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As if distinguishing between the different types of skis was not confusing enough, determining the best type of racing ski for your event is even more of a challenge. Here are some basic guidelines for different types of racing skis:
Slalom ski racers are famous for their remarkable precision at short radius turns. For this reason, they require skis that have superb edge to edge grip, which accounts for their highly pronounced sidecut. Most slalom skis are quite short. However, be sure to check the FIS updated guidelines.
Giant Slalom Skis
Giant Slalom skis have significantly less sidecut than slalom skis. These longer skis have less sidecut than their slalom counterparts, which gives them extra flotation in deep powder.
If you've ever watched a downhill racing competition, you probably found yourself wondering of the skier was ever going to make a turn. The credo “Go that way real fast. If something gets in your way, turn,” sums up the basic philosophy of the downhill racer. As such, you won't see much sidecut on a downhill racing ski.
Extreme Race Gear
The freestyle skiers that race in Big Mountain extreme competitions require a ski that gives them the best of everything. The relatively ungroomed courses mean that the ski must be fat enough to provide flotation in deep powder, yet stable enough to provide support at breakneck speeds.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|