A high-end ski is one that will challenge the slalom course. They are narrow, much stiffer than intermediate slaloms and usually offer just the right amount of fiberglass and graphite or carbon fiber for optimal acceleration after completing turns. They offer enough performance to take the skier to the national or world level of competition. However, don’t sell yourself short. Higher performance skis have become easier to ski on and you may have been laboring on the wrong ski and hindering your own performances for a long time. Many skiers switch to a higher-end ski and are immediately astonished at their abilities.
High-end Skis Characteristics and Impacts:
stiffer flex – allows high-end skis to accelerate instantaneously at the finish of the turns, which is necessary to complete the slalom course at very short line lengths.
maximum speeds – high-end skis typically perform best at speeds of 34 and 36 mph.
honed skills – high-end skis tend to turn harder and sharper and finish with more angle; these skis also require force generated by speed into the turns to initiate flex and complete the turn.
edge to edge concave – Most, but of course not all, high-end skis are edge to edge concave. Concave-bottom skis tend to change edges more easily and hold the edge better. That means that when you’ve finished heading in one direction and are ready to turn, the ski immediately rolls over to the other edge and heads in the opposite direction. It is more eager to turn than a tunnel-bottomed ski. Once the skier is heading the opposite way, the ski maintains that direction through the wakes with less effort.
Bindings – high-end skis typically come with high-end bindings that offer a tighter, custom fit. Tighter bindings not only result in more support, but they also allow the skier’s feet to be more closely connected to the ski, giving the skier a better ''feel'' for what’s happening between the ski and the water.
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