You might be an absolute beginner, finally heeding the alluring siren’s song of skiing, or returning to the sport after an extended hiatus. Maybe you’ve finally decided to upgrade from those banged-out Salomon X-Scream skis after 14 years of loyal service. Or maybe you’re the type who simply must have the latest and greatest each year (and, if you are, I’d love to send you my Christmas wish list).
Regardless of which category you fall into, you’ve got to pick out some new skis. And almost every skier I’ve every known has, at one point in time, had to face the dilemma of walking into a ski shop, absolutely giddy about all the possibilities that new boards offer and positively petrified that all those choices will result in the wrong selection. So we decided to ask the experts.
According to Peter Ellinwood Sr. of S&W Sports in Concord, N.H., prospective customers need to understand just how complex today’s skis are, and how different skis handle in different circumstances, over a wide variety of terrain.
“Like any expensive consumer product, skis are loaded with design elements and features,” said Ellinwood. “Understanding how, how well, how often and where a person likes to ski is important in order to recommend a model they’re likely to enjoy. At S&W, we pride ourselves on asking good questions and listening.”