Best Skis for Tree Skiing
Whether you’re skiing off-piste or plan to go off the beaten trail, you want the best skis for tree skiing. It’s important to focus on the right gear so that you are safe and have an enjoyable time. Before we discuss the specific types of skis and why they are the best, we want you to know a bit more about skiing, such as helpful tips for skiing around trees and more.
Of course, you’ve got to realize that skiing means there are going to be obstacles. You don’t just have to worry about other people; you’ve also got to consider trees and more. However, it’s not easy to maneuver through these environments, but the right, most flexible skis can help you move around on and off the slope like a professional.
Tips for Skiing in Trees?
If you haven’t had much practice skiing a terrain with trees, it might be beneficial to learn a few tips for skiing them without fear. It’s normal to feel intimidated by plowing through deep powder and rough snow conditions on your favorite mountain. For one, you may not see the line because of the trees. Regardless, here are some tips to help you.
It’s quite easy to get lost when skiing, especially if the terrain is new or challenging. Often, it’s best to stay on the marked ski run until you get the hang of it. If you’re adamant about going off the track, it’s essential to ski with a buddy. You can also benefit yourself by buying skis for off-piste. This is important because you’re sure to encounter different snow conditions, such as deep powder, tight trees, and much more. It should only be done by advanced skiers.
Before signing up to go off track, practice making short turns. Go to a favorite trail and imagine that there are many trees ahead of you. Make quick and short turns all the way down the slope through your imagined forest. This is going to help prepare you physically and mentally.
You’ve got to look ahead at the slope of the mountain. Take a glance downward before starting down. This is going to help you see what’s there, such as lumps or indications of soft snow. Get in the habit of anticipating four to five turns as you go down the mountain. Practice on a slope that’s familiar to you. That way, you are ready to ski trees better when the time comes.
As you ski, you’ve got to turn quickly at times, so you need something flexible. They should have more flex and bend at a lower speed when you’re off the trail. So much give ensures that you have better control and can shift directions fast when moving.
Taper is also essential at both the tail and tip. This allows the skis to catch snow more often, providing more control and better turning. Such a feature offers more maneuverability, enabling you to change directions quickly. You can also hold in packed snow with more taper and can control speed better.
Shape is the last consideration here. The form of the skis is essential. As with the taper and flexibility, it’s going to determine how well you go around those trees. With a gradual design, you’ve got more control. Make sure they provide for fast adjusting needs. This gives a smooth ride and ensures that you’re safer. Of course, you’ve got the rocker to help the skis change their contact length, as well. Therefore, you can have more ski on the snow or less, depending on your needs.
Is It Harder to Ski with Longer Skis?
This isn’t easy to answer. Shorter skis allow you to turn easily, but they aren’t as stable. Generally, the shape of the ski helps with performance around trees rather than the length. That being said, if you’re not too confident, consider a shorter ski length. Those who are confident skiers may like longer ones. In a sense, yes, it’s harder to ski using longer skis, but you can get more stability for the many turns you’re going to make.
Remember, the length and width of the skis determine how much of them are touching the snow at once. Longer and fatter ones float more in deep snow and allow you to gain speed much faster because your weight is evenly dispersed on the ski. A shorter length doesn’t float as well and can cause speed delays. If you’re not worried about how fast you’re going, this might not be an issue.
What Are the Best Carving Skis?
Carving means that the mountain ski edges cut very well into the snow. This ensures that they aren’t going to slide sideways and can travel straight through the length. Generally, it’s best to purchase newer models of carving skis because they are curved to cut at a slight arc. Then, the rest of the ski can follow that and take you into the turn around the tree. Many believe it to be an efficient way to turn because you move the least amount of powder. These skis are highly popular on a powder day. This is the day right after a snow storm. Many people like this type of snow and carving skis.
Those who spend more time on groomed slopes may want these types of skis. They’re descendants of racing skis and focus primarily on edge grip, speed, and precise turning. They’ve got narrower weight dimensions, a camber underfoot delivering superb edge-hold, and a pronounced side-cut to create the short turning radius. Though they provide a great experience on hard-packed snow, they might not work on anything else but a trail. They work well for that race feeling and can teach you about skiing dynamics quickly.
These skis offer a narrow waist width of less than 85 mm. You should also focus your turn radius to be shorter to provide more maneuverability.
Best All Mountain Ski Options
When it comes to versatility, all-mountain skis are an excellent choice. You’re going to get mid-fat planks and slightly longer waists. Since they’re somewhat skinny, they can help you make those carved turns and can still work for powder days. If you just want to purchase one set of skis, any of these could be the best choice for you.
