Snow Skiing

Your Complete Guide to Buying Skis for the First Time

October 10, 2019

Few things beat the rush of flying down a snow-covered slope on a pair of downhill skis. But if you’re looking to get more serious about the sport, you need to start by getting serious about our gear.
Buying skis might seem like a straightforward process, but if you go into it too hastily, you might make a mistake that can severely hamper your enjoyment.
Here’s what you need to know!

Types of Skis

If you walk into a ski shop, you might notice that there are dozens of different types of skis. There are skis of different shape, different length, different width, and even different curves.

Generally speaking, you will need to choose between speed and maneuverability. Here at Bill Jackson’s, we have trained staff to help you pick out the right ski for you.

Depending on what kind of skiing you will be doing, you will need to buy different skis. Here are a few of the different types:

Racing Skis

Racing skis are built with one thing in mind: speed.

These skis are narrow, long, and quick turns. While they might be great for tearing down a slope at high speed, they aren’t good for quick turns or jumps.

Freestyle Skis

If you want to tackle the halfpipe, freestyle skis are the way to go. These are twin-tipped to allow backward skiing. They’re wider and thicker than racing skis, offering superior performance when riding rails or going off of ramps.

These give superior turning, but they’re a poor choice if you want to tear down the hill at top speed.

Carving Skis

The most common skis on any slope are carving skis. Carving skis have an hourglass shape that gives great performance on a variety of terrains.

These are great for beginners, but many expert skiers still ride carving skis.

Powder Skis

If you’re going off the beaten path, you’ll be encountering deep, powdery snow that thin skis might fall right through.

Powder skis are very broad, offering buoyancy to the skis to keep you on the surface of the snow.


If you’re more interested in trick riding than downhill speed, you might be interested in skiblades.

Skiblades are much shorter than traditional skis. This makes them perfect for jumps, spins, and flips. Think of them as rollerblades for snow.

The Right Length

Whichever type of ski you go with, it’s imperative that you get the right length.

Traditional wisdom dictates that when the tail of your ski rests on the ground, the tip should come somewhere between your chin and the tip of your head. However, there might be some wiggle room depending on what kind of skis you buy. Our experienced staff at Bill Jackson’s can you help determine the perfect length.


There are two types of bindings: track mounted and drill mounted.

Track mounted bindings rest on a track that runs along the top of the ski, and you can change how far forward or backward your boots stand on the ski.

Drill mounted skis are drilled permanently into the ski and glued in place. Some say this gives you more control as your foot is closer to the ski itself.

Bill Jackson’s Snow Services

Did you know we have snow ski and snow board shop services available? From adding wax to your skis to mounting the boots, we help you in every stage of the skiing process to ensure you have the best time hitting the slopes.

Check out what we offer!

Good Luck Buying Skis!

If you’re buying skis for the first time, it can be a confusing experience. But it doesn’t have to be.

Visit our store, and our helpful staff will take the guesswork out of buying skis. We even have an indoor slope where you can take lessons before hitting the slopes.