Do you ever wonder if the skis instructors are using make any difference to their skiing? And why do they pick them?
We all know skis can make a difference to our performance and for a ski instructor, having the right tools for the job is crucial – especially if you want to impress your class! But how do they pick out what skis will work for them and does that mean they’ll work for you too?
After extensive testing of next season’s skis (such a tough job!) with the Basecamp Ski Instructor Course team, I’m here to guide you through some of the top all-mountain picks that instructors might be using during the 2014-15 season – and which ones would suit recreational, advanced and expert skiers too.
Unfortunately I make no guarantees that purchasing these will make you ski like your instructor, but at least it’s a start.
Get the Head REV 90 for All-Mountain Smoothness
Labelled as a ski for experts, yet super easy to turn – the REV 90s blew the scoreboard sky high with their razor-sharp edge hold and all-round versatility.
If you see yourself as an all-mountain maverick then the 90mm under-the-boot width means you’ll carve on the groomed stuff and float enough in the powder too. They’re really lively on short radius turns and smooth on longer ones – which will make following your instructor a doddle every time he or she changes course.
RRP: £595 with bindings.
Skier Level: Would suit advanced to expert skiers confident on red runs.
Buy From: Edge & Wax.
For Retro Cool and On-Piste Stability Try Scott’s The Ski
Launched in the 2013-14 ski season, The Ski is billed as the ultimate single quiver ski with a terrain split of about 60% groomed and 40% powder.
I really enjoyed these skis the first time I tried them, especially on-piste – they’re super smooth, really solid and the edge grip is phenomenal. In chopped-up snow they’re fun and lively and in powder they perform pretty well, only struggling a little when it gets really deep and really fast.
If you really want to take your instructor on, then consider The Ski – just make sure you can back it up with technique too.
Happy in Powder? Then The Fischer Motive 95 Has It All
The Motive 95s felt really solid and stable, even at the highest speeds.
You need to be a powerful skier with good technique to get the most out of them, but they really give back the love if you treat them right. Again, I picked these out because of their edge hold on groomed slopes, ability to carve both long radius turns and perform quick, short radius ones with a liveliness that bellies their width.
That little extra width (95mm under the boot) makes them that little bit smoother in the powder too – perfect for instructors teaching on-piste in the morning and playing in the backcountry in the afternoon. Something you see yourself aspiring to?
RRP: £755 with bindings.
Skier Level: Advanced and expert skiers who can handle all conditions.
Buy From: Snowfit.
The White Doctor FT9 Can Cure Your All-Mountain Ailments
These skis will certainly look after you if you’ve got the ability to get the most out of them.
They’re a strong and powerful ski, but scored consistently high across the board when I tested them. Edge hold 9/10; long turns 9/10; versatility 9/10 – and it just goes on.
They are also fun to ski on, lively and responsive to your movements, whatever terrain you’re on.
Even in moguls, they felt great, which was surprising for a ski this powerful and although clearly aimed at a high performance skier at instructor level, they are friendly enough for anyone aspiring to get there too.
RRP: £430 without bindings.
Skier Level: Strong and powerful skiers who like to put some oomph into the turns.
Buy From: White Doctor.
The Head Venturi Is Wow in the Pow and a Feast on the Piste
The Venturi was easily one of the favourite models overall in my ski test – and that’s out of over 40 models over a week on snow.
They are really stable at all speeds, with perfect edge hold, lively in chopped-up snow, fun in powder – they really are a true all-mountain ski.
Being fairly wide under the boot at 95mm doesn’t seem to effect the performance on-piste one bit and they turn easily at lower speeds too. Whether you’re an instructor, aspiring to be one or simply enjoy skiing, you won’t be able to blame this tool if your turns aren’t shaping up.
RRP: £540 with bindings.
Skier Level: Recreational through to expert and everything in between.
Buy From: Ellis Brigham.
The Dynastar CR78 Fluid X Is the Ultimate in Piste Performance
This ski is unashamedly a pure groomed slope ‘machine’ that likes nothing more than a hard-pack surface with a bit of ice thrown in for good measure.
At high speeds, you instantly get a feeling of stability, control and responsiveness the moment you make the first turn – groomed run score 10/10, with an edge hold that is unbeatable.
If you enjoy making long, fast, smooth carving turns and need a little extra help keeping up with your instructor, then just try these out next time you’re in a lesson. Perhaps not as versatile as some of the others, but then a Ferrari isn’t built to be used as a rally car.
Skier Level: Advanced and expert carvers.
Buy From: Sail & Ski.
Trust Me, I’m a Ski Instructor
Now you have the right tools under your ski boots, it’s time to get out there and look like a real pro. All you need now is one of those red jackets and a shiny badge…