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Park & Pipe Skis

FREESTYLE SKIS

On and off the slopes not enough for you? You'd rather master rails, boxes, kickers and halfpipes? Learn new tricks and spend great days in the park with your friends? Then you need park & pipe skis, also called freestyle skis. They are specially designed and built to let off steam in the snow. Freestyle skis are available from a wide range of brands. Some of the best-known brands are Faction, Black Crows, Atomic, Völkl and Armada.

FREESTYLE SKIS
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PARK & PIPE OR OFF-PISTE: THE AREA OF APPLICATION FOR FREESTYLE SKIS

Freestyle – the name gives it away. We are talking about skis for having loads of fun. Because they are built to jump over kickers: straight over, with different grabs and tricks, 360° turns or flips – there are no limits to your creativity. Pipes, rails and boxes are also on the program, simply everything you can think of in the park can be mastered. But freestyle skis are not only suitable for the park and the pipe. These skis also cut a good figure off-piste - and depending on the centre width, also in powder!

 

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE FREESTYLE SKI

The main feature of the freestyle ski is its twin-tip construction. This means that this ski is bent up at both the front and the back, just like a snowboard. This makes it easy to ride the ski backwards, which makes it possible to approach kickers backwards or land backwards after a jump. The ski is also relatively symmetrical. The typical park freestyle ski is quite narrow, with a centre width of about 90-95 mm. This makes it ideal for providing stability during jumps and landings, as well as on rails. In addition, it is also well suited for the piste, because good tricks can also be incorporated there. But there are also wider freestyle skis with centre widths over 100 mm. These skis are also best suited for park & pipe, but thanks to their width they are especially convincing in deep snowy terrain. Due to the wider contact surface, they have an extremely good lift in deep snow.

When it comes to ski construction Rocker and Camber comes in your way. Camber is a negative bias, while rocker is a positive bias. Most freestyle skis have tip & tail rocker, which reduces the effective edge length of the ski. This makes the ski more turnable and forgiving. It also provides more lift in deep snow. In addition, there is a strong rebound effect. This is particularly supportive in the park when jumping. Wood is mostly used as the core, because this is light but at the same time gives the ski stability and liveliness. As with alpine or all-mountain skis, there are often carbon components in freestyle skis, which give the ski additional stability at low weight.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD CONSIDER WHEN BUYING YOUR FREESTYLE SKIS

You should choose the right ski based on your ability and riding style. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate or expert, the ski must match your expectations. If you use your freestyle ski mostly in the park, then a narrower model is suitable. However, if you plan to do a lot of off-piste skiing, a wider ski will fit better. Your typical freestyle ski should be between your nose and  the size of your body (->Ski Length Guide). Whether freestyle, off-piste or on-piste, start looking for the right ski for you and improve your skills!

 

WHAT IS THERE TO CONSIDER IN BINDING?

The mounting of the bindings also depends on your intentions. For pure park skis, bindings should be centered, because this allows the freeski to ride backwards just as well as forwards. However, if you are also on the slopes or off-piste and want to enjoy the fullest skiing pleasure, you should mount the binding a little further back. Especially in deep snow this is important, because there the ski glides better when the weight is shifted a little to the rear. So you have no problems and can easily pull your turns.

WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?

The right ski boots are also important, because the boots have to cushion well during hard landings. To fully enjoy your jumps and tricks, you should always wear a ski helmet and protectors. This gives you the necessary safety and protects you from serious injuries in case of emergency.

Freestyle poles are usually shorter than their alpine counterparts. To maximise your flexibility you can opt for telescopic ones. Shorten them for your park experiences and add some centimetres when you are on piste or out in the backcountry.