SnowUniverse guide for buying alpine skis

SnowUniverse guide for buying alpine skis

SnowUniverse guide for buying alpine skis

Before buying alpine skis, take the following two steps: firstly, define your level of skiing and then choose your preferred type of skiing. Once you’ve completed these two steps, you can use our selection tool and choose from a range of skis to suit your needs.

You can always contact us for advice by email or phone.

How do you define your level of skiing?

  • Level 1: beginner to early intermediate. This group is still learning the fundamental mechanisms of sliding and balance. They still need to work on using their feet independently, and turning is done with snow ploughs or stem Christies, relatively slowly, with a large radius. The skier is gaining confidence on green and blue ski slopes. The skis should be short, flexible and accessible. The equipment must offer skiers the freedom to improve their technique to allow them to progress quickly.
  • Level 2: intermediate, confident skier. These skiers are comfortable with the fundamentals, and have a better balance on skis. Foot independence is higher, so turns are well controlled, of moderate to fast speed, and medium-sized radius. Ski speed can be fast, so ski equipment must be more resistant to movement. Skis or snowboards should be stiffer to reduce the vibrations created by speed and from edging. Skis start to specialise according to the practice of the skier (Freeride, Freestyle, Carving, Slalom), as well as some cross-over skis that work well in several disciplines.
  • Level 3: advanced to expert skier. The fundamental mechanisms of skiing are understood, an balance is good. Skiers are able to change pace (big or small turns), and have mastered the different techniques of skiing, sliding and short turns. The skier is experienced enough to try slalom, carving, freestyle or freeride skiing.

Ski equipment is specialised according to the type of skiing, it must meet the requirements of the sport in all situations: skiers rely on their equipment to get out of difficult situations. Ski equipment is much more sophisticated. They include anti-vibration systems, they offer a great resistance to damage, and they support high speeds. These products is designed and manufactured to meet very specific requirements according to each practice.

Which skis for which skiers?

The various terrains of the mountain allow many different types of skiing.

  • Evolutionary piste: For intermediate beginner skiers, ski equipment is suitable for groomed green or blue on slopes, and skis are rather short with an average radius for turning.
  • Performance piste (carvers): Included in this category are skis that carve well on groomed ski slopes for intermediate skiers and experienced experts. Skis in this category include carving skis are found with a very short radius, slalom skis, giant slalom skis (both FIS approved and others).
  • All-mountain: The skis in this category allow for different types of skiing. They offer forms and structures adapted to groomed ski runs as well as off-piste. They offer technical performance that meets the requirements of different terrains.
  • Freeride: These skis are suitable for skiing off-piste in the powder. Freeride skis are wider and longer than normal.
  • Freestyle: These skis are suitable for kickers, rails and the snow park. Freestyle skis have twin tips for skiing backwards.
  • Freestyle backcountry: These skis combine the qualities of freestyle skis with off-piste skis.
  • Ski touring: These skis are suitable for ski touring with skins and touring bindings. Defining your skiing preference is essential before buying any alpine skis.

What ski size for what types of skiing?

  • Evolutionary piste: ski length - 10cm to 15cm shorter than the skier
  • Performance piste, giant slalom style: ski length - 0cm to 5cm shorter than the skier
  • Performance piste, slalom style: ski length - 15cm shorter than the skier
  • All-mountain: ski length - 5cm shorter than the skier
  • Freeride: ski length - 0cm to 5cm taller than the skier
  • Freestyle: ski length - 5cm to 10cm shorter than the skier
  • Freestyle backcountry: ski length - 0cm to 5cm shorter than the skier
  • Touring: ski length - 5cm shorter than the skier (except for freeride touring)

Will the bindings mounted on my skis?

Yes. When purchasing alpine skis, the bindings are drilled onto the skis for you. For the system to be as accurate as possible, please fill in all the information which you are ask for during the purchase process. We adjust the bindings according to ISO 11088. See (in French):


If in doubt, we advise you to check your ski settings with a specialist before the first day of skiing. This service is free in most ski shops in ski resorts.

Need advice: contact us by email or phone. All our advisors are trained to answer your questions.

Can I prepare my ski equipment before shipping by SnowUniverse?

Skis and snowboards are sold with a factory-standard wax. We recommend waxing the base before first use. Our SnowUniverse ski technicians can prepare your equipment in-store before sending. You will find a choice of waxing and sharpening done by our technicians in our workshop on the website. If you buy our preparation service when you purchase your skis, the work will be done before shipping. Good preparation and maintenance of equipment greatly increases the lifetime of your equipment.

After buying skis, are they under warranty?

All items are guaranteed by the manufacturer. The warranty duration varies depending on the equipment. Warranty processing is done by us. If problems occur, please use our after-sales service form.

SnowUniverse guide to sustainable development:

The first thing you can do to help reduce the environmental impact of skiing is to reduce the use of natural resources for the manufacture of alpine skis by using your equipment for longer and by taking care to maintain it regularly. To keep your skis in great shape, wax them regularly during the season if the bases are white, and again at the end of the season to protect your bases during summer. Regularly sharpening their edges restores your skis’ grip on hard snow. The plastic base usually recovers well from rock scratches with base filler (p-tex) and smoothing. For more violent impacts that go deeper than the base, call a specialist to repair your skis as quickly as possible; avoid water getting inside the surface structure. A well-maintained pair of skis will last longer.

Have your skis reached the end of their life? You can send them to us, and we’ll do the recycling of your ski equipment in partnership with the waste reprocessing company Tri-Vallée.