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How to Buy Skis

How to Buy Skis

posted: 01/01/2000

For many skiers, the huge number of choices on the average retail sales rack can be both exciting and daunting. Here are a few tips to finding your perfect mate.Sept. 28, 2001 (SKI)--One of the most chilling scenes in George Orwell's 1984 comes when hapless citizens are forced to enter a room that contains their greatest fear. For protagonist Winston Smith, it's rats. If Winston had been a skier, though, his room would have been a ski shop emptied of its sales staff.

Here's why: because for many skiers (and we're included in this group), the huge number of choices on the average retail ski rack can be both exciting and daunting.

Here are some tips:
Be armed with answers to the questions the sales person will almost certainly ask you.

  • Do you ski in the East or West? On soft snow or hard?
  • Do you prefer bumps or groomers? Black diamonds or blue squares?
  • Do you like short, quick turns or long, languorous arcs?
  • How many days a year do you ski?
  • Do you want performance, comfort or both? Then, demo. Try before you buy. Since many retailers will apply your demo cost to your purchase, it behooves you to take the shiny candidate out onto the hill and put it through its paces:
  • Make short turns, long turns and everything in between. Does the ski transition smoothly, or do you have to force it?
  • Go as fast as you want to. Does the ski keep up? Can you keep up with it?
  • Ski on your tails and over your tips. Does the ski punish you for these mistakes?
  • Find your favorite snow type. Is it your ski's favorite, too? Trust your judgement-and your first impressions: They're usually right.


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