Skis | Advanced-Intermediate All-Mountain Alpine Skis | Off Piste-Mountain Alpine Skis | Ski Reviews | Ski Boots | Ski Bindings
last updated 24 Jan 2020

Contents: Terms | Criteria | Buying Guides | Reviews | Sample ski List | History

Terms:
There are all kinds of ways of categorizing skis depending on where you ski and your type skiing.
> You will see "All-mountain skis generally have what we call mid-fat waists that range from 80-110 mm." all over the place. I couldn't find the source.


Things to consider:
Type:
all-mountain skis, all-mountain wide skis, powder skis and backcountry skis. Depends on the type of skiing you do.

Length:
REI As a general rule, choose a ski length that comes up to between your chin and the top of your head. Use our size chart for a more precise fit.
Shiffrin who is 5' 7" (170 cm)uses 155 skis for slalom.

Nastar.comMasters-level men have more options, ranging from a women's-length 155-cm ski to a World Cup-length 165-cm ski

Width:
My 20 year old skis which I've been skiing for 15 years were 73 mm.

Bottom Line is:
Tom McBride says "Narrow skis allow for quicker edge-to-edge transition (quicker turns) and are often lighter weight, but will tend to be thrown around more on ungroomed stuff. Stay from extremes."

At 2009 Volkl Mantra | Marker Bindings, evo and a couple of other places they say
"All-mountain skis generally have what we call mid-fat waists that range from 80-110 mm."
Most other places they say all-mountain starts around a 95 mm waist.
It's subjective. My take after spending a couple of days reading guidelines is:

Alpine Ski Design - Realskiers
Category Waist Best Terrain
Technical 65mm – 74mm 100% Groomed, ice to corduroy
Frontside 75mm – 84mm 80/20 Groomed/Off-Piste
All Mountain East 85mm – 94mm 75/25 Groomed/Off-Piste
All Mountain West 95mm – 100mm 60/40 Off-Piste/Groomed
Big Mountain 101mm – 113mm 80/20 Off-Piste/Groomed
Powder > 113mm 100% Off-Piste
REI Skinnier skis are better for carving turns on groomed runs, while wider skis provide better flotation in deep snow.
All-mountain skis with 85mm-95mm are best for a mix of groomed and powder.
Ski Mag Narrow waists (under 85 mm) are quick and grippy, built for groomed or icy slopes..
Wide waists (100-plus mm) surf the deep. Anything in between should be versatile for all.

Sidecut radius and the mechanics of turning--equipment designed to reduce risk of severe traumatic knee injuries in alpine giant slalom ski racing | British Journal of Sports Medicine

Solomon.com Skis for performance on groomed slopes generally have a narrow waist width to encourage high angled edges and grip when turning. They also make shifting from edge to edge easier, so you can make quick turns more efficiently.
These rigid skis allow you to use the edges even on the most difficult, steep and icy runs. Choose a sidecut radius suited to your technique and preference towards tight or wide turns.

Bode Miller "When it comes to ski width, Bode says buck the trend: While wider skis tend to be en vogue at the moment, Miller cautions against them. In addition to putting stress on the bindings, he says, skis that are too wide can also negatively affect performance. "Ninety-five, ninety-eight percent of the skiing should be done on a ski that's 70(mm) underfoot. It's the way the physics and the energy transfer from the body to snow tends to work the best."

Older men should consider skiing on ladies ski. Softer flex.

Camber/Rocker:

Source: Ski Shape and Profile
Ski Camber vs. Rocker: A Skier’s Guide - Wagner Custom Skis

Taper: Subtract the tail width from the tip width, and you have the taper. The greater the taper, the easier the ski will be to skid. (Big rockered skis, for example, often have a very narrow tail for easy steering and smearing.) A low taper number means the tail sticks to the turn, making the ski better for carving on hardpack.

Sidecut / Radius:
More sidecut will give a smaller radius.

