top of page

The Case For The Ski Quiver

We have all been there, you show up to the mountain excited to start to get those turns in only to realize on the first run your favorite ski feels just off. The last time you were on them they felt great, every run felt just on and you could feel how incredible it was against the snow. So what gives? More importantly what's a quiver? A quiver is a variety of skis in different waist that each fulfill a different purpose on various conditions. This ensuring you are able to ski all conditions. Ideally a quiver can range between 3-5 skis or more if you just LOVE to ski.

For those of us who ski frequently we are aware of the changes that happens to the snow on a constant basis. A single change in conditions is all it takes. From temperatures increasing or decreasing, freeze cycles, wind, sun, the list goes on and on. Freshies to hard pack and all that's in-between is it fair to assume that your single pair of skis can handle that dynamic of variations like a pro? Sure a pair of skis with bindings is expensive, but so is the value of your time. They say that you can feel the skis waist difference around 4 mm in the waist.

The way we like to think of skis for conditions is rather simple. You wouldn't go on a hike with a pair of flip flops would you? Having a pair of 88's under you on a powder day is like wearing a pair of heels to the beach. Could you, sure but will you enjoy walking around in a pair of stellitos through the sand probably not. Your skis are a tool that mental shift helps you have the best chance to get the most out of your day.

By looking at our skis as tools it allows you enjoy more variety of conditions. Youre not going to be reaching for those fat powder skis when it hasn't snowed for weeks. What is an ideal quiver and how would you use your skis in what conditions? Granted if you're on the east coast your quiver will be different from a west coast quiver and so on. For today lets explore a west coast quiver.

The Quiver

Have you ever wondered why a ski collection offers a variety of skis that have a similar construction with different waist? May we introduce to you a quiver...

Front Side Ski: 82 - 94 mm The Groomer/ Hard Pack Queen

Your front side ski or on-piste ski is pulled out when the tide is low and snow isnt in the forecast. These skis are between 82 and 94 mm in the waist. Often with layers of titanal to maintain edge control. When it hasn't snowed in a few weeks yet you're still jonesing to get out there. This is your ski to grab. Skinner underfoot to give better carving and grab onto those edges when it's just a bit icy or you're making those beautiful arching turns down the groomers.

Most beginner skis are between 78-88 mm making this a very common ski waist. For those of you who already rip you know the importance of having that front side ski especially in the early season. Plus who doesn't love the occasional groomer at mach speeds and feeling that ski get on edge.

All Mountain All Stars: 94-101 mm Your Ticket To Freedom

At this point if you're reaching for those all mountain skis your'e ready to explore all of the mountain literally ( get it, bad dad joke I know). You see the mountain as a canvas and your turns are the artwork. It's time to charge and more importantly to send it. For you shredders your daily driver is more likely than not is around a 99 mm. Ready for whatever conditions and variability that the mountain often provides these daily drivers know how to hold their own.

For those of you who are just starting to venture off piste may we introduce you to your ticket to freedom of exploration. These wider skis allow bust through crud, chop, and just about anything that's underneath you. Off-piste the conditions are not groomed meaning you experience quite a variety of snow conditions. These all mountain skis allow you to roam with only you yourself being your own limiting factor.

Big Mountain / Free Riders: 101- 108 mm : Get Ready To Send It

The sender category, not that you can't send it hard on any pair of skis ( you totally can ) these fatter skis offer more stability and are meant to charge harder in steeper terrain. Not quite an all mountain yet still not wide enough to be a powder ski you get the free ride ski category. Dust on crust means nothing to these bad girls. They have one job to get you to reach your goals no matter how big or steep those lines are.

If you're shredding hard you already know that most women's free ride skis are between 102-106 mm in the waist. While we are patiently waiting for a women's ski in the 108 mm in the waist ( we won't be holding our breath ) there are several rad options available currently.

For those rippers who are just starting to wonder do I need a wider ski? The 106 ish waist is an excellent option for those who are just starting to need a powder ski without having to go too wide at above 110. Like your first bra, they help make the transition to powder skis far more seamless. For those who are intermediate to just starting to get into advanced terrain consider using these skis as a way to transition and prepare for those ultra wide powder skis.

Powder Skis: 110-120 mm What Dreams Are Made Of

Those special days, the ones where you wake up and there's multiple feet of fresh snow just waiting to be played with you reach for these power houses. Designed to float on and to keep you hootin and hollerin all the way down, these girls are WIDE. The concept from none other than Shane McConkey ( Who took a pair of water skis down an Alaska heli run with ski bindings to prove that wider does mean better for more fun ).

 These skis are meant to go fast and for you to have fun. Often in far longer sizes than your typical all mountain ski since you need the float and well you go full send in freshies. Powder skis require a strong skier who is less concerned about steering and more about going for that line that they have been patiently waiting for.

Can you really believe you have a full quiver without the crucial powder ski. Any ski bum can tell you that the powder ski is a staple. Why would you risk not having the perfect ski for the perfect day of fresh pow?

Touring Skis: Skin Up To Ski Down

If you're more into earning your turns and searching for untracked lines you're already venturing into the back country. These skis are lighter for the intended purpose of walking uphill. A few ski brands in their ski design even have it for the tips and the tails designed for easy set up and removal of skins.

Ranging from 72-120 mm depending on what your preferred conditions for touring are will dictate what waist you go for reach for on those peaceful walks. The length is often shorter than your typical in resort ski and for good reason.

Whether you're a Backland girlie or something a bit more approachable since you're just starting to explore in the back country these skis will be mounted with unique binding made for touring boots to climb up.

Ski Bum Status: The Fun Skis / Extra Variety

Whether you're a snow blade kind of gal or you're more of a mono skier, maybe you just have a pair of rock skis ready to go the " fun ski" is the just that. However you want to play on the mountain is a something that calls to you personally.

There's no right or wrong ski to have in the quiver as long as it's being used and isn't collecting dust who cares. As long as you're getting those turns it doesn't matter what's underneath you as long as you're having a blast.


bottom of page