Choosing the Right Equipment
Our job at Rookies is to get the most improvement out of you in the timeframe we have. In part, this comes down to your dedication to improve, part is down to us as trainers, but both of these can hit a huge obstacle if your ski or snowboard gear is not right for you.
Ski boots are your single most important piece of equipment in skiing.
The same applies for your snowboard boots for snowboarding.
Your ski boot is the link between your foot, the ski and the snow. So obviously, the better the fit of your boot, the more control you’ll have.
Boots come in different shell volumes and flexes, a performance boot will have a narrower shell width and a stiffer flex rating along with a thinner liner all of this is designed to give you more feel for the ski and the ability to make more precise movements to get the skis to react.
There is a lot of customising that can be done to get the perfect fit dialled in, all you need to ensure is the size and flex of the boot is right for you.
You can shell fit the shell yourself to check if the size of the boot is correct, if you take out the liner and put your foot into the shell of the boot, slide your toes forward so they are just touching the plastic, and if you slide your hand down your calf you should only be able to fit your index finger and about half of your middle finger between your heel and the plastic.
As well as checking the fit we will also check the canting of the boot to make sure it aligns with the natural shape of your lower legs, the goal here is that you can stand naturally and the bases of the skis are flat on the snow.
There are 2 main factors you need to take into consideration when choosing skis.
1. Width of the skis under the foot
2. Sidecut Radius & Length
Everyone is familiar with selecting a ski by length but the other two factors, width under foot and sidecut radius determine how the ski performs and are more important than just length when selecting a ski.
Width under foot
The width of the ski under foot determines the type of terrain and snow conditions the ski is best suited for, a ski with a waist width of under 70mm is suited to firm snow, 70mm to 85mm is ideal for all-mountain skiing and over 85mm off-piste.
For Technical all-mountain performance skiing we recommend a ski with a waist width of between 70mm and 80mm
The Sidecut Radius is the geometrical shape of the side of the skis. This in conjunction with ski length determines the radius of the arc the ski makes when just using its design to turn.
A Slalom ski designed for short turns will have a turn radius of between 11m and 14m, an All Mountain style of ski will have a turn radius of between 13m and 17m and offers a more versatile turnshape.