The Differences between Men's and Women's Skis
The most apparent difference between men's and women's skis is the graphics. Manufacturers put a lot of effort into developing top sheets that are more visually appealing to women. But the differences don't end there. In general, women's skis are lighter and softer to accommodate women's lower muscle mass. The tips are usually shorter to keep our boots closer to the front of our skis, for better turn initiation. The waists are farther forward, to accommodate our lower center of gravity. And the bindings are lighter and mounted closer to the front, to make it easier for us get our skis on edge.
However, just because women's skis are lighter and softer does not necessarily mean they're lacking in power. Today's women's skis pack a powerful punch, and are built to let women tackle everything from groomers to moguls to off piste conditions.
Choosing Women's Skis
Choosing a new ski can be a daunting experience. Ski manufacturers make dozens of skis each year, and finding the one that's right for you can be a bit overwhelming. And while ski reviews can be helpful, they should by no means be the only element in your search. For anyone looking for a new ski - men or women alike - it's important to follow a few important rules:
1) Knowledge is power, so learn as much as you can about the skis you're interested in. Talk to people, visit the manufacturer's websites. Get as many opinions as you can from a variety of sources.
2) How do you ski, really? Are you just starting out or are you comfortable on the blacks? You don't do yourself any favors getting a ski that's above or below your ability, so start by being honest with yourself.
3) What are the conditions under which you normally ski? Are they icy or do you regularly encounter knee-deep powder? Different skis are better for different conditions, so be sure to keep this in mind.
4) If at all possible, demo! Manufacturers make lots of different skis for a reason: One size does not fit all. When it comes down to brass tacks, the ski you select is really a matter of personal preference. You may like a ski that someone else hates. And the best way to find out is to try before you buy. Your resort or a local ski shop may offer demo skis you can try out. Take advantage of them.