Choosing your material is one of the most important phases. So to find your best riding companion, you must above all know what you want to do with your equipment, and therefore be perfectly aware of your habits in the resort, your level of practice and the desired program. To do this, you must take into account a few parameters in order to identify which pair of skis is made for you.
► WHICH PROGRAM, FOR WHOM?
To get off to a good start in choosing a pair of skis, you have to understand your type of practice and be honest about your level of technicality. You also need to know what terrain you want to use your equipment on. It is very important to choose the program you want to do, and which corresponds to your skiing habits but also to your ambitions and your affinities. You will therefore find below 6 archetypes of skiers, thus allowing you to situate yourself.
- The Racer
The so-called "Racer" skier is one who loves speed and technique. The goal of this type of skier is to ski strong and clean, with ever more performance and precision. There's nothing like a good timed descent on a track to perfect your technique and get a good dose of feeling!
- Slalom skis / short turn racing track
The slalom skis accessible to the general public are derived from race skis but calmer, equipped with a less exclusive sidecut and above all with less efficient plates. These skis are therefore effective and sharp without being race beasts! Available in 165cm for slalom, they find a wider customer base in 170cm where their tight turn radius becomes more versatile. Slalom skis are chosen 10 cm below the waist.
HEIGHT REQUIRED : 165 to 170 cm – 1m65 for a person measuring 1m75
PAD WIDTH : around 65 mm
- Slalom Fis
FIS slalom skis are the most aggressive skis on the market as well as the most explosive. Able to grip and carve on the most extreme steep slopes and on the hardest snow, they require from the pilot perfect lateral balance, great speed and the ability to stay forward (ankle flexion and pelvis ) optimal, under penalty of being catapulted. These skis are not made for carving , but for taking maximum speed between the ball joints, taking a maximum angle and turning very short. FIS slalom skis are developed to allow the skier to finish his turn very early, as much as possible in the axis of the fall line, then to dive diagonally by releasing the pressure on the ski as much as possible. These skis are perfect for experts therefore, but to be tamed to surpass yourself on FFS races or to pass the technical test of the instructor.
To have a ski that fits, a FIS slalom ski is chosen 10 cm below your height.
HEIGHT REQUIRED : 165 cm - 165 cm for a person measuring 1m75
SKID WIDTH : FIS Standard
Absolute bombs on the track and declined or even from the race with a less radical sidecut (shorter radius) and a more flexible construction, these accessible giants are ideal for carving curves at 70 km/h on the track, Take a maximum angle and feel a mad acceleration underfoot, or tackle an arrow or even an FFS race. But deserving these skis is not an easy task: everyone knows it, without control, power is nothing! Don't overestimate yourself, you risk ending up with an inaccessible ski, especially since their curve radius, which is between 17 and 19 meters, already requires you to ski much faster than average... Unlike slalom skis, giant skis are taken 10 cm above the waist.
HEIGHT REQUIRED : between 174 and 180 cm – 1m85 for a person measuring 1m75
PAD WIDTH : between 62 mm and more
- Giant FIS
The comparison is clear: giant FIS skis are the F1 of the automobile, a showcase of know-how and performance. Developed in the racing workshops, these little bombs offer more racing speed than any machine on snow. They are more grippy, accelerate harder and allow you to take extreme angles on the track. The main objective of his skis is to win against the seconds that pass on the stopwatch. Nevertheless, the performance creates its requirements and its constraints: to hold the reins of such beasts, the skier must have advanced technique and excellent physical condition. In short, these skis are intended for an elite, seasoned amateurs, enthusiasts or even former competitors or future instructors. To have good skiability and take maximum pleasure, we advise you not to exceed 23/24 meters in radius. As with giant skis, giant FIS skis are taken 10 cm above the waist.
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 182 and 188 cm – 1m85 for a person measuring 1m75
RADIUS : > 23m
- The Caver
The carver-type skier has only one ultimate pleasure: a beautiful, well-groomed run. He perfectly masters the driving of his skis, which is mainly driving in cut turns. A small track, a small arrow or even a small chamois are the favorite playgrounds of these skiers, even if the stopwatch is not their priority. The carver skis everywhere, even if his primary objective is to carve perfect, clean and efficient curves.
- Race track
Very efficient, these skis are a hybrid between a racing ski and a piste ski with an intermediate radius, around 16/17 meters. These skis have quickly established themselves among good skiers wishing to have quality ski handling and unequaled snow feel, without the constraints that a racing ski requires. They are the perfect intermediary between classic piste skis and racing skis: real little cars!
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 175 and 180 cm – 1m75 for a person measuring 1m75
RADIUS : between 16 and 18 m
PAD WIDTH : between 62 mm and +
- Performance track
A range of skis dedicated to lovers of strong sensations on the piste, who have mastered carving and are looking for a ski that is both very efficient but also versatile and comfortable. In this context, versatility applies to the ability of the ski to be steered in short, medium and long turns, but also to its ability to go from cut to glide, that is to say not to lock on its Ray. On these skis, we are looking for maximum control and acceleration in order to find very sporty sensations on the piste. Top-of-the-range skis, for good voluntary skiers.
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 172 and 178 cm - 1m75 for a person measuring 1m75
PAD WIDTH: between 62 mm and +
- Accessible track
Most of the time based on so-called "top of the range" or "performance" skis, these accessible piste skis are made to be scalable and reassure the future skier. These skis allow you to skid on the piste without ever snagging, help to enter curves by assisting the first phase of turns... In short, they are easy to use and reassuring skis for intermediate skiers, but which still require a minimal performance. An essential for having fun on well-groomed slopes!
