Skiing 101

Ski Rentals

There is nothing like a day on the slopes. As you get ready for your next skiing adventure, finding the right winter gear can be intimidating. There is a lot to consider. We are here to help you find the right pair of skis to improve your experience in the snow. Here is our Skiing 101 to help you find the perfect skiing adventure.


Step 1: What kind of skier are you?

The basic breakdown of ability levels consists of beginner, intermediate, and expert. 


Beginner: This ranges from first timers to confident novices. These skiers tend to stay on the bunny hills and green rated runs. Terms like ‘pizza’, ‘snowplow’, and ‘french fries’ are frequently used and most of your focus is on stopping. Never be afraid to admit to being a beginner. Everyone starts as a beginner and it’s better to get the basics down in a comfortable setting before jumping on the harder runs. 


Intermediate: This ability level covers a large range of skiers. In this level, skiers begin to make parallel turns but not quite on the edges of the ski. Poles begin to be an integral part of the skier’s skills. These skiers feel comfortable on greens and blues. Getting on and off the lift are a breeze and stopping comes easily. This stage lends itself to a fair amount of false confidence, make sure you know your limits and are honest with yourself.


Expert: Skiers who maintain complete control on extreme or difficult terrain. They carve turns with the edges of their skis and can ski every run on the mountain. You will know if you are an expert. These are usually people who ski often or grew up skiing. It takes years to develop the skill set of an expert skier, but expert does not equate to professional. It is still important to know your bounds. 


For a more detailed explanation of the different skier ability levels, check out this link. It includes video references for more clear examples.


Step 2: What kind of ski do you need?

When it comes to ski equipment, there are a lot of things to consider. Words like rocker and camber seem foriegn, but are quite simple. Check out this list for a glossary of ski gear terms to help translate ski shop talk. The type of equipment you need depends on your skill level as well as where on the mountain you want to be. Here are the basic categories.


Racing Skis: These skis are the longest type and are great for hard pack snow and high speeds.

Freestyle Skis: These skis feature twin tips, meaning that the ends of the skis curl up. They are tailored for the features of the terrain park.

Powder Skis: These skis are very wide and flexible. They are made for keeping you afloat in deep snow. 

All Mountain Skis: These skis are a great mix of all other skis. Whether you want to venture into deep snow, carve turns on groomers, or hit the park, these skis will work great anywhere.


Check out this article for more information on the types of skis.


Step 3: Pick your destination

There are so many great ski destinations around the world, but some of the best can be found in North America. Check out the Gearo blog for our picks for resorts and other skiing recommendations.


Ski Resorts in the U.S. with Great Terrain Parks 

5 Colorado Huts for Backcountry Skiing



Hopefully this Skiing 101 helps you get started on your next skiing adventure and make you sound smarter around the ski shop. Happy trails! 

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