The wider the ski, the better, right? Well only if you are lucky enough to be skiing the finest bottomless Alaskan or Japanese powder. Most of us aren’t coming close to skiing these conditions so choosing the right ski width takes a little more finesse.
Sticking to skinny piste skis can leave you floundering in the first hint of fresh while cruising the groomers on your powder skis will leave you side slipping and skidding top to bottom. An avid skier will have a quiver of widths and styles to suit any condition. If you’re limited to a single pair then you will be best trying to find something in the middle ground not too fat not too skinny; the goldilocks ski so to speak.
Looking at the numbers, it’s the waist width in mm that is often the headline of the ski categories and what many will refer to on their hunt for a new pair. We’ve broken down these widths into some very rough categories to help you understand what you might be looking for in each.
65 – 80mm – Piste / Carving Skis
Piste skis generally sit in the region of 65 to 80 mm. This waist width correlates to the optimum transfer of force, feeling and grip from your foot to the snow. With this dimension you are able to stand directly on top of the edge of the ski as it bites into the piste. Nothing comes close to this feeling but the payoff is the challenge that comes with any fresh snow.