REQUIRED HEIGHT : between 170 and 178 cm – take 5-6 cm less than your height
PAD WIDTH : between 62 mm and +
- The cruiser
The cruiser is by definition the skier goes everywhere! His pleasure is to ski everywhere on the ski area, whether on the slopes, on the edge or off-piste, without worrying. The cruiser skis cool with the sole objective of gaining maximum sensation and pleasure. What makes you happy is skiing everywhere!
- Versatile track
Whatever the terrain or the level of the skier, these skis are those that correspond to the greatest number of people. And that's normal: these versatile skis are good everywhere! Indeed, whether the skier is on the slopes, on the edge of the slopes or on damaged ground, these skis allow you to go on all terrains. Only here they are often average in absolute value on a specific criterion, they slightly lack stability and also have a small ability to ski in shallow snow. In short, this claimed versatility necessarily becomes a weakness if we detail criterion by criterion... Most often accessible and facilitating, these skis are perfectly suited to skiers looking for pleasant and efficient skiing with the aim of having fun, without too much hassle. requirements and performance.
HEIGHT REQUIRED : between 170 and 178 cm – these skis are taken at the waist
PAD WIDTH : between 75 and 85 mm
- All mountain
The all mountain range is the continuation of the “versatile ski” range. These all mountain skis are versatile skis, but with more performance. In this range, the idea is to have a ski that is both made for the piste (between 60 to 70% piste) and at the same time passable off-piste (up to 30 to 40%). These skis are perfect for skiers with technique who want to venture off the beaten track or for less adventurous skiers looking for versatility. In short, they are generally good skis which preserve good potential in cut handling on the piste but can also offer a certain efficiency off-piste, whatever the snow. These skis turned out to be rather easy to handle thanks to their width at the waist, which remained acceptable, and appeared to be the true all-rounders of the time for the vast majority of us.
REQUIRED HEIGHT: between 170 and 178 cm – take the skis at the height
PAD WIDTH: between 82 and 90 mm
- The freerider
The freerider is a skier who thinks of only one thing: finding THE spot! For them, the goal is to ski where the slope is immaculate, where the snow is virgin. The track does not really interest them, preferring to ski with friends in a quiet place and aiming to make the best track in a powder field. The favorite playgrounds of freeriders? Beautiful snow-covered fir forests, narrow couloirs, expanses of powder, but still open slopes and valleys. For these skiers, the powder snow is their drug, the perfect knowledge of this environment and the conditions is their guardian angel, without forgetting the DVA (mandatory) and the acolytes who are their lifeline...
Much more than a range, it's a real discipline! This practice is the perfect mix between off-piste skiing and hiking. This association has been made possible thanks to the enormous progress made on the equipment, in particular on the bindings and the shoes. Previously, hiking meant sacrificing the pleasure of the descent, whereas off-piste it was almost impossible to go up on your own, as the equipment was heavy and unsuitable. Today, it is therefore possible to combine these two practices: freerando ! For most skis, this range revolves around a lightened ski with 95mm underfoot, accompanied by a light binding (mainly with inserts). Be careful, however, to choose the right ski: within this range, two very distinct offers coexist, which are very light skis and light skis only. Of course, it is possible to find good compromises between these two “categories”. The difference in skiability between these two options is huge on groomed slopes. It is therefore a question of knowing whether you want to favor the ascent or the descent, a purely off-piste practice or another more versatile one.
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 170 and 180 cm – take the skis at the waist
PAD WIDTH: around 95 mm
This range offers skis that are as efficient on hard terrain as they are off the slopes, that is to say pure 50%-50% skis, which are as capable of carving as they are of staying above the powder. Freeride skis are equipped with long rockers (the rocker is in fact an early rise of the tip: the ski no longer ends abruptly on a classic tip but begins to straighten a few centimeters or even tens of centimeters before the tip) slightly marked in height to prevent the spatula from hitting the piste too much, but enough so that the ski can lift off in powder, facilitate pivoting in difficult snow and also provide the skier with some lift. These skis are efficient, capable of going fast and well, with very good stability as well as the fact of adapting and making skiing easier depending on the terrain. To tame these small cars with a wide waist (about 100 mm) it is worth skiing fast and hard.
REQUIRED HEIGHT: between 178 and 185 cm – take 5 to 8 cm above your height
PAD WIDTH: around 100 mm
- Fat Freeride
The skis of the fat freeride range are mainly intended for off-piste, but still remain skiable on piste even if it is not their first domain. They are cut to be effective in all snow conditions (even in the most difficult conditions) and to have a perfect lift thanks to their many mm underfoot: between 100 and 110 mm for some! These skis are made to carve powder, make beautiful curves in immaculate fields of snow and above all to take maximum speed. Solid, fast and stable, these skis may appear a little old-school in skiability but remain weapons for big thighs. The downsides of these bombs are that they are not very playful and are intended for very good skiers in great physical condition, who regularly practice off-piste.
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 180 and 190 cm – take 5 to 10 cm taller than your height
PAD WIDTH : between 100 and 110 mm
- Big Mountain Rocker
This ski category lives up to its name: big! The big mountain rockers are first and foremost image skis, skis with more than generous and sometimes even non-standard measurements, cut for wide open spaces and to send the block. Contrary to what many people think and say, these skis remain "skiable" on the piste but in scooter mode, i.e. they behave at the level of the boots, while the front and the back hit the track in rhythm (due to the rocker under the front and rear spatulas). It's not very pleasant, but it's not the horror either! Conversely, these skis are often very easy to use in powder snow, the sidecuts and the double rocker allow you to have a quality pivot (even in difficult snow) and to have great lift to facilitate skiing. while offering a different way of approaching these terrains. Playful skis, therefore, and not very demanding!
