Skiing itself has changed a lot and so has the ski technology. In the early days, skiers primarily used long skis with straight edges. After that came the shaped skis, often parabolic. Why are there so many different ski shapes currently available? Well, the ski shape determines how a ski performs on the snow. In this ski buying guide, we will give you a more detailed explanation of the different ski shapes and ski cambers used by manufacturers.
In the beginning, around 15 years ago, the skis used on the mountain had a slightly raised nose and a flat on the ground tail. Skis with a raised nose and tail, who are often called ‘twin-tip’ skis, were a rare sight in those days. It wasn’t until skiing became popular, in particular, freestyle skiing, that we started seeing people using twin-tip skis on the mountain. When searching online or walking into any ski shop you will notice the large variety of twin-tip skis available today. Each with their own unique design and names. Twin-tip skis now have become the norm. Although there are many different styles, we can separate most of the twin-tip skis into two categories: True Twins and Directional Twins.
The True Twin skis are built to enable a skier to ride both forward and backwards. Therefore they often have the same rise, flex, and rocker profile. True Twin skis are mostly used by skiers in parks but they are making their way into other mountain areas to. When it comes to positioning their bindings, most riders will mount them near or at the centre of the ski. This allows them to easily ride forward and switch.
The Directional Twin also allows the skier to ride backwards, but these skis have a few important differences. First, they often have a bit more rise in the tip of the ski than in the tail. Second, they will usually have a different flex and rocker profile on the tip of the ski than in the tail. These differences are made primarily for riding forward and for riding switch in some situations. However, all of the skis that are on sale have a raised tail. There are still skis available which have a flat tail and are more traditional in their set-up. Often found on carving skis.