It’s no secret—investing in custom made skis and snowboards is an investment. As a result, it is important to get exactly what you want. If a specific shop doesn’t offer the service or customization you need, consider checking out additional shops. Moreover, there are specific, customizable factors you should be aware of before beginning your search. Below are four important parts of the ski your custom maker will likely ask. These are aspects of your ski or board you should have an opinion about or preference for.
Shape—Assess the way you ride. Do you prefer slalom-like turns, downhill tucks, or a slower, more powdery experience? All of these preferences will affect your custom ski’s shape. You’ll want straighter skis if you enjoy wide turns, as they provide a more stable base. If you prefer quicker, shorter turns, you may want a deeper sidecut, i.e. a more hourglass-shaped ski. You should also take into consideration the tip/shovel of your ski or board. A wider tip will allow for better maneuverability on light snow/powder, and a narrow tip will provide an easier release from quick turns.
Camber and Rocker—How much stability do you enjoy? Do you prefer the feeling of being rooted to the mountain, or are you happier with easier releases? This will determine your camber, or how much of the ski makes contact with the snow. Often determined by height and weight, this is an easy way to ensure your ski or board’s maneuverability. Moreover, Rockered ski tips rise earlier and curve a bit closer to the boot, allowing them to “float” more easily on soft conditions.
Flex/Stiffness—The more your equipment can flex, the better it will perform on powdery and light conditions. The less flex, the better it will perform on hard-packed snow. Even flex patterns are available for those who want to strike a balance between the two.
Length—Also known as turn radius, your equipment’s length will influence the ability for you to turn. The longer the ski or snowboard, the wider the turns you will have to make. Your preferred length is most easily determined by your experience. Shorter skis and boards—around chin-height—are great for beginners, whereas intermediate and advanced shredders will prefer longer equipment—those that hit the nose or forehead.