Monday, 11 June 2012

Skis - how many?

Although the days are long and the air is warm, we have been spending a lot of time with athletes discussing their fleets for the upcoming year. A topic that constantly comes up is, "how many pairs of skis do I need?".

This is a complicated question with a complicated answer. However, the short version is that more pairs are better... to a point. The key to remember is that more pairs of skis should reduce stress, not create stress. In other words, if you find yourself testing five pairs of skis before every race, you either need to pare down your fleet or get some help learning about your skis. World cup racers have enormous ski bags, but they also have enormous technical resources to help them along the way.

Podium skis.


With that in mind, the following system works quite well. The highlighted items at each level represent the additional skis added from the previous level. The information in brackets represents the appropriate grind from GNS.

1) Basic
Skate - universal (CJ0)
Classic - hardwax (XTi2)
Classic - klister (Li3)

2) Intermediate
Skate - universal cold (CJ0)
Skate - universal plus (Q1.3)
Classic - hardwax (XTi2)
Classic - klister (Li3)

3) Intermediate +
Skate - universal cold (CJ0)
Skate - universal plus (Q1.3)
Classic - hardwax (XTi2)
Classic - klister (Li3)
Classic - zero (Li3)

4) Advanced
Skate - universal cold (CJ0)
Skate - universal plus (Q1.3)
Skate - wet (LC4)
Classic - hardwax (XTi2)
Classic - klister (Li3)
Classic - zero (Li3)

5) World Cup
At this point you would have skis specific to every temperature range and snow condition. This category would represent fleets of 5+ pairs of classic and 5+ pairs of skate. Awesome, but difficult to manage without a dedicated service staff. 

World Cup... lots of skis, lots of staff.
As always, however, the key with skis is quality not quantity. For our thoughts on ski quality see here - ski service.