Totul despre schiuri. Manual de initiere pentru incepatori

There are a considerable number of ski variants on the market, all designed for a specific style of skiing. From skis for beginners and allround skis, to competitive downhill skis, it is good for any beginner to know all the elements related to the composition and characteristics of a pair of skis, so that he can be initiated with the equipment he will use.

There are many more aspects related to skis than it might seem at first glance. Below are some explanations of what each part of a ski does and what properties it has, as well as how all these parts and properties can combine to make skis suitable for different styles of skiing. .

The base of the ski

The base is the area on the bottom of the ski, the one that comes into contact with the snow. In general, when you want to buy a pair of skis, you will not think too much about the base, although it is also a very important part of the skis.

The base of the skis is made of P-Tex, a polyethylene plastic and can vary in many different ways. There are different qualities of P-Tex, extruded and sintered constructions, as well as different additives that can be used. This causes different types of bases to have different properties, which can make them faster, stronger or able to hold more wax than other types. Sintered bases are superior to extruded bases because they are more durable, faster and retain wax better, but they are more expensive and harder to repair.

The best types of bases are sintered hybrids that contain graphite and other materials, they hold the wax better and are even faster. They are always dark black in color and are most frequently found on skis dedicated to racing.
To make the base slide easily on the snow and to keep it in good condition, a special wax is applied to it, with the help of a hot waxing iron, which melts the wax on the base. However, there is also wax that can be applied cold, but it is less effective.

Keeping the base waxed as well as possible is the essential condition for the skis to be fast and in good condition. If the base of the ski is scratched as a result of impact with hard objects such as stones, the well-maintained wax on the base will manage to keep the skis safe.


Edges are metal strips located along the sides of a ski. Edges are very important and can make a big difference in the performance of a ski. There are many things that affect edges and how they work, such as side radius, edge angle, precision and stiffness.

Side beam

If you look at a ski, you will notice that it is wider at the tip and tail than in the middle. This is explained by the fact that the edges have been shaped to curve along the sides of the ski. If the ski is tilted on an edge, this curve will try to guide the ski in a circular path. The curved shape on the edge of the ski is called sidecut and will have a sidecut radius determined by the effective radius of the curve.

The lateral radius (or R) is normally mentioned on the top of the ski, with a value in meters. A ski with a smaller side radius will make smaller turns when the ski is in the snow, while a ski with a larger side radius will make larger turns. The radii of the skis can vary a lot and are normally suited to the skiing style.

Below is a guide to the sidecut radius and types of skiing.

In recent years, ski manufacturers have also launched versions where the lateral radius changes along the length of the ski. This concept allows the skier to use a certain lateral radius when leaning more forward and another lateral radius when their weight is oriented towards the back of the skis.

Although many of the skiers were not convinced by the practical side and the results of this approach, the technology proved popular enough to make a permanent place in the product lines of some of the manufacturers.


The sharp edges of the skis are very important for the ability of the ski to cut the snow. Sharp, smooth edges will have less drag and cut snow better than edges that are not, providing more edge control.

Edge angles

Another aspect that matters a lot is how sharp the angle of the edges is. Most types of skis are used with side edge angles between 90 and 88 degrees, and racing skis generally have an edge angle of 87 degrees. Skis used for competitions can still have smaller edge angles than this.

Of course, the difference between these angles is not too big, being only a few millimeters in thickness, but these small differences can have a noticeable effect. Smaller angles will not work on all skis. Beyond the superior ability required to use smaller angles, a ski must be very stiff to handle a very sharp edge; otherwise the ski will just jump on the snow, its edge catching and releasing, which will provide less control than if the edges were not so sharp.


In general, the stiffer a ski is, the more responsive it will be and the more able it will be to offer an advantage on hard snow. In addition, it will be easier to manage at higher speeds. All this sounds very good, but it is also important to say that a stiffer ski will be more unforgiving in case of mistakes, and most skiers do not want skis that respond to even the smallest inputs.

So, although a stiff ski can allow you to push and cut more snow than you ever imagined, it can throw you to the ground before you even realize you've done something wrong. Therefore, you must adapt the stiffness of the skis to your personal skills and the style of skiing you practice.

The camber or curvature of the ski

Camber is the shape a ski has vertically along its length. Most skis are arched, so that the area under the binding is above the snow when there is no weight on the ski, with the areas at the side ends touching the snow just before the point where the tips start. This shape means that once the weight is on the skis, the flex of the ski will always try to push the entire length of the ski into the snow, which gives you more control towards the edges. The degree of curvature of a ski is given by the height at which the middle of the ski is above a flat surface, when no weight is exerted on it.

The curvature of the ski can influence how dynamic and lively a ski seems, although stiffness also plays an important role here. The shape of the curvature is what makes the length of the ski push into the snow, but the stiffness is what determines how hard the ski pushes.

Many new powder or freestyle skis come with areas of negative curvature (rocker shapes) or other shapes. This curvature differs from the traditional design of skis, but allows them to float better on soft snow and move more easily in the snow park. These new types of curves are rapidly gaining more and more popularity.


The width of a ski can influence how well the ski floats in powder snow and how much pressure can be applied to the edges. If a ski is very wide, it will increase the surface of the base, which, in turn, will mean less pressure on the snow below and make the ski float better on soft snow. That's why powder skis are often very wide.
However, the width of a ski also influences how easy it will be to apply pressure on the edges, because a wider ski means more problems in creating pressure on the edge. Therefore, racing skis and backcountry skis, where edge pressure is very important, are normally narrower.

The current trend is for manufacturers to make all-round skis a little wider, so that they are better on powder, but not so wide that there is a major effect on their ability to handle frozen portions. The width of a ski is generally given by three values: the width at the tip, the width in the middle and the width at the tail.

The length

The length of a ski also matters a lot. Longer skis generally have more control at high speeds and more grip, but are harder to turn because they have more rotational inertia. The length of a ski also makes a difference on powder, as longer length means a larger base, which makes a ski float better on soft snow.

Therefore, the length of a ski must be adapted to the speed with which the skier wants to move, how quickly or often he wants to turn and how much he wants to ski on powder. Also, the height and weight of the skier must be taken into account, because taller and heavier people need longer skis.

The weight

Heavier skis are harder to handle, but they adhere better to the snow and lift less, offering more edge control. This is why most racing skis are quite heavy. Skis for beginners tend to be lighter, because they need to be moved easily, just like freestyle skis, they need to turn with as little effort as possible. Most skis fall into the allround category, being neither too light nor too heavy.

Ski tips

On all skis, the front tip curves upwards, so that the ski can go over bumps and cope with changes in slope. Most skis have a large tip at the front and a small tip at the back, but freestyle skis and many powder skis are designed to be skied backwards, which is why they also have large tips at the back.

Protections for tips

Most of the time the skis have plastic protections at the back end to protect both the floor and the skis when they are left leaning against a wall. Many skis also have protection on the tips, which helps to protect both the skis and the gondola windows or anything else that could be scratched due to an exposed metal edge.