REQUIRED HEIGHT: between 183 and 192 cm – take 10 to 15 cm taller than your height
PAD WIDTH: between 105 and 130 mm
- The hiker
In recent years, ski touring has been on the rise. The objective of these skiers / hikers is to go to the top of the mountain without the help of mechanical means. They share values of tranquility, nature and respect for the mountains. In addition, hikers have a second objective (besides that of reaching the summit): that of gaining weight! Indeed, being to the nearest gram, they are ready to do anything to save 10 grams on skis, boots or even bindings. This is a crippling parameter for him, even if it means sacrificing some comfort on the descent. It's simple, the hiker even lightened the sausage!
Recently converted to rocker, touring skis are more and more modern, which makes them easier to handle off the slopes. Light (even very light), these skis offer a fairly thin waist width, between 80 and 90mm in order to remain as light as possible. Very efficient and pleasant uphill, these skis are more difficult to handle downhill, losing a certain gliding comfort and stability due to their lightness. They are still very good skis, perfect for riding on all types of terrain with friends or family!
HEIGHT REQUIRED : between 165 and 175 cm – take shorter (5 cm less) than your height
PAD WIDTH : between 80 and 90 mm
- Rando race
This range of skis is only reserved for an elite. Thin as blades, as straight as an I, stiffer than a crowbar but lighter than air, these skis are intended for hikers looking for performance. Indeed, once these matches are at their feet, there is only one thing that matters for these tightrope walkers: the stopwatch! With very thin skis (around 65 mm), it is very easy and pleasant to climb the snow slopes. Even if these little nuggets are a real delight on the climb, they are difficult to control and considerably lack stability on the descent… Ultimate in the requirement…
REQUIRED HEIGHT: around 160 cm – take 10 to 15 cm less than your height
PAD WIDTH : around 65 mm
- The freestyler
Whether on natural terrain, on the edge of the track or in a Snow Park, there is only one thing that makes the freestyler vibrate : getting high! Once it's upside down, once it's a rotation to the right, then to the left… The freestyler explores all the possibilities of jumps and spends hours in the same place in order to make THE best figure. He likes to use the rails present in the Snow Park, but also carve his own jumps. Losing momentum, this practice of freestyle is evolving towards the use of wider and more playful skis than the pure machines intended for those who send really hard on the biggest tables.
Freestyle skis can be skied forwards and… backwards! For this, all the skis have a double spatula (at the front and at the back) and have the bindings mounted centered in order to be able to ski in both directions. However, be careful not to misunderstand, all freestyle skis are not identical and are not intended for the same level of practice. Within this range, there are therefore two main families: hardcore freestyle and accessible freestyle. The first are intended to send big over huge jumps and are not necessarily easy to ski on the slopes, while the second allow you to learn freestyle and are associated as versatile skis that can do everything.
HEIGHT REQUIRED: between 170 and 180 cm – take the height
PAD WIDTH: Between 85 and 95 mm
For the suggested sizes, we based ourselves on a person measuring 1m75.
► WHAT TECHNICAL LEVEL?
Before choosing his companion for the winter season, it is very important that the skier knows his technical level perfectly so that it is as adapted as possible to his expectations and needs, and especially so that he can take the maximum fun on the slopes.
The technical level of a skier is easy to define: on what terrain the skier evolves and what is the type of driving that he is able to perform (assuming that the cut driving is the must - even if not practicable on certain terrain such as the Snow Park or in powder snow).
Thus, four major levels stand out to allow you to situate your technical level on the spatulas. Up to you !
- Level 1: Beginner
Recommended ski character : accessible, flexible and tolerant.
Playing field: beginner slopes and green / blue slopes.
Type of turn: snow plow, parallel turns, very low speed.
Type of riding: skidding and sliding.
General position: seated position, pelvis back, skis wide apart, arms dangling along the body... Basically, you're bottomed out as the popular expression goes and as your figure shows! You spend more time sitting in the snow than standing on the skis, but as they say, persistence conquers everything. The après-ski hot chocolate will be well deserved!
- Level 2: Intermediate
Recommended ski character: accessible, tolerant and comfortable.
Playing field: blue and red runs.
Type of turn: parallel turns, low to medium speed.
Type of driving: perfect skid control, good sliding handling.
General position: still “ass” but you are less “sitting on your skis”. Your calves are still sore and your legs are still very stiff, but you've straightened up a bit: it's the beginning of homoskius ! You take more and more pleasure and manage to follow the others: now you have to work on your technique.
- Level 3: Advanced
Recommended ski character: comfortable, tolerant and efficient.
Playing field: blue slopes to black slopes with why not, some edges of powdery slopes or easy off-piste, even the easy modules of the Snow Park.
Type of turn: mastery of the parallel turn. Medium or fast speed. You know how to vary the radii, lengthen the curve, turn short, evolve between the bumps. The most seasoned begin to evolve the ski on the edge by exerting more pressure at the end of the curve. This is the start of carving .
Type of driving: controlled slippery driving. For the best, beginning of cut driving.
General position: you begin to bend your legs well and lean on the tongue of your shoes. Your pelvis is well above your feet and your arms further forward. But at the slightest problem, your balance shifts to the rear. Worse still, you often turn placing the pelvis on the inside of the turn. You are often too tense and too stiff.
- Level 4: Expert
Preferred ski character: efficient to very efficient, even demanding or exclusive.
Playground: your playground is huge: all slopes, slalom stadiums, off-piste, Snow Park... You are present everywhere!
Type of bend:
- Piste : on the chairlift, skiers admire you shortening this bumpy wall into two very speedy curves. You also know how to carve beyond reason… You are a boss.
