newer skis are considered more advanced. On the other hand, upgrades may not suit the rider's preference (or even be insignificant), while new models are noticeably more expensive than older ones.

Country of origin

As a manufacturing country, usually, they indicate not the country of actual production of skis, but the “homeland” of the brand under which they are presented on the market. Most of these brands come from famous "ski" countries such as Austria or Switzerland ; in addition, there are quite a few companies from Germany, Slovenia, the USA and France on the market. At the same time, the factories where skis are actually produced are often located in other countries. Thus, sellers go to the trick, making skis more attractive in the eyes of the buyer. At the same time, this cannot be called an unambiguous deception: large brands, usually, strictly control the quality of products, regardless of the country in which they are produced. Therefore, it is worth evaluating skis primarily by the reputation of a particular brand, and not by the country of origin indicated in the characteristics.
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Riding style
Sidecut radius
Ski shape
Flex rating
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