Your expert adviser on choosing, using, tuning, fitting and fixing ski gear. Use this chart to zero in on the ski categories that will work well for you. Find your SKIll Level, then consider where and how you will use the ski and follow the hyperlinks to the appropriate ski categories.
You 've reached the top and are off the ski school charts. You may be a racer, top instructor or ski patroller. You ski all terrain and all snow conditions with confidence and grace. You can ski a variety of lines through difficult bumps--over the tops, through the troughs--and are a master in powder and trees. You charge down steep open terrain at high speed. For fun, you seek out new challenges off piste and in gates.

For hard snow, bumps and steep groomed terrain, choose slalom race skis. For open bowls, powder and tree skiing, choose giant slalom race skis. Lighter experts (under 150 lb/70 kilos) may prefer short-turn all-mountain or long-turn all-mountain skis.

Most skiers in this category need the precision and power of a race boot, though lighter skiers should look for one of the softer "speed event" race boots.


Ski School Level F: You are an expert skier, skiing with confidence and grace on all groomed terrain. You'd like to polish your act in the gates, bumps, ice, heavy powder or crud. You seek challenge in coaching and clinic programs.

For hard snow, bumps and steep groomed terrain, choose a softer slalom race ski, mogul ski or short turn all-mountain ski; for softer snow, open bowls and big cruising trails choose one of the softer giant slalom racing skis or a long-turn all-mountain model.

Pick a close-fitting, top-of-the-line boot, but unless you are a strong, heavy skier or spend a significant amount of time in the gates, opt for the model just below the full-on race monster, something with a softer "bumps-and-powder" flex.


Ski School Level E: You ski black-diamond terrain with confidence and can handle moderate, widely-spaced bumps in balance and control, at moderate speed. You bail out occasionally in tight bumps and may have trouble linking turns in difficult snow. You can vary your turn shape and radius. You know how to make carved turns, long or short.

For hard snow, bumps and steep groomed terrain, choose a softer slalom race ski, mogul ski or short turn all-mountain ski; for softer snow, open bowls and big cruising trails choose one of the softer giant slalom racing skis or a long-turn all-mountain model. The best of the value performance skis work well. Lighter skiers may prefer a women's performance model. If powder skiing is the goal, look for a ski of broad average width--a soft GS ski, fat ski or hourglass design.

Pick a moderate-flexing front-entry boot with a close, precise fit. Stay clear of race boots unless you plan to compete.


Ski School Top of Level D: You ski blue (intermediate) terrain and some black (advanced) terrain with confidence, and can handle moderate bumps in control, at moderate speed. On groomed snow you can make good short-radius parallel turns in the fall line and carved parallel turns across the fall line. You're reluctant to ski steep terrain, big bumps or difficult snow, except under peer pressure. You prefer to ski linked parallel turns, at moderate speed, on groomed blues and easy black runs.

For hard snow, bumps and steep groomed terrain, choose a short turn all-mountain ski; for softer snow and big cruising trails choose a long-turn all-mountain model. The value performance skis work well. Lighter skiers (under 140 lb/65 kilos) may prefer a women's performance model. Consider trying hourglass skis to get a feel for carved-turn technique.

Unless you are big and strong, you'll be more comfortable in a softer-flexing race-style front-entry boot or a stiff hybrid boot from the second family of boots within a line.

Ski School Level D: You ski blue and groomed black trails with a fairly narrow stance. You control your speed effectively on this terrain but can't always link turns. When nervous you resort to a wider stance or stem turn. Powder deeper than three inches makes you worry, and you may fall often in difficult snow and bumps.

The performance value skis will speed your progress; lighter skiers (under 140 lb/65 kilos) may prefer a women's performance model. Consider trying hourglass skis to get a feel for carved-turn technique.

Steer clear of top-of-the-line boots. Instead, pick a sport-level front-entry or hybrid boot.

Ski School Top of Level C: You ski all green runs comfortably but still have trouble controlling speed and linking turns on steeper blue trails. You ski with a wide stance on blue runs and the wedge still appears in your turns. You can match your skis (bring them parallel) in the upper part of the turn. You're tentative and cautious on ice and usually have trouble keeping your upper body facing downhill.

Value skis are just right for you. If you weigh less than 130 lb/60 kilos consider a women's value ski. There's no need to spend extra mondy on a stiffer ski that may be harder to turn.

Pick a moderate-flexing boot, probably a hybrid, with a close, comfortable fit.


Ski School Level C: You can make linked wedge christie turns with confidence on green slopes and venture onto easier blue runs. You've begun to appreciate the speed and excitement of skiing--it's a blast.

Look for a soft ski in the value skis category. If you weigh less than 130 lb/60 kilos consider a women's value ski.

Pick a moderate-flexing boot with a comfortably close fit.

Ski School Top of Level B:You have skied a few days. You link wedge turns on gentle green slopes, can control your speed and stop at will. You can get on and off a chairlift without problems.

Think about buying value skis . If you weigh less than 130 lb/60 kilos consider a women's value ski.

And definitely buy your own boots--your ski control and learning rate will improve immensely if your boots fit well.

Ski School Level B: You've skied one or two days. You make a stable wedge turn and can stop on gentle terrain.

You should still be renting skis and boots, but may want to move up ten centimeters in ski length.


Ski School Level A: First day skier. Today you'll learn to walk, glide, stop, climb and turn, and you may ride the beginner lift. Welcome to the world's most exhilarating sport!

Rent your gear from the most professional ski shop in town. Your first day will be more fun if the boots fit correctly and the skis have been filed smooth and freshly waxed. Rental shop personnel should help you find a boot that's both snug and comfortable. They should also show you how to buckle the boot and operate the bindings.


Baffled about ski length? Go to SKI Length Chart.
Chart by Seth Masia
© 1995 SKI Magazine


Популярность: 19, Last-modified: Fri, 27 Sep 1996 07:38:32 GMT