Skis and snowboards
The type, sidecut and length of your skis or snowboard must be geared to your fitness, needs and style.
Skis and snowboards should be checked regularly, and any broken parts should be replaced. Edges that have been ground smooth and a waxed base give you more control and a better feel, thus improving safety. Rusty or blunted edges can cause dangerous slipping on hard pistes. If you don’t know how to assess or fix your equipment, take it to an expert at a winter sports shop.
Modern release bindings have made skiing safer. When set correctly, they prevent injuries to the lower leg, ankle and knee by allowing the boot to release from the ski on impact. The correct setting varies from person to person. The release or Z value depends on the following variables:
- Boot sole length
- Skier Type
The angle between the feet should be around 20-30°. The “duck” stance (positive angle at the front, negative angle at the back) is used for freestyle, whereas the “race” stance (positive angle at the front and back) is better at high speeds.
The distance between the bindings depends on your size and personal preference. It’s determined as follows for the “duck” stance: the forearm and hand should just about fit between the heel edges of the two bindings. A wider stance improves stability.
The feet should be evenly placed between the heel and toe edges of the board. When carving or going off-piste, use a “setback” position with the bindings shifted towards the tail. A “highback” position, meanwhile, can be more or less angled towards the front to enable better power transfer.
Boots must be in good condition (no defects or worn-down soles). They must be a good fit, and the clasps or laces must be fastened.
- Take care of your planks – grind the edges and wax the base.
- Replace any broken parts.
- Skiers: have your bindings checked every year at a specialist shop.
- Snowboarders: set your bindings correctly and tighten any loose screws.