I recently bought a new pickup truck that replaces a similar one that was 7 years old. Actually, the new truck is the same make and model with some performance upgrades – mostly technology advancements providing better fuel efficiency and safety enhancements, and touch-screen tools to make driving more entertaining. Of course, I did the obligatory test drive to determine if the truck performs to my needs, and that it ‘fits’ me!
It reminds me that we are approaching the season when we consider upgrading our ski equipment, boots, ski wear, etc. Making these selections can, and probably should, involve evaluating technical and performance changes that hopefully will improve our skiing. We know that ski companies, like auto makers, continuously develop new models or tweak existing ones in an effort to appeal to changing trends.
Beginning during the 2018-19 season ski width went full-circle when ski companies increased their production of narrow skis for carve-happy, short radius skiing, thereby accommodating our eastern on-trail groomers, thus the ‘Frontside’ ski. Multiple ski manufacturers are producing narrow waist performance ‘Frontside’ skis, with 75-82mm becoming the new norm. This doesn’t mean that the other ski categories have gone the way of the Studebaker, but that narrower skis may fit a broader segment of ski abilities.
We have always encouraged our club members to ‘Demo’ (test drive) before they buy. Also, while it’s very considerate of someone to offer their skis to you, will their skis work with your skills (or visa versa), timing and balance?
Again, like in new autos, check out the performance, efficiency, and technology of new skis before you buy, and make sure they “fit” you! Our professional ski instructors may be able to provide some guidance when considering the purchase of new skis.