- Slalom stadium : you know how to master a slalom or giant slalom without being a former champion. You love to challenge the clock!
- Off-piste: difficult conditions or immaculate snow, you send big at full speed with total control.
- Snow Park: you risk on the black tables, you get laid and don't scare you!
Driving type: performance cut or very performance cut.
General position: perfect front-to-back and side-to-side balance. Nothing to say !
► WHICH SIZE SHOULD YOU CHOOSE FOR YOUR SKIS?
Choosing the size of your skis is always a difficult mime where you must not be mistaken. Indeed, they will be a real gliding partner for more than 6 months, so take care to choose the most suitable size according to your technical level and practice, but also according to your morphology.
The size of the skis therefore depends on 4 main criteria:
- Personal preferences: maneuverability = short skis or stability = longer skis…
- The technical level : bend, type of driving, position...
- The program : race, carving , freeride, all mountain , freestyle, freerando , versatile...
- Morphology and physical power : height, weight, physical conditions, etc.
Here is a table below to help you choose the right size according to the program envisaged and the morphology:
Now you have all the cards in hand to find the best pair of skis according to your technical level and your practice! And if you still have questions or are unsure about a pair of skis, you can always call us!
► SKIS MAINTENANCE AFTER PURCHASE
When the rivers start to rise, it's time to get off the slopes and put your skis to bed for the summer. You've spent a lot of time choosing your skis and now that winter is over, it's imperative to store them properly. This prevents them from deteriorating when not in use and keeps them shiny for next year! Indeed, we often compare a ski to a car: you have to take care of them and maintain them! Improper maintenance or storage can affect the health of your skis. It is therefore very important during the season, two or three times depending on the frequency of outings, to maintain your skis with a professional. He will first check the condition of the bindings and check the general appearance of the ski. After analysis, the skiman will redo (or not depending on the condition) the sole of your skis. This will allow for more comfort and a better quality of gliding. In addition, maintaining your skis prolongs their lifespan.
Once the winter is over, you have to put the skis away. But not anyhow! Indeed, temperature changes greatly affect the skis, so it is not enough to push them to the bottom of the garage! It is best to keep them in a space away from light, heat and especially in a dry place. The best is still to store them in a cover provided for this purpose to limit dust. Be careful, however, never to store your wet skis in a cover, at the risk of rusting the edges . You must therefore take care to dry the sole of your skis and the edges well . In addition, since skis almost all have cambers and/or rockers, it is important to ensure that they are not compressed at all. The easiest place to store your skis is under the bed!
In addition, even if it is more difficult at the end of the season to find the motivation necessary for their maintenance than in November, it is still important to devote a little time to it in order to keep your skis in good condition. condition and avoid major maintenance at the beginning of winter.
Once the skis have been refurbished, they must be waxed with an iron before storing them. This is a crucial step in preparing for summer storage. This will nourish the base, protect the edges from rust and keep moisture out while you're at the beach! It is therefore necessary to apply a thick layer of hot wax on the base and on the edges , which it will of course be necessary to scrape off before the first outing of the year!
Finally, it is also recommended to loosen the fasteners. They serve as an intermediary between you and your skis: they have a very important role to play during your ski sessions and therefore need care. Simply loosen the fasteners with a conventional screwdriver to release the tension therein.
CHOOSE YOUR SHOE
As with skis, boots are chosen carefully. It is essential to have shoes that fit and above all that do not hurt the skier: a painful shoe = a wasted day! It is therefore necessary to take the time to choose the shoe best suited to the morphology of the foot, to have unparalleled comfort. Ski boots are divided into ranges (as for skis), which are related to the level of practice.
► WHICH PROGRAM, FOR WHOM?
- all -mountain
All mountain boots are intended to accompany the skis on the entire ski area, that is to say on the slopes and beyond. The ski boots in this range are versatile on all types of snow. They are precise, generally sporting three or four hooks to have a very good support, and also have a collar which is tilted forwards to give the natural position of the skier. This range of shoes offers for the most part very comfortable products, equipped with a fairly thick and cozy liner. Regarding the flex , it varies between 80 to 120/130 depending on the technical level of the skier. Real all-purpose shoes, for skiers who are not too sporty but who are still looking for a certain performance.
These shoes are for powder lovers. They take up all the ingredients of top-of-the-range boots dedicated to the piste but adapted for off-piste skiing. They are in fact specially cut for freeride skiing, with in particular a collar that is less inclined towards the front, with shock absorber zones to absorb shocks in order to adapt to different terrains and different snow conditions. This shoe has a fairly high flex , hooks ranging from two to four, as well as a non-slip zone under the sole allowing the skier to walk in the mountains to reach his spot, with the skis on his shoulders.
These shoes, which have been in full evolution in recent years, are made of a light plastic to have great comfort during the climbs (the weight is generally between 1.3 and 1.6 kilos per foot). They are equipped with a disengageable collar, i.e. a mounted mode which allows the tibia to move back and forth in order to have a natural gait uphill, and a locking mode on the descent, which blocks the shoe and which therefore regains its basic flex . This provides great comfort to the skier, whether uphill or downhill. In 2019-2020, freerando boots all have inserts to ensure compatibility with touring bindings (all brands). The flex of these shoes is around 100.
These shoes are specially cut for freestyle enthusiasts (and amateurs), those who like to get laid! They have a collar that is quite straight in order to approach the modules in a neutral way, forwards or backwards, by offering an intermediate flex in order to accompany the receptions without making too many hard points. Equipped with large shock-absorbing zones under the foot to absorb impacts on landing, they most often have two or three hooks to combine comfort and precision. Freestyle shoes have a flex around 110.
