What Level of Ski Is Right for Me?

Skiing at a popular destination like Mammoth Mountain can be a refreshing and enjoyable experience for skiers of all skill levels. But there are some important decisions you’ll need to make as you prepare to ski, especially if you’re still fairly new to this particular activity. If you’re weighing your options between beginner and intermediate skis as you get ready for your skiing adventures during the upcoming season, here are some things to consider as you make your decision.

Beginner Skis

Typically, skis designed for beginners are shorter than the traditional skis more experienced skiing enthusiasts normally use. They also tend to not be as stiff or firm as “regular” skis. Beginner skis also make it easier to turn. This is especially beneficial, since beginners tend to go at slower speeds while their confidence and abilities improve, and you don’t want to lose your balance on turns.

Intermediate Skis

Skis for intermediate levels are often closer in length to what’s common with traditional skis. However, they still allow for more control over turns and speed, providing an added level of comfort and support. Intermediate skis also tend to be ultralight and flexible enough so you can make smooth turns as you gain more control and pick up your pace.

Factors to Consider

There are several nuances and other factors to consider when evaluating skis and determining whether to go with beginner or intermediate skis. For one thing, the trade-off with using beginner skis is that they usually don’t work well at higher speeds. In fact, beginner skis can provide some unpleasant surprises if you suddenly increase your speed. This is because they lack sufficient stiffness to allow for optimal balance and control at higher speeds.

Intermediate skis, on the other hand, may be a bit more difficult to control at lower speeds. Turns can also be more challenging if you don’t have your form and technique down yet. As you make your decision, consider the following factors as they apply to you and your abilities:

• Your current level of skiing experience
• Your goals with skiing (e.g., casual/recreational vs. increasing skills to take on more challenging hills)
• How often you plan to ski
• How committed you are to improving your skiing skills

Consider Renting First & Buying Later

If your main hesitation about investing in beginner skis is not wanting to have a new pair of skis sitting around once you work your way up to more advanced skis, consider renting. This way, you can start with beginner skis and only use them for as long as you need to. You can then move your way up to intermediate and advanced skis without needing to stretch your budget. Plus, renting skis from a Mammoth ski rental shop also gives you the opportunity to rent poles, boots, and other accessories appropriate for your needs. Then, once you work your way up to traditional-style skis, you can always invest in a pair you know you’ll use more often.

Veterans and first-time skiers alike can have a blast on the slopes when they make sure to start off with the right gear. Whether they need to buy jackets, get boots fitted, or rent skis, Mammoth visitors can rely on ASO Mammoth for high-quality service and great advice from snow sports experts. Drop by our shop or give us a call at 760-965-3444.