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Freeride Skis - What Is It?
Freeride skis are also known by the names backcountry skis, off-piste skis or big mountain skis, among other names.
Freeride skiing is a growing sport. The actual action of skiing on freeride skis can be defined as hiking up the mountain and skiing back down in the untoched deep snow, also called powder. This, therefore, requires another type of gear compared to skiing down the piste.
Part of the experience of enjoying backcountry skiing includes the hike up the mountain if you don't choose to take another way up, such as with the ski lift, snow-scoot or helicopter. For the hike up you need an essential type of backcountry ski gear - a pair of ski skins. This will provide you with a good grip that makes it possible for you to hike up the mountain. Most ski skins are made universal for all kinds of backcountry skis.
The Design of Freeride Skis
To define the design of freeride skis, they are usually wide, built with a stiff construction and come with a great amount of rocker. All of this results in a lift in the tip and a better flow in the off piste. The freeride skis stiff construction also offers a great stability at high speed.
The larger the waist of the backcountry skis are, the easier and less tiring it will be for you to stay on the surface of the snow. On the other hand, you will get less sharp turns and less manoeuvrability with extremely wide skis when you hit the groomed slopes.
Which to Choose?
It's important when you consider which freeride skis to choose that you decide whether you wish to use them 90% in the backcountry. If not, a waist around 95-105 will make it easier for you to ski on hard snow on the slopes as well.
Read more in our ski guide.