- race track
As with skis, these boots are high-performance little bombs. Very leaning forward and with a fairly high collar, these shoes are very rigid and very close to the foot to optimize the transfer of support. The support of the tibia on the tongue is mandatory to control your shoes. The race track ski boots have thin shells, armed with a thin liner and all have four hooks and a large strap (to have a very large tongue support). These very thin shoes have a width of 98 to 100 mm at the metatarsus, which promotes precision when riding.
► CHOOSE YOUR SHOE ACCORDING TO YOUR TECHNICAL LEVEL
- Level 1: Beginner
Recommended shoe: comfortable shoe, easy to put on, very soft to moderate flex but adapted to the weight. For example, for a 60 kg person, you must take a flex of 80 (does not compare to the same flex for a 110 kg person). The basis of these boots is comfort: they must be quite flexible and comfortable, with a very light flex to facilitate steering and control of the skis .
- Level 2: Intermediate
Recommended shoe : you have a low level and are more serene on skis, so you can (depending on your feelings) go for various models of ski boots, with specialties according to your program. Indeed, the intermediate skier can have fun by taking shoes with a disengageable collar or with shock absorbers... Within this level, it is still important to choose shoes with a certain width of foot to be comfortable, avoid 'being cold and especially bearing the galleys to put on.
- Level 3: Advanced
Recommended shoe: you know your tastes well and you now need precision to feel finesse in the transmission of effort but also the information that comes up from the snow. In short, you become one with your ski. Impossible to go beyond 100 mm at the metatarsus, even if your foot is strong. You want precision. The shoes perform well and require a good tongue support posture. Their flex is higher, between 110 and 120. Even if comfort is a very significant criterion, finesse, precision and performance are just as important. In addition, these boots can be thermoformed (dense and thin liner) and bootfitted (rather thin shell) in order to adapt perfectly to the specificities of the skier and his foot morphology.
- Level 4: expert
Recommended shoe: you don't need anyone to buy your ski boots! You know yourself and you know your faults and qualities well to better guide your choice. In addition, you know which brands of shoes to choose according to the morphology of your foot and your level. For you, you need precise, top-of-the-range shoes, and we can only advise you to make a sole before going through the shaping box via thermoforming, bootfitting or other technology on the shell.
► WHAT SIZE TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR SKI BOOTS?
Ski boots have size indicators that are different from those of French sizes. Ski boots use the mondopoint to signify size. The mondopoint size corresponds to the length of the foot, in cm. It is therefore very difficult to be mistaken about its size. For example, a 23 mondopoint corresponds to 36 in French shoe size, and a 42 to a 27 in mondopoint . Don't know your size? No worries, we have the solution! Indeed, all you have to do is wedge your heel against a wall, put your feet on a sheet of paper and make a mark in front of the most ambitious toe (the largest). Measure and you have your Mondopoint size ! Do not hesitate to do it on both feet, because surprisingly we have one foot that is stronger than the other, it is the dominant foot. And most of the time, this dominant foot is… bigger than the other!
Below, the size correspondence table for ski boots at Freeglisse :
► THE MAINTENANCE OF SHOES AFTER PURCHASE
Because ski boots are like skis, you have to take care of them and maintain them after each outing! Once your day of skiing is over, it is essential to remove the liners from the shells so that they dry out and do not rot. This allows faster and healthier drying. Be careful, however, not to place them near a chimney fire or on a radiator. Simply lay them a few feet away from a hot spot. There are also mini hot air blowers, to be plugged into the mains, which avoid the operation of taking out the slippers (quite difficult operation), but also heated transport bags, to be plugged into the mains or the 12V socket of the car.
It is also very important to close the hooks of your shoe after each outing. Indeed, if you leave the buckles of your shoe open, the plastic (shell) of the latter will deform and it will be difficult for you to put them on again. When storing for the summer season, remember to close the buckles of your shoe well and store it in a dark and not overheated room so as not to damage the plastics.
When a part of the shoe is worn, it must be changed. There are many spare parts (on Freeglisse.com or directly from the manufacturer) to replace worn parts. Indeed, some parts such as the soles are very important because they contribute to the proper functioning of the binding. It is therefore important to check the state of wear of your shoes and to replace the parts if necessary.
A little extra advice: never leave your ski boots in the trunk of your car in order to save time for the next day. The shells will stiffen with the cold: it will then be impossible for you to put on your shoes.
CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD
What size, what model, what camber? For snowboarders too, it is important to choose the right equipment, especially since not all snowboards are alike and do not offer the same level of technicality. Thanks to our expertise, it will be much easier for you to find the board that meets your expectations and your needs, by perfectly identifying your level of practice and your program.
► WHICH PROGRAM, FOR WHOM?
To get off to a good start in snowboarding, you need to have a perfect knowledge of your physical conditions and be honest about your level of technicality. You also need to know what terrain you want to use your equipment on. It is very important to choose the program you want to do, and which corresponds to your snowboarding habits but also to your ambitions and your affinities. You will therefore find below 6 large families of snowboards to allow you to situate yourself.
Aimed at powder lovers, freeride boards are made for off-piste. Their construction stiffer than average and are longer than standard snowboards. This gives them stability and power when the rider is on rough terrain, no matter the snow conditions. For most freeride boards, they are equipped with an adapted directional profile and a rocker, allowing you to have better lift and thus better plan in powder snow. They provide a smooth and intuitive ride while offering optimal grip on hard and groomed snow. And yes, even if these little toys are associated with off-roading, they are also excellent cars on the track, even giving the possibility of carving ! Indeed, the cut turns are precise and the referrals are powerful. Freeride boards are generally very capable and considered high-end equipment. Freeride snowboards are more for people who ride fast and hard, lovers of speed and powpow !
