Freeride skis are a versatile and aggressive type of alpine ski that will allow you to explore everywhere on the mountain. They can work well at the resort and in the backcountry but are not suitable for beginners.
Hi, I’m Christine. I created this blog to give my fellow skiers valuable information to support their love of the sport. I’ve used many different freeride skis over the years and know how they perform and what they’re used for.
In this post, I’ll explain what freeride skis are in detail. If you are considering buying a new pair or just want to learn more about the style, the sections below will help you out.
Let’s dive in.
What is Freeride Skiing?
Before explaining what makes a freeride ski, it’s important to touch on freeride skiing in general. This type of skiing is fun, aggressive, powerful, and powderful. It’s an intermediate to expert style of the sport that focuses on challenging terrain and demanding lines.
If you have ever seen hike-to terrain at the resort or watched a ski movie where a helicopter drops a skier at the top of an intimidating but amazing slope, those are good examples of freeride skiing. You can also think of it as all-mountain skiing on steroids.
Freeride skiing is one of my favorite styles of the sport. It’s a fantastic way to challenge your abilities while also getting the chance to reach runs that most skiers avoid. This means lots of fresh snow to satisfy your powder lust.
There is no exact definition of the style but think of it as a way to push the limits of your skiing ability by exploring new and exciting terrains. It’s a pretty versatile style, but it’s not for beginners because of the skills required to go down these demanding lines.
What are Freeride Skis?
A unique ski needed to be created to handle this demanding skiing style. At first glance, freeride skis can look very similar to all-mountain skis. They are wide and come with rockered tips and tails.
But freeride skis are designed to be more burly than the average all-mountain ski. Think of it like a pickup truck. All-mountain skis would be the basic version of a truck with moderate power and versatile capabilities.
Freeride skis are the high-end truck that comes with extreme engine power, towing capability and can conquer just about any terrain – on the road or off it. Freeride skis don’t actually give you towing ability, but it’s a good way to think about it.
Freeride skis are just as versatile as all-mountain skis. They will let you easily ski in nearly any type of condition you find yourself in. This could be hardpack or crud or deep powder. Freeriders expect variable conditions, and a good set of skis is needed to match this.
I like freeride skis for this one-size-fits-all capability. All-mountain skis achieve this as well, but freeride options are better suited for experienced skiers who demand high-end performance in every on-snow situation.
Freeride Ski Construction
Freeride skis look similar to all-mountain skis, but appearances aren’t everything. They have a more aggressive nature, and this is due to their construction. They are generally stiffer and wider than all-mountain skis, making them more capable on the mountain.
Modern freeride skis can have either a directional or twin-tipped shape. This helps with versatility and allows the skis to cruise at higher speeds than other types of twin-tipped skis without experiencing much chatter.
They will also have a stiffer flex than all-mountain skis. This gives you enhanced performance in challenging conditions and helps them achieve higher speeds without vibrations. It also makes the skis heavier, which helps bust through crud and other questionable conditions.
Freeride skis will have a blend of rocker and camber profile to give you the best of both worlds in terms of performance. Rocker in the tip and tail help keep you above the snow and stay playful. Camber helps you generate pop and power so you can ski aggressively.
They have pretty decent performance in powder conditions, and you can easily take them out with confidence into deep snow. Freeride skis won’t be as wide as powder skis, but they will be wider than all-mountain options.
Every model of freeride skis has somewhat different construction, but they all follow the blueprint of being stiff, aggressive, versatile, and effective all over the mountain.
Who Should Get Freeride Skis
If you are an experienced skier who wants a high-performance but still very versatile option, then freeride skis are a good choice. They can help you push your limits beyond regular resort lines while allowing you to have a lot of fun.
If you aren’t an experienced skier, there’s a good chance that freeride skis will be too much for you to handle. They can be heavy and difficult to control if you don’t already have years of experience on the mountain.
Freeride skis are a good addition to your quiver if you want something that sits in between what all-mountain and powder skis have to offer.
Freeride skiing is an amazing experience, and to explore this style, you need to get equipped with freeride skis. They might be heavy and aggressive, but they will allow you to tackle just about anything that comes your way out there.
Advanced skiers who want to push their limits to the next level will benefit from having freeride skis on their feet. Beginners should stick with all-mountain until they have the confidence to tackle extreme terrain.