However, whether you pick a traditional design or an hourglass model, choose the ski that’s best suited to your style and skill level on the mountains.

My firm recommendation is to not only review the annual buyers’ guides but also actually try the ski or skis of your choice on the runs. In other words, don’t put out the bucks for new skis simply because a ski salesperson “knows what’s best for you.” A wide variety of demo skis can be rented from well-equipped ski shops at most resorts. You may find some satisfaction in knowing that they shop will probably deduct the demo charge if you end up buying a pair there.

Regardless of whether you’re a dramatic, extreme skier or you simply enjoy the pleasure of the sport, the type of skiing you intend to engage in and the length of your ski are both significant factors in your choice.

To help skiers make a wise choice, Ski magazine has created a chart it calls TAKING YOUR MEASURE to answer the endless puzzle of which length of ski is right for you. Add up your points and your score will equal or come very close to the length that experts recommend for you in traditional skis.

If you scored over 200 cm for man, or 190 for a woman, look for a racer or all-mountain ski. If you scored 185-200 cm for a man, or 175-190 for a woman, look for an all-mountain, mogul, or all-mountain value ski. If you scored under 185 cm for a man, or 175 for a woman, choose a value ski (that is, a ski for a moderate intermediate). However, if you choose a

parabolic ski the experts recommend one slightly shorter - from 7 to 10 cm shorter - than a traditional ski.

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