- 100% powder:
This family of snowboards is very recent. It goes back to the origins of the discipline which was originally snowboarding. There were no groomed runs, just pristine white powder fields, with no-camber snowboards, no rockers and wide sidelines. The purpose of this discipline was to surf in the powpow , as Californian surfers did with the waves. Today snowboard manufacturers are bringing these little nuggets up to date by using more modern and high-performance technologies. These boards have a very directional shape before carving beautiful curves in the powder. They are often shorter and wider than the standard models, with an oversized nose (the front of the board ) and this, with a huge rocker to better plan in the powder. The small peculiarity of these snowboards is at the heel, where you can see a swallow tail , that is to say a tail in the shape of a tail that reduces the lift at the back of the board to improve maneuverability in powder and give a greater feeling of fluidity. They are agile and very pleasant boards, but beware, they don't really like hard snow where it is difficult to control them (unless you have very big thighs).
- Freestyle :
The freestyle snowboard category is aimed at lovers of jumps, those who like to get high and seek to produce the most figure. These boards generally have a twin -tip profile, i.e. it is symmetrical and it is possible to ride it in both directions (normal or switch). They are therefore perfectly balanced, which facilitates the use of rails, boxes or even ledges . The boards are mostly shorter, which makes them more manageable and more playful. In addition, maneuverability is a very important criterion when you want to do freestyle, because it allows you to chain the modules more quickly. In general, a freestyle board is playful and responsive, like a skateboard. Boards for rails will be more flexible and more fun. Boards for half-pipe or big air will be much more rigid and therefore more powerful, but less playful. They are designed to hang as much as possible on the frozen walls of the half-pipe. It is also worth mentioning that if you are interested in freestyle but want something less exclusive, go for the versatile freestyle variant. These snowboards are a good compromise since they offer the playability of a pure freestyle with the versatility of an all- mountain .
- All-mountain / polyvalent :
The all- mountain range is surely the most versatile of all! The boards are able to move from one terrain to another without any problem. Whether you are on groomed snow, powder, rough snow , ice, you will always have the same sensations and sliding comfort. You can even, if you wish, make a detour to the Snow Park to do some jumps. This snowboard is the happy medium between grip, maneuverability and flotation for optimal behavior everywhere in the mountains. Indeed, these boards are used by the majority of riders , because of their versatility and comfort. Whether you are a beginner or intermediate, a snowboard of this type is an excellent choice to start with. With a board from this range, you can practice all disciplines as you see fit: track, freestyle, freeride... But unfortunately it does not yet avoid edge errors!
- Trek :
And yes, you can also go hiking with a board thanks to the splitboard ! Relatively new in the world of snowboarding, this youngest has just added to the family by offering a board that splits in two to combine two passions: that of hiking and that of snowboarding. They are equipped with a construction and a freeride profile, but with a very particular detail: they split to form a pair of skis! Once the board is separated in two, simply and very easily turn the bindings and detach the back (in order to have the heel free as for a classic ski touring binding), as well as put on the ski skins. seal and forward! Once at the top, all you have to do is put the bindings back on correctly and reattach the back, reassemble the snowboard and remove the skins, and off you go for a great descent in the powder! A splitboard will therefore allow you to climb as in ski touring but to descend on a snowboard as if nothing had happened.
► CHOOSE YOUR SNOWBOARD ACCORDING TO YOUR TECHNICAL LEVEL
As with skis, snowboarding has 4 levels of practice. It is important to be aware of its levels, in order to guarantee your safety and your pleasure. Be careful though, we often tend not to want to be "beginners". Try to have an objective judgment on your level. Choosing a well-suited board will not only make the experience better, but will allow you to progress faster. In addition, it is not uncommon to see experienced riders using beginner boards, they are very playful and allow you to have fun. However, the reverse is less true. A confirmed board will be less tolerant and could slow down your progress or even worse, put you off snowboarding! Here are the 4 levels of snowboarding:
- Level 1: Beginner
The snowboard ? Never tried ! For beginners, the boards are generally more flexible and much more tolerant than the higher models, in order to avoid edge faults (recurring when you start). You are fans of green and blue runs, in search of their balance. Your main position is that of the dead leaf, that is to say that we do not make any turns: you let yourself slide quietly facing the slope.
Playground : the green slopes are your paradise!
Character of the snowboard to be favored : flexible, tolerant and smaller than your size to pivot more easily, simple rotation release
- Level 2: Intermediate
A little stiff on the supports, you slowly start to make small turns that are not very sure of yourself, but you make fewer edge errors? No doubt, you are in the intermediate level! You take pleasure in snowboarding more and more often and you are more and more comfortable even if you are not immune to a fall. You know the technical basics: now all you have to do is apply them!
Playground : green and blue slopes, although you start to venture all over the place
Character of the snowboard to be preferred : moderately flexible, tolerant and smaller than your size to facilitate turns
- Level 3: Confirmed
The snowboard ? On piste, off-piste, on the edges! Edge errors are more and more rare and you are able to pick up speed without hesitation, while making nice big turns... You are well and truly at the confirmed level! You are a very regular rider , you follow all your friends everywhere, whether on the slopes or off, you have a lot of fun... But that said, you still have a little room for improvement.
Playground : you are a little master key!
Character of the snowboard to be favored : a bit tolerant, rather rigid, stability, good grip
- Level 4: Expert
The mountain has no more secrets for you. Edge faults are only a distant and bad memory. You love to vary the terrain, you are just as comfortable in rough terrain as on the piste, or in a very steep couloir filled with powder or in an immaculate field of snow. You do not hesitate either in front of the modules of the Park or to slalom between the fir trees.
