July 23, 2010, Newsletter Issue #308: Racing Skis

Tip of the Week

Every once in awhile, an enthusiastic (or should we say overly enthusiastic) skier desires the one piece of gear that has be known to grant bragging rights: A pair of racing skis. Unfortunately, folks that covet these skis don't always have the skills to handle them. Before you run out and purchase the hottest racing skis on the market, there are a few things you should know.

First of all racing skis are generally much stiffer than traditional alpine skis. They also want to be on edge, and don't appreciate being skidded into a turn. That being said, if you seriously want to get into recreational racing, it's imperative that you take a ski racing clinic. That way, when you put on a pair of racing skis, you will know how to use them.

Your next step is to determine what type of racing you prefer, helping you choose the best sidecut radius. The sidecut radius measures the amount of shape in a given ski, and is determined by the difference between the tail and waist of the ski. For example, a curvaceous type of sidecut will take longer to complete a turn. These racing skis are suitable for giant slalom events. In contrast, slimmer skis will be more suitable for the short, quick turns needed for slalom events.

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