Snow showers are here, and with that the ski season has kicked off at Gulmarg. If you are headed there, this compendium on Skis will ensure that you have a smooth ski run. The thrilling sport promises plenty of falls and more often than not, it is the incorrect ski gear that is the culprit. Right Ski type will lessen your chances of falls and ensure that you have an enjoyable ski season.

Go through this guide and get to know the right Ski for your level of expertise.

Major Ski types

There are only too many types of Skis available in the market. That’s established! Now you need one that suits the terrain you will traverse, your expertise level, and the skiing style you want to practice. For Skis, one has to understand the difference based on these three factors- 1) suitability on the terrain type 2) one’s expertise level, and 3) the ride style.

Most skis flank a similar shape: they are curved and slim in the middle and thicker on the ends.  But the at-times slight, and subtle, measurement and texture differences impact important factors and help or hinder your skiing. The difference lies in the dimensions- of the waist (the central curved thinner area), the curve of the ski shape, the end thickness, whether raised at the ends (rockered), and flexibility (flex). Choose Well.

All Mountain Ski
As the name says, these work well both on, and off-piste, or on and offthe beaten snow’.  They are wider than carving skis with the underfoot measurement (the waist) varying from 80 to 90mm which providesextra float on powder snow. The shape can range from bending more to the carving ski type, to tilting towards the free-ride Ski kind. The sturdiness and flex level too varies, and some also have the powder ski ‘raised’, or ‘rockered’ tip, to help float in powder.

Carving Skis

Carving Skis are a sub-category of All Mountain Skis. Most fun or recreational riders would be acquainted with this one. For beginners too, this is mostly the best deal. It is cut-out for the groomed terrain (snow set with groomers) and is slim at the waist, at 70-80mm. It has a good side-turn radius (inward bent at the waist) which enables easy turning and has ample flex for stability, which makes it easier for the beginner. The higher-end models will be sturdier to allow greater speed

Free-Ride Skis

Free Ride Skis are carved out for off-piste trails, but can perform fine enough in groomed snow as-well. Their thickness is lesser than of the powder skis, and the underfoot measure varies from 90 to 105mm. The wider width provides more float in powder. Most free-ride skis also have a tip rocker which allows for easier manoeuvring as well as gripping in harder snow. It also helps float in varied snow.

Powder Skis

These are made to cruise through deep snow and powder, and are thicker, wider and longer than other types. Their width varies from 100mm to 140mm, have rockered tip or tail, and most also have camber i.e. a lift by the side curve which further enhances float, and also gives energy or pop while releasing turns. Powder Skiing is for fairly expert level Skiers.

There are other skis for more expert and specific operations, like Big Mountain Skis, Race Skis, Twintip/Park Skis, Tele Mark Skis, Cross-country Skis and Cross-Country Racing Skis.

TeleMark Skiing: the free-heel ride!

The regular Ski style is called Alpine Skiing, wherein you ski down-hill with both the foot and the heel bound to the Ski. However, there is also the ‘free-heel’ Skiing. Free heel bindings only clamp down the toe and the heel is set free. It allows free movement and feels more natural and unhindered. Free-heel ride styles include Nordic, cross-country and Telemark. Telemark Skiing is said to combine elements of Alpine, Nordic, and Ski jumping. Telemark turns involve a distinct style in which both the skis do not slide together, rather one is put forward after the other, while the knees are bent. Originated in and so named after the Telemark region in Norway, the style became very popular in the 70s and the 80s.

Telemark Skis and shoes would be heavier and stronger than of the Nordic kind. While Nordic skiing gives you the lighter run, Telemark gives you a more unbridled feel. Its’s a ride style you would definitely look forward to experiment with!

In conclusion, the ski type depends vastly on the trail you want to traverse and your level of expertise. While picking the ski, you need to consider the Ski width, length; side cut radius, tip type and camber to zero in on the one that is best suited. It’s always a good idea to seek help of professional trainers, who will initiate you into sport with proper and safe techniques and help you pick the right equipment.

If you are a beginner, join the skiing season with GoMissing. We will be at Gulmarg to conduct Skiing Courses for Beginner /Intermediate levels for private groups and corporate. We have our most popular Powder & Back Country skiing and Customized Skiing Trips for families in addition to other winter snow sports like Zorbing, ice skating, heli skiing in Gulmarg, Like previous years, this year too, we are gearing up for an excellent powder skiing. If you too want to get the best skiing experience with your family without having to shell out mega bucks for destinations like Zermatt in Switzerland or Meribel in France, give us a call on +918285349989.

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Ski Type References:

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