|Each year, ski manufacturers compete among
themselves to produce skis
better than past
models through a combination
production, and design
shopping for skis, here
are some tips:
- Alpine skis are generally made of layers
of plastics, fiberglass, and metals. The
use of wood for their construction became
outmoded long ago.
- Length is quoted in centimeters (approximately
2.54 cm equal an inch). The shortest adult
skis are about 150 cm (roughly 59 inches).
In general, shorter skis are slower and easier
for beginners or less adept skiers to control.
Expert skiers tend to prefer longer skis,
which facilitate more responsive maneuvering.
- Conventional skis are roughly the width of
the boot for most of their length, sometimes
with a modest outward bulge at either end.
Today, it is increasingly common to see wider
skis with more exaggerated bulges at each
end. Skis of this sort are designed to help
beginners and other skiers of modest ability.
- Skis usually have metal bands running the
length of their sides. These are designed
to add control on icy slopes, providing traction
in a manner somewhat similar to the blades
of ice skates. Periodically, skis need a
"tune-up" which includes sharpening
of these metal edges.
- Skis generally require periodic waxing to
reduce friction with the snow and to add
a protective coating.