Ok, yes I do own and operate skis.com and I am very particular about my skis. Most people would think owning two pairs of skis is not necessary, but, there are very good reasons to own more than one pair of skis these days, and here’s my opinion on why.
To be honest 10+ years ago there wasn’t much of a difference between skis. The main differences were that the skis were slightly stiffer or softer and offered more or less side cut on them. Butnowadays, in addition to those differences, there are vastly different widths of skis and lots of different rocker profiles as well. All this makes for a significantly wider selection of vastly different skis that are best suited for all different types of skiing.
The ideal ski for hard pack and icy conditions that are often found in the East and Midwest is very different than the all mountain ski that works great on the softer snow and variable conditions, which is also very different from the big mountain ski for off piste or deep powder more commonly found in the West. Having a 2 ski quiver can significantly improve your ability and enjoyment if you ski in more than one of these kinds of conditions.
Here is what I recommend:
Type 1: If you ski in the hard pack or Icy conditions – Stick to a ski that is between 72-85mm waist width and only a very slight bit of rocker.
Type 2: For soft groomed snow and all mountain out west skiing – Go with a ski that is between 86-98MM waist width and just some early rise rocker. Pick a ski that is stiffer if you are bigger or very fast. Stiffer skis have a sheet of metal in them which will keep the skis from vibrating or ‘chattering’ at high speeds. Try a softer ski if you’re a more relaxed or slower skier.
Type 3: For go anywhere big mountain conditions- Pick a 95-110mm width ski that also has some moderate rocker in the tip.
Type 4: For deep powder and backcountry – Go big with 110-130mm width ski that has lots of rocker.
So if you are an east coast skier that also goes out west on 1-2 trips or more a year, get a Type 1 ski and a Type 3 ski. If you’re an out west guy who skis everything from big blue cruisers to deep powder when you can, get a ski from Type 2 ski for all mountain and a Type 4 ski for those big pow days that you live for.
I know dragging 2 skis on a ski trip may seem like a big hassle, but with the new roller ski bags you can easily get 2 sets of skis, your poles and your ski boots all in the same bag with ease, and it’s really not more difficult to carry around than a single ski bag. And just think; with all the money and time you spend on ski equipment and ski vacations, isn’t it worth it to have the perfect ski for that area/days conditions? If you don’t ski enough to justify two pairs of skis, then I recommend renting some demo skis in the category that you don’t own, like powder skis for a great powder day or a wider all mountain ski if you are headed to the bigger mountains. But be aware that after about 2-3 weeks of demoing, you could have bought a pair instead and it would have been worth it.