EQUIPMENT ADVICE: SKIS & BOOTS 2022 – 2023
Not only does Will coach and examine these courses, but he has also spent many years in the ski retail industry, selling and testing all the latest equipment.
Of course, it’s not just good advice if you are about to take a Peak Leaders course – it’s also great information if you’re a handy skier looking to change your setup for the coming season.
PREPARING FOR YOUR COURSE
If you’ve booked onto your Peak Leaders course, now it’s time to get your kit ready.
You may well already have a good selection of ski equipment, but it’s super important to ensure you’re using the right kit for this course. Spoiler alert, your powder skis will not do the job!
So far you may well have just considered where you can get those shiny goggles or retro onesie, but please also look carefully at which skis and boots you’re going to turn up to the first day in.
Your skis and boots need to be right if you’re going to be successful in your BASI exams.
Success in your exams is most definitely undermined by poor, inappropriate or ill-fitting equipment, so please take some time to assess your current gear and consider whether some new equipment is needed.
In most cases people find they need to invest in some new skis and/or boots.
But it’s worth the investment, you’re about to spend at least 8, 9 or 10 weeks skiing on this kit. That’s the equivalent of between 8 and 10 years of ski holidays for most people, so you’re definitely going to get good use out of it.
THE RIGHT SKIS
As we state on our pre-course info on your member’s area, you need to have a piste performance ski for the training and the exams.
If you take the off-piste module then you will also need a pair of off-piste skis with touring bindings – but we will cover this in another blog.
The key factors for your main training ski are:
- Length: Between chin and head height
- Width: No more than 80mm underfoot
- Radius: Around 14-16m (this can be a little less for women’s skis that are shorter)
We have taken some time to select a range of skis that will be suitable for your GAP course although this is not an exhaustive list, so please get in touch to check the suitability if you’re considering something else.
All of these skis have been selected based on our extensive knowledge of the ski market but, crucially, our coaches have all tested these skis at some point too, so we can be sure they will be right for the job.
HEAD SUPERSHAPE E-SPEED / E-MAGNUM:
They have updated the graphics this year but otherwise it is the same to the last few years.
But that’s good thing as it’s a great ski which gives you everything you need for the GAP course.
We have also had quite a few past trainees who have taken these beyond level 2 and into level 3 training. So it’s a good option if you are looking at more training after the course.
Always a popular ski with trainees on these courses, they come in a number of widths, but the ‘Speed’ or ‘Magnum’ are the most appropriate for the BASI 1 and 2 exams.
Head have also produced a women’s specific option, the “Joy” range.
The Super Joy is a little softer and then you have the Epic Joy and Power Joy for stiffer options, which will be well suited to take you beyond the BASI Level 2 standard.
This is ticking all the same boxes as the e-Magnum, so all of the above applies. It just comes in some shorter lengths to better suit women.
DYNASTAR SPEED 763 OR E-LITE 7 / 9
These are now in their second year of production and are unchanged from last season.
These are lighter and smoother than the previous model of a few years ago, a great choice that is a tried and tested perfect match for GAP courses.
Opt for the 763 if you’re heavier or thinking about moving beyond the BASI level 2 standard in the future.
For the ladies there is a specific option which comes in some shorter lengths and with a slightly softer flex pattern, this is called the E-Lite. The E lite 7 is slightly easier going and E Lite 9 is a little firmer.
ROSSIGNOL REAST R10 / R8 OR NOVA 10 / 14:
Given a fresh new look for this season, this is Rossignol’s solution for advanced skiers.
It looks good and it is pretty well priced. The R10 Ti is a stiffer option for heavier builds and the R8 would suit lighter people.
There is also another model called the Hero Elite MT which would suit someone planning on moving beyond level 2 and towards the level 3 ISIA qualification.
The women’s versions are called the Nova 10 and Nova 14, also solid options. Very much the same ski as the React range, but designed specifically for women.
SALOMON S/MAX 12/10/8 OR W 10/8:
I think this year the Salomon’s look better than ever, with some really smart graphics and a lighter construction that before but without compromising performance.
I was really impressed with these over the last few seasons – we have had quite a few successful trainees moving to using these as they started their level 3 and then the stiffer version as they progressed beyond that.
For the guys the 10 or 12 will be perfect.
For the women the S/Max W 10 or 8 would be well suited.
The general rule here when you’re looking at the range, is that higher numbered skis are stiffer and therefore more suited to heavier, more experienced and/or more aggressive skiers.
THE RIGHT BOOTS
The most important point here is to get yourself down to a boot-fitter near you. Online shopping is great, but not for ski boots.
Comfort will be incredibly important as you will be skiing for more days consecutively than you (probably) ever have before.
And training is not productive if you’re in pain or heading down early to get those boots adjusted for the 3rd time that week…
At the boot-fitter, make sure you tell them you are on an instructor course and insist they fit you in to a ‘piste performance’ boot. Not a race boot, not a freeride boot.
They may well try to sell you either of those, politely decline!
We are looking for a boot with a flex in the range of 100-130 for men and 80-110 for women.
I would move people with heavier builds towards the higher end of that range, and of course go lower if you’re lighter. And no walk modes are welcome here!
Some examples of suitable boots are as follows:
RX range for men and women is great for a standard fit, they also offer a wider fit called the LX.
The Allspeed or Speed ranges for men or Pure ranges for Women.
The S/Pro range for men and women
The Vector or Nexo range for men and women.
We hope this helps you as you look around at new kit for the new season.
Meanwhile if you’re interested in our courses and you haven’t booked yet just get in touch for a chat.
Of course, if you’ve already booked and have some questions then we’d love to hear from you too.
Just click below…