Skiers are always looking for new ski equipment and skiing techniques. As a result, new models and tactics are constantly popping up in the market, in competitions, or on the internet.
Freeriding is a form of skiing that many skiers prefer and love. It is a favorite of those who like freedom and don’t like confinement. Freeride skiing involves open terrains and open techniques that do not bind the skier to the rules and regulations of any skiing event.
All forms of skiing require some basics to know and learn before you can go out and practice or invest in new equipment. However, it is good to be well-informed and understand if a particular skiing style suits you. Freeride skiing is something worth looking into and giving a try.
Read on to learn more!
What Is Freeriding?
Freeriding is a style of skiing performed on natural, ungroomed terrain. Its main feature is that it doesn’t have set goals or rules. It is quite the opposite of the controlled and championship-based ski competition we see nowadays.
People who vacation at a ski resort are mostly freeride ski lovers. Holidays are all about freedom and catching a break. Nothing is better than rushing down a wild snowy slope with nothing to worry about and follow.
There are winter sports events that promote freeride skiing with no rules and a natural powdery slope. So naturally, many skiers love participating in such a free-spirited sports event.
What Are Freeride Skis?
There is no such thing as a freeride ski. You can use any ski with proper characteristics to shred the slopes of an ungroomed terrain. Although there is no restriction to the type of skis that an individual can use while freeriding, you must be careful. Freeride terrains are wild and have a natural landscape that requires complete control over your equipment to maneuver the turns and manage the speed.
What Are The Characteristics Of A Freeride Ski?
There may not be a particular ski for freeride skiing. However, your set of skis for a freeride skiing adventure must be suited for your terrain and type of sports. Here is what a best-suiting ski for freeride skiing will have:
The first feature you will observe when looking at a freeride ski is extensive. It should be at least 100 mm in the middle. It has this purposeful design to support the skier so that the skier’s weight gets equal distribution over as much surface area as possible. It enables lift and prevents sinking in deep snow.
Thanks to their width, freeride skis have a floating characteristic. In addition, the long and raised shovel, the pronounced rocker, the mostly relatively low preload, and the low weight of materials used, as compared to other types of skis, provide the skier with the ability to float in the air as much as possible.
Apart from these general characteristics mentioned above, there are also differences between the individual models of skis. For example, some models are rather smooth-running and built for fast and long descents.
Some skis are more agile. They have a build that supports tricks and fun over the slopes. Due to its unpredictability and natural bumps, a freeride skiing terrain is the best landscape for thrilling stunts and showing off your technical skiing skills.
There are some models created for climbing, and they are lighter in weight. Others are heavier and have a better edge grip if you have to ski down a rugged slope. The lightness of the skis helps the skier boost in the air, make quicker turns, maintain balance, and have better control over the equipment.
For Whom Is The Freeride Ski Suitable?
Freeride skis are suitable for skiers who require freedom and are naturally adventurous. The best use of ski-ride, considering their floating nature, is to use them in deep snow. That is why they are particularly suitable for riders seeking adventure in winter and only use the piste to get to the next gondola or lift.
Skiers who want to get to the very remote corners can do without lifts and gondolas. Instead, they can use their freeride skis as they come with a touring binding. However, to accomplish this, the skiers must be willing and fit enough to make the ascent under their body’s power.
Freeride skis are best for downhill skiing. However, those particularly interested in the ascent should consider ascent-oriented touring skis, as they will promise better performance and safety for the skier.
Are Freeride Skis Suitable For Beginners?
Absolutely! Freeride skis are suitable for beginners. Beginner skiers should use a freeride ski between 100mm and 105mm in width. For length, the ski should be even with your nose or shorter. It ensures the ski is easy to turn and provides a smooth and comfortable experience for a beginner skier.
What Is The Difference Between An All-Mountain Ski And A Freeride Ski?
The primary differences between a freestyle ski and most mountain skis involve ski shape, flex, and tip design. However, the main difference between freeride and all-mountain skis is:
Freeride skis are typically wider than all-mountain skis. It is because Freeride skis help the skiers explore the entire mountain.
Freestyle skis usually have a softer flex (not as stiff) that’s symmetrical, have a shorter turning radius and are symmetrically shaped, have a centered or near-centered mount point, and will have turned-up tips on both ends for skiing forward and backward.
On the contrary, all-mountain skis have a sturdier and asymmetrical flex, a longer turning radius, a more backward mounting point, and mostly a flat tail than a turned-up one.
Freeride ski offers performance just as well as an all-mountain or off-trail ski. Skiers who prefer stiff skiing might enjoy freeride skiing less. However, with good skiing technique, one could easily ski a freeride ski without much difficulty.
Best Freeride Skis In The Market
Freeride skis were not a favorite market years ago. They were an outcast model in the world of skis. However, now freeride skis or all-mountain skis form a massive part of the market. Companies are manufacturing different models and designs for freeride skis and practically competing.
Here are a few skis you can check out:
Mindbender 108 TI
This ski is 108mm wide, providing a smooth ride and the ability to go fast. Skiers of all ability levels can use this ski. It has the specifications as follows:
- It is an all-terrain rocker with short and low rises in the tail for better control.
- Lively energetic feel due to the lightweight of Aspen core.
- It has Titanal lamination coverage overall for maximum power transfer.
- The ABS sidewalls enhance the power transfer with dramatic support.
It is a unique ski. It has an exceptional edge hold; it also goes fast and easily carves through the snow. Here are the specs:
- More suspension
- Extra pop
- Agile and stable
- Quick and powerful
- Above 100mm width
Faction’s Prodigy 3
This ski is stiff enough to support you while also allowing freestyle skiing. Here are the specs:
- Super durable
- Intuitive, balanced, and stable
- Stiff flex
- High float ability
- Excellent edge hold
- Suitable for advanced skiers
Faction Mana 2
This ski has a 102 mm waist width. It allows it to slide across the entire mountain. Specifications for this beauty are:
- Adapts to the skier’s movements
- Lightweight poplar core
- Effortlessly turns
- Powered with 100% renewable energy
- Suitable for advanced and expert skiers
- High float ability
- Stiff flex
Freeride skis were an unpopular type of ski that made their comeback. However, skiers who ski freestyle and require freedom of movement prefer the skis with the characteristics mentioned above. The skis allow them comfort, performance, and adventurous skiing, especially over snow, where they perform best.
So, if you’re looking for a new style, try the freeride skiing style. Don’t worry about being a beginner. You will only need a little practice to try them and be a professional in no time.!