Selection of ski equipment and advices

    Testing skis - Part II


     Völkl has developed a technology called 'Bio Logic' with equal counterbalance for the whole foot reducing the pressure off of your knees down to the minimum. As a result a skier has a safer and more pleasant run down the slope. 'Bio Logic' defines a raised toe position and optimizes skier's position to reduce weariness. The 'Progressive technology' enables, with their special shape of ski tail, secure calm turns and reduces a possibility for undesirable acceleration. For those of you who prefer the ecological approach, Völkl has the best performance and has received the ISPO reward "ECO Responsibility" for it. Over the past few years, Völkl has started to make skis with natural material allowing an excellent possibility for recycling.                                                                                                                      

     Head developed a new concept called Era 3.0 with three features. Evolutionary Rocker Architecture (Era 3.0) has a rocker shape of skis which are easily governable providing flexibility. We will talk some more about all the advances of rocker skis later on, given that this concept is the future of modern skiing and deserves a more detailed analysis. The second part of the new concept is a radius which provides full contact of ski edges with the ground when making turns, whilst the third part is a ski vibration response. Its reduced vibration is realized due to the known Head piezoelectric fiber built on the ski top. 


     In the fifties, ski manufacturers appeared on the market with only a few ski models. Head and Dynamic each produced four types of skis at the time. In order for a ski to perform well in different conditions to suit skiers with different abilities, there has been a ski differentiation. This trend runs continuously, so for the 2009/2010 season for instance, several manufacturers had a range of about 70 to 90 types of skis. There is no convention on systematization, so manufacturers carry out ski standardization on their own discretion. The most commonly used terms in catalogues are Racecarver, Slalom carver, Allround carver, Allmountain, Freeride, Skitouren, Short turn, Long turn.

     Manufacturers believe that the names of groups clearly indicate the use of certain ski groups, whilst the marketing assumption that the greater choice of skis gives more possibility for everyone to find a pair of skis suitable for themselves is also a great option. However, two important parameters: longitudinal hardness and torsional rigidity, which make skis within the same group differ, are not mentioned by manufacturers in commercial publications.

Information from commercial catalogues and factory sites are insufficient, unreliable and cannot give a clear picture about driving characteristics of skis or about their quality. Ski testing, which is held every year in Europe and America, can be priceless for the selection of skis.

     The most reliable testing is organized by German Ski Association (DSV). Ski testing is carried out by former ski racers and renowned ski instructors strictly adhering to protocols that clearly define testing criteria. Testing results are regularly published in magazines of SDV: 'Ski magazine', 'Ski active', 'planet SNOW', 'SCIRE'.

The following testing results are published:


  • Maximum width of skis in the area of the top and tail; and the smallest width in the middle of the skis;

  • Ski radius for the length of the tested ski;

  • Mobility (speed of response when changing edges – fast entry into a new turn)

  • Conduct (adequate reaction to the change of edging corner);

  • Holding the edge on a hard surface;

  • Stability when going straight;

  • What quality level of skier the ski is recommended for;

  • Ski price;

  • Test results state the length of the tested ski, but do not contain a key for the selection of ski length.


     In order for the results to be used we have to know the criteria which determine the quality level of skier

world ski test

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