Selecting The Right Ski


At Golf & Ski Warehouse, we specialize in helping you select the right skis for your skiing style and ability by getting to know you in a way that’s simply not possible when you buy skis online.

By working with you in person, we’re able to guarantee you’ll be satisfied with the performance of your skis or we’ll replace them for another pair of equal or lesser value.

It’s all part of the Golf & Ski Difference—sharing our expertise one on one to help you enjoy the best skiing experience possible.

Helping You in Person

Our goal is to make the process of selecting a new pair of skis easy, fun and exciting. As we get to know you, we’re able to evaluate your physical stature, learn about your skiing preferences and habits, and ultimately provide you with several great options to choose from.

Key Factor #1

The first thing we’ll want to find out is how often you ski. This helps us begin to narrow down the best ski options for you.

Less frequent skiers typically benefit from user-friendly equipment.  More avid skiers, who have their ski legs underneath them, will appreciate the benefits of a higher performance, more demanding set of skis.

group of happy adults dressed in winter clothes leaning over the camera and smiling
Three women skiing down a ski slope with a bright blue sky behind them

Key Factor #2

The second key ingredient is finding out what terrain you like to ski.

Do you prefer groomers? Or do you like to ski a little of everything—corduroy, moguls and trees? Perhaps you’re a diehard, who lives to ski, and when a dumping of snow falls you leave work to hunt the powder.

Where and when you choose to ski helps us pick the right tool for the job.

Key Factor #3

Once we’ve narrowed down the type of ski and the best shape of ski that suits your ski experience, we use your size and turn shape to help determine the correct length.

Bigger skiers, or skiers who prefer longer, high-speed arcs will want a longer length.  More diminutive skiers, or those looking to make controlled, shorter turns, will benefit from a shorter length ski.

Young boy snow plowing down ski slope

Ski Shapes

When you first approach buying a new pair of skis, you are likely to notice how many brands, models, shapes, and sizes there are to choose from.  We’re here to help simplify a process that can be somewhat confusing. Here’s what you should know about the different shapes of skis.

Diagram of ski sidecut

Skis With More Shape

Narrower skis with more shape (known as sidecut) are typically easier to control, work best on groomed slopes, and are built for skiers looking for a ski that carves shorter, rounder turns.

These types of skis are generally a better fit for beginner or intermediate skiers.

All Mountain Skis

If you like skiing a bit of everything, we’ll help you choose an all-mountain ski that performs well anywhere—on hard pack, groomed, in the moguls, through the trees, even on a powder day.

All-mountain skis typically have less sidecut, are slightly wider, and may have rocker in the tip and tail of the ski.

Specialty Skis

The last genre of ski shapes are specialty skis, including powder skis, park skis (as in terrain park), and race skis.  They are considered “specialty” because they excel in specific disciplines of skiing—and as such, they lack versatility outside of their discipline.

Choosing the Right Tool for the Job

Once we’ve narrowed down how often, where, and what type of skiing you prefer, we can focus on helping you choose the right tool for the job.


For Groomed Trails

If you’re a front side skier who loves groomed trails of varying pitches, we’ll suggest skis with a narrower waist and more sidecut.


For Variety of Terrain

If you’re an all mountain skier who likes skiing the trees, challenging the steep, and testing the moguls, a 85-100 mm width ski will deliver the versatility you need in all kinds of conditions.

If you’re a skier who might not get to choose when you ski—such as on the weekends only, regardless of the conditions—then you’ll also benefit from an all mountain ski.


For Diehard Skiers

If you’re diehard who builds your schedule around skiing—going by conditions, not the calendar—then you’ll want to own multiple skis for various conditions.  For you, two to three pairs of skis will mean less wear and tear on them and always having the exact tool for the job.

Our Ski Fitting Glossary of Terms:

  • Length – tip-to-tail length of the ski measured in centimeters or cm.
  • Width – width at the narrowest part of the ski, measured in millimeters or mm.
  • Sidecut – describes the difference in width from tip to waist to tail; when combined with length gives you the natural size and shape of the turn. Deep side cut makes shorter rounder turns; shallow side cut is straighter.
  • Rocker – early rise in the tip or tail of the ski. Dictates contact points of the ski with the snow.
    • Used in front side carvers for versatility and predictability into the turn.
    • Used in All mountain skis for versatility and improved handling in soft or crud snow.
    • Used in powder skis for buoyancy or flotation.
  • Short Radius – shorter, rounder, or “slalom” turns.
  • Long Radius – longer arcs or “GS” turns.
  • Stiffness – Longitudinal (tip to tail) and Torsional (twist) stiffness. Generally modified by varying core materials like foam, wood, fiberglass, carbon, or metal.
  • Quiver – a collection of complimentary skis (carver, all-mountain, powder).

Ski Length

Now it’s time to decide on what length ski is best for you.  All skiers have two lengths of ski that will work for them, and there are a few rules of thumb in selecting the right length for you.

If you are a smaller or more cautious skier, who emphasizes control, prefers moderate speeds or smaller turn shapes, you should choose a ski that stands at or just below your chin.

If you’re of average size and ability, ski at moderate speeds, and vary your turn shape and size, you should choose a ski length that sits between your mouth and brow.

And if you’re a stronger, larger, more experienced skier, who prefers high speeds, longer turn shapes, and gravitates toward the most challenging slopes and conditions on the hill, you will be best served by skis that are roughly as long as you are tall, or even slightly longer.


When In Doubt, Go Shorter

If you still aren’t sure about length, or have trouble deciding between two lengths, it is best to err on the shorter side.

Keep in mind, that skiers on the ends of the weight/height spectrum may have trouble living by these rules of thumb.  We’re here to help you decide.

Store employee helping customer find the right pair of skis

To Know You Is To Help You

By getting to know you—and getting in tune with you and your skiing—we will ultimately offer you a choice of three great skis that will enhance your pleasure and performance.

You can then choose your favorite—based on your budget, favorite color, or preferred brand.

By the time we’re all done, you will have chosen the right skis for you—guaranteed.