Alpine skis tutorial and skiing equipment tips. With the side cut explained, how to determine length, stiffness differences and carbon steel edges too.
Skiing Tips

Alpine Skis Features and Characteristics

Side Cut
  This is the change in width from tip to waist to tail end, making an hourglass shape. (pic #1). The more the curve, the easier it is to turn. Skis with a shallower side cut carve longer turns and skid easier at the back end.

Width
  This measurement tells a lot about a ski's characteristics.
Skis that are wide in the center are more stable and easier for learning on. Narrower skis are quicker in turns and more controllable. (pic #2)

Length
  Ski length is usually determined by weight, but also skill and style too. Check with the ski stores chart for more information. For a quick check you can see if the tip of the ski is about the same height as the top of your head. This can reduce the time to find the right size.

Stiffness
 
Stiffness can make a big difference depending on your ability. Beginners want a soft, wide ski to help teach proper form when carving. A softer ski is more forgiving in the turns.
Intermediate skiers should use stiffer skis to make tighter turns and control their speed. They are narrower at the tail and center. Experts use even stiffer skis to transfer their body weight evenly to the ski's for greater speed in races.

Edges
  This is the outer part of the ski, usually made from carbon steel. It provides the grip on hard snow
(pic #3). The thinner the edge, the more flexible and responsive the ski will be.

Base
  This is the surface of the ski that contacts the snow most of the time. Most bases are made from a polyurethane material for durability and glide
(pic #4).

*Note - Be careful if you're thinking of buying used skis. Bindings go out of date, and boots may be hard to find that fit them.

Skiing Tips Main Page

<< Pictures >>
#1
#2
Side Cut Diagram
Ski Width
#3
#4
Ski Edge Shown
Base or Underside

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