When Should I Replace My Skis

Ooh weee. This is one of those questions where if you ask it to a group of three people, you’ll get five opinions!

Jerry Shelton

3/21/20234 min read

When Should I Replace My Skis?

Ooh weee. This is one of those questions where if you ask it to a group of three people, you’ll get five opinions!

Recently, I asked my own group of skiing friends what their primary reasons were for replacing a set of skis. Hands down, they all had a few of the same answers. But amazingly, some of them came up with some really great stuff, that I hadn’t really classified as a “strong reason.”

But then again, I’ve got really persuasive friends. They get me to do stuff, and all say, “Hey, you gotta check this out!” Candidly, I’m glad none of them thought to pull out a camera. Without confirming or denying, there may or may not have been a couple of mounds of wasabi involved.

When I boiled all the answers down, it basically came down to just a few things. Here’s what my informal survey of expert persuasive friends suggest when it may be time to get new skis. I’ll let you figure out which ones were serious and which ones weren’t.

In no particular order:

  • When you actually measure your skis and discover they’re over 200cm, and you really don’t do much speedy downhill skiing.

    • Seriously, this one came from one guy, but as soon as it came out of his mouth, everyone was nodding their head. If your skis are too long, then they’re likely to end up being stuck on the rack in your garage and not getting the use you’d expect. If you are really just wanting to carve up a playground, do some small jumps and just casually enjoy the slopes, owning a set of skis that basically handicap you and make you have to work harder to do the things you love… that just doesn’t make sense. Go get a shorter pair of skis. And NO, Darnell, you can’t just cut the back ends off SMH

  • When your style is more important than your budget.

    • I tried very hard to word this one in a way that actually reflects the reality of the situation. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this! This is where we all hope to be. Sometimes, we move from trying to be the best at something to just truly enjoying the time out there… and when we go, we want to look GOOD. Have you moved passed the point in your life where you’re digging for change to get some fries? Is your income now sufficient for your needs, wants, and pleasures? It may be time to upgrade baby!

    • Don’t stop at the skis though. Candidly, it’s not often someone doesn’t marvel at a well-put-together snow bunny or snow moose. The crowd stops focusing on their coordination, and simply marvel at their COORDINATED…style. They look GOOD. And candidly, more power to them. It’s usually not the championship of the world out there, and everyone knows that the outfits you wear can give or take away confidence. Need a boost? Get yourself a matching set of skis, boots, pants, gloves, hat, nose prosthetic, whatever cools your gel, man. Righteous.

    • One of my buddies caught some flak for saying this, but we all know he’s right. Have a significant other? Go buy matching outfits, and skis… and make them cool. It’s a great way to bond.

  • Do your skis look like a set of snowboards?

    • There was a time in the industry where it seemed like everyone was interested in having a set of skis that had enough wingspan to take off on a short runway.

    • A good rule of thumb is to check and see if your skis are wider than 120mm, not to be confused with centimeters… if your skis are 120cm wide, just WHOA there, you might have a genuine snowboard underfoot, set sideways. Look for the extra boot connector if you’re confused.

  • You want the best. That’s right. You know you do.

    • Some of the best TECH out there isn’t cheap. You want to sport the state-of-the art, and be able to discuss it with others ON the slopes. This is your way into that conversation. Get some!

  • You take a look at your skis and are like, “Dang, is that the way it always looked?”

    • That missing bit on the tail, no.. no… it WAS there last year. That sidewall gouge, the multicolored band under your ski that shows a worn hole like a boot sole, or the tip that looks like a star-nosed mole?

    • When the damage is done, it’s time to replace those skis.

  • The ski shop refuses to service them.

    • Oh boy, does this one come up a lot. And NO. It’s not because we’re looking to make a sale. It’s because healthy, happy, fully intact customers are more likely to continue buying products.

    • If your bindings are bad, the shop will let you know. If your skis are ready for the specialist repurposing into kitsch furniture, they’ll let you know. If it’s time to replace them. They will let you know! Trust your shop… they literally have a vested interest in you coming back next year. They’re not going to tell you your skis need to be replaced, if they don’t NEED to be replaced. Listen.

  • You are just READY.

    • Sometimes, half the fun of new gear is just getting the new gear. Sure, you may not NEED new skis, but new skis are fun, and isn’t that why we’re out there?

    • Try a new set… Try a different style… try telemark for a challenge. Try something. Anything. Skis are out there to expand your experiences. Enjoy the process, too!After looking at the compilation, one thing really stands out. At no point, during the ski replacement/buying process, will you be required to consume multiple wads of wasabi paste. That’s just a matter of choice.

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