What Skis to Use for Different Conditions
October 19, 2023 / in Breckenridge Skiing / by Lily Windsor
If you have been to Breckenridge, chances are you have had the opportunity to ski some powder or enjoy some mixed and ungroomed terrain. From stunning “bluebird” days to frequent snowstorms, the chance of beautiful weather and great conditions is almost a guarantee on a winter vacation. Gliding through soft powder after a fresh snowstorm is a dream of a day for many skiers. For others, that dream may be setting deep carves into a groomed run or perfecting that new trick in the terrain park. There are many different types of skiing you can try when you visit Breckenridge and with that, various skis designed to tackle your favorite terrain. Finding the right pair of skis can give you the best experience as you explore all the ways you can hit the slopes. With that in mind, here is a breakdown of some of the most common types of skis for different conditions you are likely to encounter at Breckenridge.
As the name suggests, all-mountain skis are built to handle just about anything that the mountain will throw at you. These are usually built with a medium width, lighter and shorter than other types of skis and are occasionally twin tipped, meaning the tip and the tail of the ski both curve upwards. They perform very well on the mountain in almost any condition. All-mountain skis are perfect for someone who wants to try different types of skiing or simply values the ability to tackle a variety of terrain on a single pair of skis. The drawback is that if you do want to perfect any one type of skiing, all-mountain skis might not perform as well as a more specific type of ski. Breckenridge Ski Resort offers so many different types of terrain across its five peaks, you cannot go wrong with a pair of skis designed to shred a variety of conditions. Examples of all-mountain skis are Nordica Enforcer 100’s, Völkl M6 Mantras and Rossingnol Sender 94 Ti’s.
Carving skis are a common type of ski that many recreational skiers will be used to. These skis are typically narrower and stiffer than other skis and have a subtle hourglass shape that is thinner under the boot and wider at the tip and tail of the skis. These qualities allow the edges of the ski to dig into the snow and make it easier to turn. Carving skis are most effective on groomed runs and enable skiers to easily make graceful carving turns. However, they are less effective in powder and on off-piste terrain, meaning that with these skis, you are more confined to groomed runs alone. However, you’ll find no shortage of groomed runs at Breckenridge Ski Resort if you choose a pair of carving skis. From Peak 9’s playground of mellow groomers to steep slopes that are still on-piste at Peak 10, you can’t go wrong with carving skis at Breckenridge. Examples of great carving skis include Stöckli Laser WRT Pros, Nordica Spitfire DC 74 Pro FDTs and Völkl Deacon 76’s.
Powder skis are built for exactly what their name implies: surfing through deep, fluffy powder. They are typically the widest skis you will find because they are built to keep you afloat even in the deepest fresh snow. They are usually a bit more flexible than an all-mountain ski, and many models are uniquely designed in that the ski itself offers a reverse camber (or rocker), meaning the tip and tail curve up from the underfoot of the ski. Powder skis are best suited to deeper snow and are a bit less effective on groomed runs and mixed conditions like moguls and spring conditions. Powder skis would still be a great choice for Breckenridge Ski Resort’s many powder stashes that can often be found off of Peak 6, Peak 7, and Peak 10, as well as for making tracks after fresh snowstorms. Some top-of-the-line powder skis are Salomon QST Blanks, Rossignol Sender Free 110’s and Atomic Bent Chetler 120’s.
These used to be known as “twin tips” and are primarily built lighter, shorter and narrower than typical all-mountain skis. This is to increase their ease of maneuverability as freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park and the pipe. These skis always have twin tips and generally a more symmetrical setup than other skis. They are designed to make riding switch (backwards) easier. Peak 8’s Park Lane Terrain Park offers many features to shred on a new pair of freestyle skis. There is no better time to loop the terrain park than this winter, as Breckenridge Ski Resort spent the summer upgrading the 5-Chair, which serves the terrain park area, to a new high-speed lift. Two smaller terrain parks can be found on Peak 9 as well. Although freestyle skis are specifically designed for the park, they can be decent all-mountain skis, too. Some of our favorite freestyle skis are Fischer Nightstick 97’s, Völkl Revolt 104’s and Line Chronic 94’s.
If you are interested in trying something different than your usual gear or need some top-of-the-line gear while you are visiting, check out Breck Sports. This winter, Epic Pass holders can enjoy up to 20% off rental equipment. Breck Sports will deliver the latest ski and snowboard gear right to your door, with 15% off delivery if booked online. Prefer an in-store experience? Head over to one of Breck Sports’ eight physical locations. With the ability return or exchange gear at any location (including Vail, Beaver Creek, and Keystone) renting your gear with Breck Sports couldn’t be any easier. Treat yourself to trying something new on your skis this winter. No matter what terrain you’re going for, staying slopeside guarantees you amazing access to everything the Breckenridge Ski Resort has to offer! Check out exclusive offers for the Grand Colorado on Peak 8, and the Grand Lodge on Peak 7 for a truly amazing winter getaway!