From beginner to advanced skiers and riders, choosing the right skis or snowboard to purchase makes for a lot of questions. Ski companies offer so many options that it might seem like your best option is to close your eyes and point to which ones you’ll buy. While that’s not quite the best solution, there is an easier way to make your final decision. Most (if not all) ski resorts have rental package options which allow guests to demo skis during their visit. But you might be wondering why you should demo at all.
The easiest answer is that when you demo skis you don’t have to get them right away. You simply get to try them on the slopes and bring them back if they don’t work. You’ll find plenty of deals at rental shops both on and off the mountain not only saving you time but a lot of money. You don’t go around buying cars without actually test-driving them, right?
Let’s review how to demo ski and why it can be one of the smartest moves for you as a skier. You’ll hopefully discover what your preferences are, and learn more about what type you need for the terrain you mostly ride.
Similar to how you can test the comfort of a mattress at the store, you can try a variety of skis to find your best fit. Resorts sometimes have on-snow demo days, but the majority of the time you can walk into a shop and ask for a pair.
Be sure to also ask questions before choosing a demo package. The reps at resorts and ski shops are knowledgeable and will guide you to the right equipment. This will help you in the future as well so you don’t have to spend all your time trying to check them out by guessing every time.
Think about all the places you normally ski. Not the places you’re interested in skiing, or that you’ve never been to before. Also, think about how you ski. If you’re more of an off-piste type of person or you like to traverse the whole mountain then these are things to mention to the tech who helps you pick skis out.
Save yourself time by doing some light research before you visit the resort. Look at reviews for skis you might be interested in and then jot down key points to bring up. This will circumvent frustration and make it simpler for you to actually test out the gear you select.
Make sure you are aware of what your boot sole length is or bring along a pair that fit well. If you’re not bringing boots from home, providing the BSL will help when adjusting your bindings. One of the worst things to experience is the wrong boot size that can lead to injury when you’re actually out on the snow.
Remember that you might have to go through a few pairs of skis before sticking with one that makes sense to you. Be sure that you use the same terrain with each ski you try. This will help you really see -or rather feel- the difference between them all. Test out a variety of turn sizes, speeds and the like so that you can make the best decision at the end of the day.
Run through your typical day on the mountain as usual and take time to weigh your options. You want skis that will do well on fresh powder, groomed runs and other types of conditions. If you find that the first pair of skis don’t work, ask a pro at either a rep or a shop employee for different ski lengths. You’d be surprised how that can make all the difference and how your skiing experience differs.
Finding the right skis can take some time, even if you’ve been at it for years. There are components you have to consider every time to retire an old pair and land with your next. For first timers, it might even take longer, simply because you want to make sure you’re not just making a random choice. But by keeping a few things in mind, the process can go a little quicker (and smoother).
Don’t feel like you have to rush to get the latest and greatest option either. Finding a pair that gets you over bumps, hills, and patches of ice with ease is your ultimate goal. And if that means you have to do a little more “shopping” around then that’s perfectly fine! Staying safe on the mountain is the way to go and will allow you to enjoy your trip that much more. Plus, you won’t be purchasing skis that don’t match your needs and then having to find a way to sell them as quickly as possible.