3 great reasons why you'll want a pair of parabolic skis

January 29, 2015

It’s no wonder that parabolic skis were a huge hit when they first appeared. If you've never tried them, here are three great reasons you'll want a pair of parabolic skis this winter.

3 great reasons why you'll want a pair of parabolic skis

Parabolic vs. traditional alpine skis

A parabolic ski differs from the traditional alpine ski in that it has a sidecut. That means the front tip and tail of the ski are noticeably wider than the middle part, or waist. Hence, the name "sidecut".

First tested on the slopes of New England and California, this new design proved to be a boon for beginners and expert skiers alike: beginners found parabolic skis easier to use and experts could manoeuvre with more precision.

So what is it about parabolic skis that makes them so special? Here are three great reasons why you'll want a pair this winter.

1. They're gentler on the joints and muscles

The sidecut makes taking an edge and cutting into the snow much easier.

  • Compared to traditional alpine skis, parabolic skis reduce muscle strain and wear-and-tear throughout the skier’s whole body. This increases the immediate enjoyment of the sport and also the longevity of careers.

Prior to this, traditional alpine skis required a great deal more muscle strength to get them to turn by angling them on their edges.

  • The shape of parabolic skis provides much more edge to make contact with the snow, compared to traditional skis. As such they're easier to control with less exertion, which makes the sport so much more effortless.

2. They provide better control

Both beginners and expert skiers find parabolic skis easier to use, thanks to the change in where the movements to initiate a turn begin.

  • With the traditional alpine ski, nearly all turns need to start with great effort from the skier's quadriceps.
  • In contrast, for parabolic skis, movements start through the feet and ankles, which requires much less energy.

Applying the same technique used with traditional skis to parabolic ones can result in movement that feels and looks like skidding. This change also necessitates a wider skiing stance, which is naturally more stable.

3. They're easier to maneuver

Thanks to the shape of the parabolic ski, they can be shorter and still provide similar levels of control found in much longer alpine skis.

  • In general, the more prominent the sidecut, the shorter the ski can be—while still allowing the user to carve fluidly. As a result, feedback to the skier is faster and corrections can be made more quickly and crisply.
  • Overexerting yourself on parabolic skis will result in responses that tell you what the skis need: the tips will tremble if your skis are too flat for your speed, while over-steering will wash out the tails.

If you already enjoy yourself on the slopes, but have gotten used to traditional alpine skis, consider how parabolic skis could make a sport you love even better!

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