Ski technology is constantly changing – sometimes even from season to season. This certainly makes it a challenge deciding when exactly to replace your skis. Visually, your skis look to be in good shape, but are they really? After all, the most important investment you will make in this sport is not your boots or poles, not your bindings, but your skis – that’s why it’s called skiing.
Never fear, Christy Sports is here to help! Here are some tips to consider to assist you in making that big investment decision:
Skis can last a long time if well-cared for and stored correctly during the offseason. While there is no set amount of ski days before a pair is worn out, for the average skier, a set of skis will typically hold up between 100-125 days on the slopes. It depends on the ski, the skier, and the terrain he or she is skiing. More aggressive skiers often find their skis have an even shorter lifespan, and they are also more likely to blow out the skis’ edges on rocks or rails.
Once skis have hit their life span, the core of the ski begins to lose its natural integrity and energy – and no one wants their skis to feel lifeless underneath their feet.
Signs You’re Due for New Skis
Cracked Sidewalls, Missing Edges, Worn Bases
Ski edges and base materials only have a certain amount of life thanks to both wear and tear of skiing, and tuning. Each time your skis are tuned, the techs are inevitably taking material away. This does not mean you should refrain from tuning your skis on a regular basis! Besides, even if you’re not getting your skis tuned frequently, the simple act of skiing wears down your edges. There comes a point when the edges are so thin that it’s definitely time to replace your skis.
Similarly, the base of your skis is just as susceptible as your edges, especially if you’re having frequent belt and stone grind tunes performed. You will wear through that base material rather quickly. Another factor to look out for is damage. While damage is often repairable, an abundant amount of core shots in the base of a ski or cracked edges from sliding rails or hitting rocks means it’s probably time to replace your skis.
Cracked sidewalls? This will drastically reduce edge grip, not to mention allow moisture to seep into the core of the ski – a BIG NO-NO when it comes to ski maintenance.
Multiple Ski Binding Mounts
If your skis have been mounted multiple times, it might be time for a new pair. Most ski tech experts say a ski can be drilled and mounted up to three times before it starts to ruin its torsional stiffness (internal torque) and structural integrity. In other words, if your skis begin to look like a piece of Swiss cheese underneath your bindings, that’s a sign it could be time to replace them.
Not only do multiple mounts hurt structural integrity, but moisture will inevitably find its way into the ski. Also, different bindings use different hole patterns, which sometimes can conflict with each other. So, be strategic about your re-mounts or you may be unnecessarily shortening the life of your skis. Just because a ski can be mounted three times, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to ski safely or have the bindings where you want them set.
General Wear and Tear
Are you finding it hard to hold an edge on firm snow even after a fresh tune? If so, then your skis could be wearing out from the inside! The wood core that’s found in the center of most skis will start to break down ever so slightly the more you ski on them, and the epoxy that holds the ski together will eventually start to give. This is probably the biggest gray area when it comes to replacing skis, but if you feel like your skis aren’t performing the way they used to, you’re probably right, and it’s probably time for a new set.
Ski Technology Life Cycle
Advancements in ski technology happen at an exponential rate, especially these days. Within the past 10 years alone, there have been huge improvements in ski design and construction. While the average lifespan of skis remains fairly unchanged in the last five years, the most current skis come with new technology that has drastically affected their ability, meaning you can get more out of them over the course of their life.
Every five years or so, a new technology comes along that considerably improves the ability of skis. First it was shaped skis, then fat skis, next was the addition of rocker. Now, the trend is making skis lighter without losing any power. Skis produced within this five-year threshold are still using modern shapes and technology, and are fine for even the strongest of skiers.
Once your skis get past the 5-10 year mark, they are still considered modern, but you may not be getting the most out of their performance or are forced to work harder than you should to get the same level of performance. Now, if you’re one of those skiers who is out there on rear entry boots and straight skis with pointed tips (yes, that stuff is still finding its way to the mountains), it’s time to improve both your skiing performance and enjoyment on the hill by replacing your gear.
Skiing is supposed to be fun – not work. While it’s nice to save money by keeping your gear for multiple seasons, don’t let it ruin your enjoyment and, more importantly, don’t let it put you in unnecessary danger. Sometimes it’s worth upgrading to a more current design and construction just to maximize the “fun” factor. If you’re in the market for new skis at the lowest prices of the season, be sure to check out our Powder Daze sale!
2019 Powder Daze Sale Locations:
Location: Meadows Tennis Center Parking Lot off Mt Werner Road
Location: 2161 N Frontage Road West, Unit 1
Location: 8601 West Cross Dr. Littleton, CO 80123
Location: 817 Hwy 6 Dillon, CO 80435