Types of Alpine Skis
When buying a pair of alpine skis, it is most important to consider the type of skiing you will be doing most often. Skis are divided into categories based on their design so that they perform better in certain snow conditions and terrain. The 6 categories are all-mountain skis, piste skis, race skis, freeride skis, freestyle skis and touring skis. There is a separate section for kids skis, as they are designed more appropriately to fit the physique of a child. They are generally lighter, shorter and easy to learn on.
Which Skis Should I Buy?
The most popular types of skis are all-mountain and piste skis. They are also known as carving skis, and they perform best when you are skiing the marked runs at a ski resort (on-piste). All-mountain skis are slightly more versatile than piste skis, so they are capable of handling a wider range of snow conditions, such as some off-piste skiing.
Freeride skis are for those that like to spend most of their time off-piste and in powder conditions while freestyle skis, also known as twin tip skis, are built for tricks and stunts in the snowparks. The racing category that contains slalom skis and giant slalom skis that are built for high speed downhill skiing on race courses. Touring skis are another form of off-piste skis but are lightweight as a large part of touring involves hiking up mountains. Specialized touring bindings and adhesive skins help the skiers climbing and reach areas of fresh powder to ski down.
If you want to know more about choosing skis then check out - Buying Skis for Beginners / Buying Skis for Intermediates / Buying Skis for Kids.