We decode a ski’s inner workings—and what it means to you.
Ever wonder what's under that topsheet, or how a ski is actually made? With a few exceptions, most skis are put together using two or three basic construction techniques and incorporating the same basic ingredients. Here's how wood, plastic, foam, steel, and a dose of designer ingenuity come together to get you down the hill reliably.
It’s here to stay, and it’s not just for powder skis anymore. Manufacturers are offering new hybrids that’ll help anyone—anyone—ski better.
On the groomed? Drastic rocker makes a ski feel slippery and unpredictable. But companies are addressing that. K2, an early adopter of full rocker, builds traditionally cambered skis with just a touch of rocker at the tip; this “catch free” technology makes a ski easier to pivot if you’re still learning how to set an edge and carve. Völkl makes sidecut and rocker work together, so that when the ski is tipped on edge on a flat surface, the entire edge is engaged with the snow.