Playground : You are a seasoned rider, the whole mountain is your playground
Character of the snowboard to be preferred : rigid (reinforced plate), reactive, precise, stable (high speed), responsive, excellent grip
► WHAT SIZE TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR SNOWBOARD?
It is essential to choose the right size of your board. Indeed, a bad choice of snowboard can involve difficulties of practice, endangerment of the rider and worse, a dislike of the snowboard. Indeed, a board that is too long will be more difficult and less intuitive to steer. Conversely, a board that is too short will be less stable and much less versatile. It is therefore a question of finding the right balance in relation to your size, but also in relation to your weight, your level and your practice. Basically, to have the right size equipment, the board must reach the level of the rider's chin. This is not entirely true. Snowboarding having evolved a lot in recent years, this information should be qualified.
- Small boards:
Small boards will allow you to have a better pivot, that is to say that they will be easier to handle and steer, they are also more intuitive and allow you to launch rotations more easily. Conversely, small snowboards are much less versatile and less stable.
- Medium plank:
This size board is perfect for doing it all. It allows you on piste to make beautiful rotations rather easily and in powder snow to have a lift in order to better plane. They are quite stable on a well-groomed track, allowing you to pick up speed and make nice curves. The "medium" boards are therefore rather easy to handle and steer,
- Large board:
Larger boards are harder to handle and steer. It provides stability, especially at high speed, and therefore provides better balance to the rider. However, these large racing cars are difficult to turn and therefore to enter into rotation. Large snowboards are therefore preferred for seasoned riders , who have all the technical bases of practice and already know how to handle a board well. These large boards also allow freeride to have a good lift in order to better plan and thus not sink into cm of snow. They are therefore perfect for those who want to eat powder!
Of course, all these data are indicative, so do not focus only on them. It is also necessary to take into account your personal preferences, your level of practice, your morphology and especially your desires.
► WHAT WIDTH TO CHOOSE FOR YOUR SNOWBOARD?
Although choosing the size of your snowboard is very important, it is also essential to choose your board width carefully, which is too often forgotten by riders , even if it is a major/fundamental criterion. Indeed, if a board is not wide enough, the snowboard boots will protrude either in front at the level of the toes, or behind at the level of the heels, or on both sides! This will hamper you when taking edges and cause poor rotation because the boots will come into contact with and scrape the snow. As a result, you will be slowed down and unbalanced, which will in most cases cause a fall (in the worst case an injury). Conversely, if the board is too wide for the boots , your foot will be far from the edges . It will therefore be more difficult for the rider to exert sufficient pressure on them to trigger rotations and thus steer the snowboard. It is therefore very important to carefully check the width of your snowboard with the size of your boots, in order to have suitable equipment to enjoy the slopes in complete safety and have maximum pleasure!
As a general rule, snowboards are classified according to 4 widths:
- Less than 25cm: Narrow snowboards for small feet. Their width at the waist is less than 25cm. These boards are suitable for shoe sizes below 41.
- 25 to 25.5cm: Standard snowboards, these are the boards that will suit the greatest number of riders . They will cover shoe sizes from 41 to 43.5
- 25.5 to 26cm: Mid-wide snowboards for sizes 44 to 45
- 26cm and more: Wide snowboards for riders with big feet: size 45 and +
Attention: these sizes and these values depend of course on the brand of the snowboard. Not all manufacturers offer the same widths – each brand has its own size equivalences. These values are therefore only indicative.
► WHICH FOOT?
Goofy or regular ? This is THE question asked by all snowboard rental companies and store salespeople. And it is also the eternal question that you ask yourself: what am I? So to help you find which of your feet will be in front, here are some tips:
If you are beginners and have never snowboarded before, we have a solution! Stand up (with space in front of you), feet shoulder-width apart, and have someone push you hard enough and with a sharp jerk. The first foot that you will put forward to rebalance yourself will be your "front" foot. As a reminder, right foot means you're goofy and left foot means you're regular .
You now have all the information in hand to choose the best snowboard adapted to your morphology, your expectations and your needs and especially according to your level of practice and the program chosen. You can say it, snowboarding has no more secrets for you!
MAINTENANCE OF SKIS AND SNOWBOARDS AFTER PURCHASE
As with skis, boards need maintenance throughout the season but also during summer storage. This keeps the boards from deteriorating when not in use and keeps them looking shiny for next year! Poor maintenance or storage can affect the health of the boards: it is therefore very important during the season, two or three times depending on the frequency of outings, to maintain your “babies” with a professional. He will first check the condition of the bindings and check the general appearance of the board, before repairing it. This allows snowboards to flatten the sole, have better gliding comfort and increase life expectancy.
Once the winter is over, it must be stored. But not anyhow! Indeed, temperature changes affect it greatly: it is therefore not enough to push it to the bottom of the garage! It is best to keep it in a space away from light, heat and especially in a dry place. The best is still to store it in a cover provided for this purpose to limit dust. Be careful, however, never to store your wet board in a cover, at the risk of rusting the edges . You must therefore take care to dry your sole and edges thoroughly. Also, almost all boards have cambers and/or rockers, so it's very important to make sure they're not compressed at all. The easiest place to store your board is under the bed!
Moreover, even if it is more difficult at the end of the season to find the motivation necessary for the maintenance of your board than in November, it is still important to devote a little time to it in order to keep them in good condition and avoid major maintenance at the start of winter.
Once refurbished, it must be waxed with an iron before putting it away. This is a crucial step in preparing for summer storage. This will nourish the base, protect the edges from rust and keep moisture out while you're at the beach! It is therefore necessary to apply a thick layer of hot wax on the base and on the edges , which it will of course be necessary to scrape off before the first outing of the year!
