Reserve your skis with Gear West Race Ski Selection Service
As in previous years, we will be working with our vendors to hand pick the best skis from national and international racing departments. Getting on our list will ensure you have the best fitting, fastest possible race skis.
Ski fit, at its most basic level, is finding a ski that is of correct length and stiffness. This level of fit is something you should be able to obtain from any reputable ski shop.
At Gear West we see fitting race skis as a complete commitment. We use our hands, eyes, flex benches and our ski flex test analyzer to distinguish ourselves as leaders and innovators in ski selection. We have a hundred combined years of fitting skis at the highest level and we are not satisfied until we find your new favorite skis.
This year, like many years in the past, we are working with our suppliers to obtain the very best skis for our customers. Our leadership in the industry gives us first look and allows us the discretion to accept only the highest quality skis. We will be making ski sourcing trips and will be working with national and international race departments to get the best race skis.
What we mean by quality?
When I talk about quality I am referring to how fast a ski glides on snow, how well it kicks and how easy it is to ski on. I want the fastest ski possible when I am racing but stability and ease of use also play a part. Ski speed, stability and ease of use all seem like intangibles but with the experience, ski knowledge and tools at our disposal we are able to quantify these characteristics.
Length and Flex.
Selecting length is pretty easy. Go with the longest ski possible that you can still ski on comfortably. All things equal, a longer ski is generally a faster ski. Ask Tad Elliot why he is now on 192cm skate skis vs 187cm skis. The one caveat is some ski manufactures are better at building certain length skis. A few years ago Salomon produced some very high quality skis in 187cm skate and 201cm classic. These skis were much faster than their longer skis. This scenario, though not a frequent occurrence, is important to be familiar with.
Selecting flex is more difficult. What is it with all the flex numbers on skis these days? Basically, they are to determine if the skis are matched to each other and to give a baseline on how stiff the ski is. No flex number I have seen gives a quantitative value of flex. The truth is ski companies don’t want you to know there is a difference in quality of flex. They would like consumers to believe that one $600 ski is equivalent to the same $600 at another ski shop! Unfortunately, this is not the case and that is the reason Gear West spends considerable time and money searching and maintaining the largest high quality ski selection in North America.
What does this all mean to you, the skier? Well, if I were a consumer of Nordic racing skis, I would find a shop that not only has your basic fit covered but also understands the “quality” involved in the ski fitting process.
We invite you to be involved in the process. This summer we will travel to source race skis directly from some of our suppliers. We will also be working with national and international racing departments to find the best skis for Gear West’s inventory.
If you want a high level racing ski from Fischer, Rossi, Salomon or Atomic, please fill out a ski request form. Get your name in the hat early for the highest level of quality ski. And it sure is fun to ski and race on fast skis!
Click HERE to reserve your new race skis