Giant Slalom gates are supposed to be set at about a 27 meter radius (for teenagers and adults) according to FIS regulations, but many NASTAR and other non-FIS races may have tighter turns which are closer to about 20 meters in radius.

Nastar.com Tight, 18-meter sidecut GS skis may be the rage, but perhaps not the fastest choice for everyone. The higher the edge angle you create while turning, the bigger the sidecut you can handle. If you get a lot of angulation, you can actually have too much sidecut, which makes the skis feel hooky. While most masters racers prefer a GS radius under 25 meters, an 18-meter radius may be too tight for you, depending on your line and the amount of edge angle you can create.
There's one more consideration among masters racers: age. The older the racer, the shorter the length and tighter the radius their skis tend to be.
Masters-level men have more options, ranging from a women's-length 155-cm ski to a World Cup-length 165-cm ski with a radius from 12 to 13 meters.

A rough guide to sidecut radius and types of ski is given below:
Skis - Ski Equipment - Mechanics of Skiing
Radius (R) Type of Ski Description
10m - 12m Slalom These skis will make small aggressive turns when carved, intended for small slalom race turns.
14m - 20m Allround,
Freestyle,
Beginner,
Powder
Most types of ski generally have radii within this range. These skis are generally a bit more stable at higher speeds than slalom skis, and are well suited to general piste skiing at the speeds that most people ski at.
20m - 30m Giant Slalom,
Freestyle,
Powder
Giant slalom skis make larger turns when carved, and need to be used at higher speeds to work properly. They are intended for larger giant slalom turns, at speeds towards the top end of what people generally ski at on an open piste. Freestyle and powder skis can also have radii within this range as they are not used to carve aggressively, and are not intended to be skied with the same speed and aggression as giant slalom skis.
30m + Super-G,
Downhill
These skis are only really used by racers as the speeds needed to use them properly are too fast and dangerous for most pistes.

Stiffness And Flex Pattern:
Wagner In general, a firmer-flexing ski is more stable and powerful under a strong skier; if too stiff, the ski is difficult to drive into a new turn, especially in trees, bumps and powder. *A softer ski provides easier turn entry and exit and is more forgiving for a lighter skier. If too soft, the ski feels unstable.


Buying Guides:
REI
How to Choose Men's All-Mountain Skis | OutdoorGearLab
Size & Buying Guides - Home | evo
Ski Finder | Voelkl
Ski Buyer’s Guide - Wagner Custom Skis : Flex Pattern
The seven most common mistakes skiers make when buying new boots - Nordica Compute radius from dimensions | xls
Sample Ski List:
Some skis that got good reviews or recommended by someone:
Dimensions tip-waist-tail mm for 160-170 length
Snow (Ski Magazzine): H-hard, G-Groomed, F-Frontside, AM-All Mountain v v
Ski length dimensions Rad-
ius
Snow Ski MagOutdoor2
Gear Lab
weight
Overall QuicknessOverall/
Carving
Pro Race Skis
Solomon I S/Race Rush 105-68-122mm 11
Atomic REDSTER S9 FIS M 109.1-65.8-102.512.6
On Piste - Front side - Carving turns - Quick turns on groomers - recreational racing
Nordica Dobermann Spitfire 122-72-102 16
Blizzard Firebird HRC
$1,300
126-76-107 17 3.92 4.18
Rossignol React R8 Ti 124-73-110 13
Best carving Gear Patrol
Line Darkside 73 175 110-73-98 17
Vokl Deacon 76 122-76-103 18.3 HG3.79 4.09 2180 Adv./Pro
Volkl Deacon 79 129_79_109 18 4.064.02 1460 Inter/Adv
Volkl Yumi
womans
123/84/104 18 4.064.42 Intermediate
Volkl RTM 84 130-85-113 13.5 3.78 Advanced-Pro, stiff
Volkl Deacon 84
$1,000
132-84-115 14 3.78 1320 Professional
Rossignol Experience 84 133-84-120 16 3.57
K2 Mind Bender 85
Womans
130-85-113 13.5
Fischer RC One
$900
130-86-116 17 3.93 4
Blizzard Brahma 88 127-88-111 14 3.78 3.83
Rossignol Experience 88 127-88-117 16 3.78 3.93
Volkl Kendo 88 129-88-111 15 3.58 3.7 1980
Nordica Enforcer 88 119-88-107 15 F 3.78 3.88
Salomon S/Force Bold 16 3.76 3.94
Rossignol Experience 88 Ti ($650) 127-88-117 16 3.78 3.93 73/8
Head Kore 93 133/93/115 16.4 AM 4.34 4.57 80/8
Nordica Enforcer 93 126/93/114 18.5 4.15 3.95 80/10
Best on-Piste carver Outdoor Gear Lab
Nordica Enforcer 94
2021
125.5-94-112.5 15.5
All mountain skis Mix of groomed and soft snow
K2 Pinnacle 95 Ti ($650) 132-95-115mm
Volkl M5 Mantra ($699) 134-96-117 18 4.03 3.75 90/9
Most recommended
Powder - Off Piste Wider is better for power - crud - trees.
Blizzard Bonafide 135-98-119
Head Kore 99
Blizzard Rustler 10 133-102-122.5 14.5 86/8
Rossignol Soul 7 HD 136-104-126 16 13
Nordica Enforcer 104 135-104-124mm 18.5 4.12
Men's All-Mountain Wide Skis - Ski
Salomon S/Max Blast 138-106-125mm
Nordica Enforcer 110 185 140-110-129mm 18.5 4.01 3.75
Best Deep Snow Ski
Nordica Enforcer Pro 191 143-115-132mm 81/9

