So, you've bought, begged or borrowed the skis but you've no idea how they're going to propel you down the slopes? From telemarks to race skis, from freestyle to twin tip skis, choosing a new pair from the plethora of those available can be quite a complex task.
Over the past 60 years or so, skiing equipment has moved on in leaps and bounds. In the 1930's, alpine skiing made the transition from an exotic, leisure pursuit for only the selected few to a worldwide participant sport. At that time, skis consisted of long wooden planks with 'bear trap' bindings. Today you’re more likely to see such skis as decorative antiques hanging on the walls of Savoyard restaurants and chalets to add a bit of rustic charm!
Along with the 1960's came fiberglass and it was at that point that the traditional ski began to change. The 1980's were dominated by the infamous 'pencil skis' that were accompanied by the good old rear entry boots and one-piece ski suits with which designers creatively brought bright colour to the ski slopes. The more fluorescent the better! Whilst you may still see the occasional fluorescent number and pair of pencil skis on the slopes (or at a bad taste theme party), those who continue to persevere with them should know that today this rather dated equipment is playing havoc with your skiing potential.
The 1990's saw the introduction of carving skis which opened up the market for ski design all based on a similar carving system. In the current market, the right pair of skis should almost feel like an extension to your boots and should suit your style, ability, weight and skiing aggressiveness. The ‘wrong’ pair of skis can result in your legs becoming wholly uncooperative machines that have the potential to cause serious injury!