How to Choose the Right Ski Width

Ski waist width is one of the most important factors to consider as you decide which skis to buy. A ski’s waist width measures how wide, in millimeters, the ski is at its narrowest point. Wider skis tend to perform better in powder, while narrower skis love to carve on groomed trails. Skis in the middle—and there are loads of them—seek to optimize all-mountain performance. Let’s take a closer look:

Ski width: Less than 80mm
Carving skis perform best on groomers or hard snow. They are usually quick and nimble with great edge hold. Many rental skis for beginners fall in this category as well because they can be easy to turn and control.

Ski width: 80-95mm
All-mountain carving skis can bring nearly the same hard-snow performance but with added versatility for skiing the whole mountain in more varied snow conditions. Many skis in this class can be excellent options for intermediate or advancing skiers, while others are some of the most aggressive all mountain skis in the industry.

Ski width: 95-115mm
These all-mountain soft snow skis are the most popular category in the industry right now. This is the class in which you find products that can be “one-ski quivers,” built for carving performance and powder performance. You’ll find huge variation in the skis in this category—some will be soft, heavily rockered skis, while others will be stiffer, more aggressive all-mountain/big-mountain skis.

Ski width: More than 115mm
Looking to eat powder for breakfast, lunch, and dinner? This is your category.

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