Reviews:
1. SM Frontside Skis - Ski Mag
  Ski Test Report Card (what do categories mean)- Ski Mag
2. OGL - The Best All-Mountain Skis for Men of 2019 | OutdoorGearLab
Carving Skis | evo
SBT - Best All-Mountain Skis of 2018-2019 | Switchback Travel
The 6 Best Men's Performance Carving Skis of the Year - Ski Mag FS The 23 best all-mountain skis of 2018-2019 | FREESKIER
SM SKI Magazine's Best in Test Skis for 2019 - Ski Mag
OO Outside Online
The 10 Best Skis of Winter 2020 For Every Skier - Gear Patrol
More details on a few recommended all-mountain skis:
Rossignol Soul 7 HD Skis - Men's - 2018/2019 Blizzard Bonafide Skis - Men's - 2018/2019 Head Kore 105 Skis - Men's - 2018/2019
$749.95 $699.95 $749.00
Size hide
Reviews review stars 5 review stars 5 review stars 5 hide
Best Use Downhill Skiing Downhill Skiing Downhill Skiing hide
Ski Terrain Groomed and powder Groomed and powder Groomed and powder hide
Tip Width 134 mm 135 mm 132 mm hide
Waist Width 104 mm 98 mm 103 mm hide
Tail Width 124 mm 119 mm 123 mm hide
Sidecut Radius 16 meters 16.5 meters 16.1 meters hide
Ski Camber Tip and Tail Rocker Tip Rocker Tip and Tail Rocker hide
Tail Type Flat Partial Twin hide
Core Wood Poplar/beech/metal Koroyd/wood hide
Bindings Included No No No hide
Gender Men's Men's Men's hide
Weight (Pair) 8 lbs. 6 oz. Unavailable Unavailable hide
Lowest DIN Unavailable hide
Highest DIN Unavailable hide

REI

Ski Weight Chart for Alpine & Backcountry Skis | evo
'Explained: Three Key Specifications for Buying Skis - Width, length, stiffness | Welove2skiWeLove2Ski



Brief history of skis:
A href='https://skiinghistory.org/history/evolution-ski-shape' TARGET="_blank">Evolution of Ski Shape | International Skiing History Association

Links:
Ski Boots
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