February 1, 2008, Newsletter Issue #181: Deciphering All -Terrain Ski Descriptions

Tip of the Week

You've probably read the terms all-terrain, off-piste,
freeride and free skiing. All of these terms are descriptive of skiers and skis that are capable of skiing any part of the mountain in any snow condition. Due to their versatility, these skis are popular with advanced and expert skiers. Because they are somewhat wider than the skis that are designed for groomed slopes, yet narrower that powder skis, these skis are called
"mid-fats."

Mid-fats, which are usually 100 to 109 millimeter wide at
the tip and over 70mm at the waist, are wide enough to work their way through powder and crud, but not so wide as to be unworkable on groomed runs or packed snow. In contrast, freeride fat or powder skis are built extra wide. This provides good flotation in deep powder snow. In most cases, they measure over 110 millimeter in the tips and over 100mm in the tails with wide waists. Fat skis maneuver quite well through powder. However, they can be difficult to control and turn in groomed conditions.

Freestyle skis, which are also known as park or "new
school skis," are especially designed for skiers that like to show off their tricks in the terrain parks. These skis are often twin tipped. Unlike alpine skis, which have a curved up tip and a flat tail, twin-tips have both a turned up tip and tail.

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