If you have reached an intermediate skiing level, you can probably ski blue runs with finesse and the occasional easy black trail. Congrats. You've come a long way since your days on the bunny trail, but before you get too cocky, the terminal intermediate stage represents a learning plateau for many skiers. Confidence is part of what you need to get to the next level. The right pair of skis, along with lessons from a certified instructor, will make it happen.
What is Aggressive?
Medium aggressive skiers are usually confidence personified in certain terrain. In others, not so much. The speed diva, for example, rarely has to buy beer for all of her friends, because she's never the last one down. An unexpected bump run, however, breaks her stride. Then, the mogul mistress chooses a line, commits to it and overtakes her. Meanwhile in the terrain park, the Park Betty shows everyone that girls can jump, too. Different ski features enhance difference skills. To get to the next level, you have two choices. Pick a ski that accentuates your strengths or choose one that helps you surpass your shortcomings.
It's Not Just The Graphics
Attractive, eye-catching graphics often cover the top sheets of female-specific skis. That's hardly the reason to select one model over another, but if color and visual effects inspire you, then choose a design that entices you to go for it and give it all you've got. Gorgeous graphics aside, women's skis usually have a softer flex and a lighter weight, which makes them easier to maneuver. A forward mounting position accommodates wider hips, a lower center of gravity and smaller feet. These adjustments make it easier to pressure the tips of your skis and move aggressively down the mountain.
Speed Diva Skis
Narrow-waisted skis quickly get you on your edges and perform tight, nimble turns down the race course. In contrast to their tiny waists, racing-inspired skis have a wider tail, which resists the dreaded, speed-killing sideways skid. Before you buy, check the turn radius. The smaller the number, the quicker the turn. If your local hill has a NASTAR or race course, and you dream of winning an age-group pin, choose skis with a turn radius smaller than 16 meters. Longer skis provide greater stability at speed, so seek out skis that come close to the top of your head. The words "vibration damping" are magic for those with fear of speed. This technology minimizes the "chatter" that accompanies high-speed skiing.
Mogul and terrain park skiing fall into the freestyle category. The freestyle ski comes in many varieties. Twin tip skis curve upward at both the tip and tail, which allows you to ski forward and backward. Softer and more flexible for shock absorption, freestyle skis have waist sizes that range from 80 to 120 millimeters, along with an 18-meter turn radius. Some freestyle skis have a rocker shape technology, also called "reverse camber." In traditional skis, the center is lifted from the snow. Rocker technology reverses the arc, allowing better flotation in powder and smoother sliding on terrain park rails.
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.