What Skis to Use? Different Skis for Different Conditions.
If you have been to Breckenridge this season, chances are you have had the opportunity to ski some powder or enjoy some mixed and ungroomed terrain. With all the snow we have been getting it has been almost impossible to not be here on a powder day. Ripping through soft powder and deep conditions is many skiers’ dream day on the hill. Or, maybe you are looking to up your game in the terrain park or put down the deepest carve you can on a groomed run. There are many different types of skiing you can try when you visit Breckenridge and having the right gear can give you the best experience as you try different types of skiing. Even bottomless powder can be a challenge if you are not prepared for it. Getting stuck out in the snow with the wrong gear can make an epic day go south fast. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of some of the most common types of skis and types of skiing for different conditions you are likely to encounter at Breckenridge.
As the name suggests, all-mountain skis are built as a one-size-fits-all type of ski and can handle just about anything that the mountain will throw at you. These are usually built wider, lighter and shorter than other types of skis and are generally twin-tipped. They perform very well on the mountain in almost any conditions. All-mountain skis are perfect for anyone who wants to try different types of skiing but doesn’t want to get pigeonholed into just one type of ski. The drawback is that if you do want to up your game at any one type of skiing, all-mountain skis might not perform as well as a more specific type of ski. Examples of all-mountain skis are K2 Pinnacles, Blizzard Brahmas and Armada Invictus.
Carving skis are the most common type of skis that recreational skiers will be used to. These skis have an hourglass shape that is thinner under the boot and wider at the tip and tail of the skis. The curving of the skis allows the edges to dig into the snow and makes it easier to turn. Carving skis are most effective on groomed runs and allow skiers to easily make graceful carving turns. They are less effective in powder and off off-piste terrain. Examples of carvings skis include Kastle FX95’s, Head Kore 93’s and Elan Ripsticks.
Powder skis are built for exactly what their name implies: powder. They are typically the widest skis you will find and are built to keep you afloat even in the deepest of power. They are usually a bit softer than an all-mountain ski and are unique in that the ski itself offers a reverse camber with the tip and tail of the ski thinner than the middle. Powder skis are specific to deeper snow and are a little wonky on groomed runs and mixed conditions like moguls and spring conditions. Some great powder skis are Saloman Rocker 2’s, Armada Bubbas and Faction Royales.
These used to be known as “twin tips” and are primarily built lighter, shorter and narrower than typical all-mountain skis. Freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park and the pipe. These skis always have twin tips and usually a more symmetrical setup than other skis. They are designed to make riding switch (backwards) easier. Although freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park, they are usually pretty good all-mountain skis, too. Some of our favorite freestyle skis are Faction Candides, Line Magnum Opus skis and Armada ARV 96’s.
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