There are different types of skis depending on the type of skiing. Touring skis are typically longer, narrower and lighter than metal-edge skis. This makes the skis faster and more efficient on tracks that are well maintained.

Metal-edge touring skis are shorter for better maneuverability and wider to provide more stability and flotation in deeper snow. The metal edges give the skier better grip in icy conditions. The greater sidecut also enhances turning ability on steeper slopes. However, these features make them more suitable for out-of-track terrain.

The old rule of thumb for finding the right ski length is to raise your right hand all the way and measure distance from the floor to the wrist. However, ski lengths have been getting shorter over the years due to improved technology and design. Body weight is also a determining factor, with heavier people being recommended longer skis.

Other factors in picking the right ski are skiing style - whether you are aggressive and will need to handle turns easily. Certain skis can be tailored to perform optimally on certain types of courses. Alpine skis typically come in two styles - slalom and giant slalom. A slalom ski is shorter and has a shorter turn radius. Giant slalom skis are longer and narrower to accommodate the longer turns on giant slalom courses.

Skis are made my compressing different kinds of materials together and laminating them. Earlier skis were only wood based. Today wood is still used in skis, but other new materials such as carbon fibers, titanium, Kevlar and boron fibers are becoming popular.



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