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Touring Skis

Tourings Skis

Just skiing downhill is easy. But to actually gain yourself the descent, you have to get up on the mountain first! You love having the entire mountain for yourself, enjoying nature and its calmness? You appreciate the struggle of having to go up meter by meter to reach the peak or need that exhausting training through the snow? Then you are in need of touring skis, and these come in a great variety of types, widths, lengths and brands.

Tourings Skis
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More about Touring Skis

Many manufacturers also have special women's models in their range. These are generally somewhat softer, lighter and are offered in shorter lengths to accommodate the female physiology. The same applies to the touring skis for children and youngsters. And if you want to get started straight away, it's best to use our pre-configured ski touring sets. Then you save yourself the trouble of putting them together, which requires a certain overview of the range of skis, bindings and skins.


TOURING SKIS COME IN DIFFERENT TYPES


Touring is a sport done by diverse groups of people with different needs. There are the uphill ski tourers, who put much value on the ascent. Whoever finds the descent through the powder more important, will get himself freeride touring skis. Anyone looking for an everyday go-to gear will have an eye on allround touring skis, which have some advantages for everyone. And then there are the specific racing touring skis: performance oriented, to climb the mountain as fast as possible. Based on these needs, the skis vary in waist, Rocker construction, weight... 


CONSTRUCTION AND BUILD OF THE TOURING SKI


Most touring skis are equipped with rocker construction - either tip rocker or tip & tail rocker. This gives the ski more lift in deep snow or in sulz. Rockers shorten the effective edge length and thus facilitate turn initiation and thus the turn itself. This gives the ski a high degree of manoeuvrability.

The opposite of the rocker is the full camber construction, positive preload in the ski. Here, as long as the ski is not loaded, the contact points with the snow are located at the shovel and ski tip, while there is a distance to the snow under the binding. As soon as you stand on the ski, pressure is applied, which means that the entire ski edge is under tension in the snow, which is particularly helpful for skis for high speeds and difficult snow conditions.


The Full Rocker is somewhat special. It is a so to say very "relaxed" construction: Tip and tail are bent upwards, under binding the ski lies - unlike camber construction - on the ground. For more details check out our special on Rocker types and profiles.

WHAT MATERIALS ARE USED IN TOURING SKIS?


Weight plays an important role in the construction of touring skis. The ski core is of particular importance here. Materials such as glass fibre, titanal, ash, balsa or often paulownia wood are used, such as in the K2 Wayback 88. In general, however, it can be said that a ski with a higher weight is somewhat more stable. That is why many manufacturers use carbon in their ski construction. To increase the torsional stiffness, i.e. the stiffness around the longitudinal axis of the ski, a carbon structure is often built around the core or used as a honeycomb construction in the ski shovel. This gives the ski more stability and edge grip. 


THE BEST LENGTH AND FITTING RADIUS OF YOUR TOURING SKI


Generally, your ski should be about 10 cm shorter than you are. This will keep it maneuverable for the ascent and stable enough for the descent. Uphill ski tourers will oftentimes choose a shorter ski, making those kick turns easier, while the freeride tourer will opt for a longer ski. However, (unless you are a racer) the ski should not be shorter than your chin. See also our ski length finder for more.

The radius of the touring ski is, as with any other ski, based on its side cut. The stronger the side cut, the smaller the radius. The smaller the radius, the easier it gets to initiate turning. A greater radius will lead to more stability. In touring, you need both. Therefore, the radius for allround touring skis, freeride touring skis and uphill oriented will be at around 15 m. Race touring skis have less side cut and therefore a larger radius of around 20-23 m.


THE RIGHT TOURING SKI FOR YOUR WANTS & NEEDS


Uphill touring skis: The be-all and end-all of an ascent-oriented touring ski is its weight. It should be as light as possible and as manoeuvrable as possible. It doesn't matter whether it's a short ski tour as a training unit or a tour lasting several days with many ascents, the main thing is that it's easy to get up. That's why the ski here is on the narrower and lighter side with a width of approx. 80-85 mm and a weight of approx. 1000 g. The Atomic Backland 85 UL convinces here with 85 mm and only 950 g. If you don't want to miss out on downhill skiing either, you will choose a ski that is a few millimetres wider, although this will make it weigh a little more again. A pin binding is of course recommended for an ascent-oriented touring ski. After all, the ski is designed to be lightweight, so the binding should also be as light as possible! If you want to save a few grams of weight, you can do without the stopper. In addition, the right touring boots, i.e. light touring boots, are of course crucial for a coherent ascent-oriented set.


Freeride touring skis: For the freerider, it's all about the descent through deep pow. The ascent is more a means to an end. Therefore, the focus of this touring ski should also be on its deep snow performance. Accordingly, this ski is significantly wider than the other touring skis, with centre widths of 100 mm or even more. A large contact surface in combination with the rocker construction ensures lift in powder conditions and thus optimal for freeride fun. On the other hand, at around 1500 g, it is somewhat heavier than other touring skis. This of course reduces its climbing abilities making longer ascents not really everybodies delight. A good start is a ski like the Dynastar M-Tour 99 at 1300 g and a centre width of 99 mm.



Allround touring skis: This ski combines lightness and agility with downhill performance. As the name suggests, the ski is suitable for everything. For ski touring beginners as well as seasoned touring skiers. And whether it's a brisk tour up the local mountain or a versatile high alpine tour, with this all-round ski you're always on the safe side. The centre width will be around 90 mm and the weight around 1200-1300 g, like the Dynafit Radical 88, for example. Special women's models like the Dynafit Radical 88 W are even lighter.

As all-rounders are a compromise between uphill and downhill orientated skis, central parameters like width and weight will shift to on one side or the other.
Complete ski touring sets
: Especially for ski touring beginners, we also have fixed touring ski sets for women and men in this category, which make it easier to get started in this sport with a matching touring binding and skins. These sets are now also available for children and young people.


Racer’s touring skis: The faster the better! The racer is really only concerned about speed. And this is certainly easiest with a lightwight ski. Race touring ski weigh well under 1000 g and are only available in short lengths. It is, of course, correspondingly narrow and manoeuvrable. On the other hand, a ski like the Atomic Backland UL 65 is somewhat weaker on the downhill and can only be recommended to experts who know how to handle these ultra-lights. To complete the race set, the other components such as bindings and boots are of course also available as race lightweights.


TOURING SKINS: SYNTHETIC OR MOHAIR? BETTER BOTH

No ski tour without a previous ascent, i.e. also no ski tour without ski touring skins. Most skins are mix-mohair skins, this means they have a mixed fur composition, which means a compromise. The basic rule is: pure mohair skins are more expensive, but have better properties. Synthetic skins are cheaper and more durable.
The ski length as well as the shape of the ski tip and ski ends are criteria for the choice of skin.
For the sake of simplicity, we have attached a suitable skin as a "Fitting products" to all skis suitable for touring. These are either already tailored to the model directly by the manufacturer or are cut accordingly by us.


For the ski tour, the right outdoor equipment should not be missing: Bindings, climbing skins, boots, poles, ski touring apparel and above all avalanche safety equipment!

Our advice: Take it easy and have a look at our pre-selected tourings set to get going without any hussles and save money. 

For more detailed info, visit our skitouring guide!