|If you decide to take your skiing one step further and start to compete, you'll need some specialised kit… |
|Alpine Race Skis |
|Slalom skis are short turning, precise and reactive. They offer excellent grip and are quick from edge to edge. They are not good in powder and can sometimes feel unstable or twitchy at speed. The latest slalom skis are shorter then ever with an even more pronounced sidecut.
Giant Slalom (GS) skis are longer turning, with less sidecut than slalom skis. They are smooth, powerful and stable at speed. Taken in a longer length than slalom skis, the extra surface area gives GS skis more flotation in powder. And similarly to slalom skis, there is a trend towards shorter, more shaped GS skis being used in World Cup races.
SuperG skis are basically oversized GS skis for extra stability at speed.
Downhill skis are not designed for turning and they have very little sidecut. They're designed to go straight and fast. Extra long and impossible in moguls…
Free-skiing race gear
Long, fat skis are best suited to free skiing or extreme competitions. Most manufacturers now produce an extra wide, super cool big mountain ski that floats through the powder and is incredibly stable at speed.
[Photo: Fall Line] Salomon AK Rocket
|Freestyle gear |
|Mogul skis are short with a strong middle and softer tip and tail. They love short tight turns and are similar in construction to slalom skis. One piece of advice - avoid using skis that have any metal in their construction as they may bend.
Acro skis are very short skis that are used for spinning and flipping. Only used with extra long poles. Formally known as 'Ballet Skiing'.
Aerial skis are short for manoeuvrability, but strong enough to take the impact. Helmets are a must.
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| [Photo:Atomic] |
|Boots for racing |
Top-end race boots tend to be very stiff for accurate transmission of power to skis.
Mogul and free skiers sometimes go for softer race boots that give them more freedom of movement as well as easier landings.
|Body protection |
|Gate bashers |
Both skiers and snowboarders need hand protectors, face guards, shin guards and helmets for protection from the gates.
Whatever kind of racing you do, you have to keep your kit in excellent condition.
A comprehensive tuning kit that includes the following essentials (at least) is a must: wax remover, wax for all conditions, an iron, files, plastic and metal scrapers, p-tex, a ski base brush, a stone, a diamond file, ski vices, and screwdrivers. The list is endless!