Quantcast tag
Synchrony Financial
Questions?Contact Us

Hit the Powder with the Help of Our Buying Guide

With so many models on the market, finding the perfect pair of skis can be a daunting prospect. Factors such as height and ability play a part, but there are other factors to consider such as terrain, snow type and personal preference. The questions below will help make your decision easier.

What is your ability level?

Identify your ability level before you start shopping. Are you a first timer or a free-riding pro?

  • Recreational skiers range from absolute beginners to those who get to the mountain a few times each year, but prefer the groomed Green and Blue runs.
  • Intermediate skiers are stronger skiers who frequent the slopes and have the confidence to tackle the easier Black runs.
  • Advanced skiers are quite familiar with Black runs, moguls and varied terrains. They have solid technique across all conditions.
  • Expert skiers include professionals, instructors and top-level regulars.

What is your ski type?

For optimum performance, choose a model that is designed to work in the terrain you wish to ski.

Alpine
Like to hit the downhill slopes? Choose alpine skis.

  • Piste skis give speed and stability on groomed snow, making it a good ski for novices.
  • All Mountain is a versatile ski for the intermediate skier. While predominantly soft-snow focused, they have enough width to allow you to start exploring ungroomed conditions.
  • Advanced skiers are quite familiar with Black runs, moguls and varied terrains. They have solid technique across all conditions.
  • Freeride is the ultimate half-and-half ski, performing well across the entire mountain. New models have a cut that is best suited to advanced skiers.
Cross-Country

For free-heel skiers who prefer to travel under their own steam, what you choose will be determined by the terrain you are interested in. Backcountry and alpine touring skis, for example, allow you to glide through the countryside, climb hills and then cruise down the other side. Nordic skis are best suited to paths that have already been broken in. The weight of your gear will affect performance, so speak to a retailer about your specific needs before making a purchase.To ease your way to the slopes, sports equipment financing can help with purchasing the right skis for your trip.

What size ski do you need?

The shorter the ski, the easier it is to handle. As a rule of thumb, beginner and intermediate skis should reach around eyebrow height. Weight and skill level also impacts ski size—refer to a ski sizing chart and speak to trained staff in-store. You usually don’t need to worry about ski width at novice and intermediate level.

Read independent reviews of ski models to find one with the best value that meets your needs. Freerider models are typically the most expensive, but they do offer versatility and longevity, making them a good long-term investment.

Synchrony Financial partners with sporting goods retailers who can help you find the right skis. Find out if one of these retailers has a location near you.

Additional Reading:

Independent Skier Magazine: 2015 Ski Buyer’s Guide