Finally, it is also recommended to close the bindings. They serve as an intermediary between you and your board: they have a very important role to play during your sessions and therefore need care. Simply close the bindings with the clips to prevent the plastic from deforming and thus damaging the binding.
► THE SKI GLOSSARY
The grip is the ability of the ski to maintain the cut even with the intervention of several constraints, such as the hardness of the snow, the steepness of the slope, increasing speed...
The practice of carving consists of carving curves by taking a certain angle. This practice is generally used by expert skiers, having a perfect mastery of all the technical bases and absolute control over their skis.
- Cut pipe
To make turns, we fully use the potential of the ski. We reduce friction as much as possible, so we go faster. To know if your turn is perfect, you have to look at the track in the snow. If the line is perfect and turns out to be drawn by a saber, it is a perfect coupe. If she describes a few imperfections, it's because you're stalling, you've slipped. The harder the snow and the steeper the slope, the more difficult cutting becomes. Even the greatest champions “break down” in extreme conditions. The conquest of performance is a permanent hunt for the coupé.
- Cut a curve
The objective here is to perform a good carve ride, the full length of the curve. It is therefore necessary to maintain, from the entry into a curve until its end, a cut pipe.
► THE LEXICON OF SKI BOOTS
These are all the techniques used by specialists in customizing ski boots to perfectly adapt the chosen product to your morphology. The principle of bootfitting is to push the hulls of the ski boot in order to save space inside and thus reduce discomfort and pain for the skier. This brings a certain comfort which is not negligible.
- Thermoformable liner
A thermoformed liner will allow it to perfectly fit the shape of your foot. Thanks to specific materials, the liner will always keep this shape and will therefore never change again. Having your liners thermoformed allows you to have a custom-made liner and therefore to gain in comfort by modifying the sensitive and painful areas. Attention, there are completely thermoformable liners and others thermoformable only on the essential areas, that is to say the malleolus or at the level of the metatarsus. And if the thermoformed liners are not enough to reduce your pain or discomfort, it is possible to use bootfitting .
- Flex index
Even if this is not standardized (understand here that the manufacturers give the value they want), it roughly indicates the hardness of the shoe, with values that range between 70 and 150. Namely that the smallest flex is 70 and the biggest 150, which is mainly used for competitions by high level skiers. Moreover, the 150 models are generally not widely distributed, except among specialists in alpine ski racing. Some models make it possible to vary this flex , either thanks to interchangeable tongues, or by moving a screw behind the shoe, at the junction of the shoe and the collar. It is generally accepted that good skiers feel good with a flex of 100 to 130, but it all depends on the skier's morphology.
- Width at metatarsals
This value, always indicated in millimeters (mm), makes it possible to evaluate the alleged precision of the model chosen: the less space there is between your foot and the shell, the more precise you will be. In fact, it mainly allows you to compare the width of your foot at the connection between the toes and the rest of the foot (tarsus), compared to the indications provided by the manufacturers. It is not a question of finding an exact value, but an order of idea, because it is not so easy as that to know if one has a wide foot or not, a thick instep or not or a thin heel... The high-performance generalist models offer 98 mm in metatarsus, versatile 100 mm and comfort 102 mm. Again, it depends on your foot, so try the shoe on if possible.
- shoe weight
Mandatory for hiking, freerando and freeride shoes, the weight of the shoe too often remains a mystery for the all- mountain and track ranges. Know that it reaches about 4 kg per pair for a classic practice in the resort, and that the market trend is towards lightening, while maintaining skiability.
- Walking position or ski- walk system and travel
The on position and the "travel" are linked. Travel is measured in degrees, and shows how much the calf can tilt (front) and back (rear) in the shoe, allowing for a much more natural gait. The greater the clearance, the more comfortable the climb on touring skis (with skins, therefore). For a freetouring shoe , a travel of 55° is suitable. But at present, even a shoe that is not intended for ski touring has a certain clearance, simply to have walking comfort to reach the ski area or to enjoy the sunny terraces of restaurants on the slopes.
- Soles (alpine or hiking standards) and Standard Gripwalk
Which shoe goes with which binding and above all, within the framework of which standard? To be concise, slick toe ski boots are made to work with alpine bindings, which guarantees a fixed release value, provided of course that the binding is adjusted correctly. A notched shoe (hiking, but also freerando or even freeride), does not work with these bindings because the release value is no longer guaranteed. For all- mountain and piste-type boots, manufacturers have recently all agreed on the Gripwalk standard : the ease and quality of walking with ski boots is improved, while maintaining the level of safety.
- Monopoint size
This is the best indication not to be mistaken since the Mondopoint size corresponds to the length of your foot, in cm or mm depending. A 27 is roughly equivalent to a 42. To know your height in mondopoint , you just have to wedge your heel against a wall, put your feet on a sheet of paper and make a mark in front of the most ambitious toe. Measure and you have your Mondopoint size ! Don't hesitate to do it on both feet because we all have one dominant foot, that is to say, which is a little bigger and stronger than the other. The fitting is still mandatory because of the diversity of foot volumes for the same size.
► THE GLOSSARY OF SNOWBOARDING
The camber is the curvature of the board, seen from the side (not to be confused with the shape – see below). Cambers have become really popular over the last decade as riders and builders have realized how much camber can affect a board's performance and since then dozens of profiles have hit the market. Camber is the natural curvature of the snowboard when laid flat on the ground, looking at it in profile. This curvature, which seems innocuous, will give all its personality to your board . It can improve its playful side, make it more or less tolerant, more or less grippy, more stable, or with better lift off in powder. Here are some examples of camber for snowboards: classic camber, reverse camber (or 100% rocker or banana rocker), flat camber or even W camber (also called double camber), camber + rocker…