Advanced skiers are sure to like skiing trees with the Enforcer. This model works well for people who are experienced and want control with speed. They feature laminate bottoms with a top that provides grip and stability. Still, the wood core offers an excellent return on energy. With all that, the agile design works to create something that can carve through various trees and powder with little to worry about. Of course, the color pattern looks amazing, too!
- Agile design
- Suitable for a variety of conditions, such as skiing powder
- Ideal for advanced skiers
- Wood core for solid energy return
- Laminate tops and bottoms
- Hard to control at fast speeds
- Doesn’t bode well in heavy snow
If you’re looking for skis for moguls, you may want to check out the K2 244. They’re designed to function well on the bumps, but they are best for experts who need skis. Mogul races are another option, and these skis work very well. They feature a 66-mm width, so they’re very skinny. However, this means more responsiveness to give you the control you need on the edges.
- Dedicated mogul skis
- Narrow width
- Only suitable for bump lovers and expert skiers
If you’re looking for a tip and tail rocker, then you may want the Head Kore. It features Koroyd, which is a polymer that gets based right into the wood core to keep it strong and light. Instead of it just being in the tip as with other brands, it’s in-line with the core to prevent vibrations. In a sense, it’s like noise-canceling panels, but they work to avoid the chop noticed at the camber underfoot. When you’re on the hills, this gives you a silky and smooth ride, as well as more stability and grip.
- Suitable tip and tail rockers
- Quiet and clean ride down the hill
- Versatile and works as tree skis
- Natural-feeling turn and flex shape
- Tail can be too stiff
If you want a tip rocker, the Scott Slight 93 might be ideal. It’s very lightweight and considered a crossover that works with the backcountry and the slopes. You’re going to find that there are tip and tail skin attachment slits. With that lightly tapered tip, you have enough rise to start your turn. There’s also a full-length wood core, which is lightweight and doesn’t have any inserts. Therefore, you’ve got predictable and smooth flex. With plenty of rocker in the tip, you can get excellent flotation with the powder surface and pivot without a lot of effort.
- Predictable flex
- Floats to surface in powder
- Works great for medium turns
- May lack strength for off-trail needs
- Might not work well for tree skiing requiring a sharp turn radius
Those who want to ski deep into the woods may want to choose the Traverse Atlas brand. Though they aren’t very wide, they do provide you with the maneuverability you need to go the extra mile. Of course, they’re lightweight for the trees, which means you can play all day with the same pair of skis. The wide waist ensures that you can bounce along on hardpacked snow or float atop the powder. Plus, you are going to like the steel edges because it provides more durability. There’s also a rocker on the tail and tip with a wood core that provides more stability and strength.
- Underfoot offers solid edge
- 116-mm waist
- Incredibly stable
- Light and sturdy core
- Steel edges (more durability)
- Suitable for rough terrain
- Easier to move through deep snow
- Not suitable for tightly packed snow
- Wide design not ideal for some skiers
What Are the Best Skis for an Intermediate Skier?
If you’ve been tree skiing for a while, it’s ideal to focus on the right ski options for you. Since there are a variety of choices, it’s essential to consider intermediate skis. That way, when you are on the ski slope, you can avoid issues thanks to the ability and agility of the skis.
Intermediate skiers might prefer the Rossignol Experience brand. This works well if you’ve been an intermediate and want to shift to advanced. It’s very versatile. As skis for trees go, you can handle various conditions, including those off the track. You’ve also got a great turning radius and are going to find it very easy to maneuver. With the solid construction, there’s better performance and more power. Plus, it has an all-terrain rocker so that you can handle various parts of the mountains.
- Great on carved turns
- Easy to operate and use
- Provides superb performance on every terrain
- Smooth design
- Solid construction
- Quick turns
- Not for those who are new intermediates
- More expensive than others
Intermediates who want versatile skis for trees may like the Atomic Bent Chetler. It is quite easy to maneuver when you’re on the slopes, but it can also push through the tough or deep snow because it has more power. In addition, there is a 100-mm underfoot to help you float back up to the surface. Many people like the tip and tail rocker, which allows you to glide along in many different conditions. The appearance is clean and striking, as well.
- Wood core
- Easy to steer
- Tip and tail rockers
- Unique design
- Good on and off the piste
- Doesn’t work well in extreme conditions
- Durability a concern
The Nordica brand is very popular, so those who have been skiing for a while might want to try the Navigator. You’re going to like the versatility, sleekness, and affordability. However, just because these skis have a low price, don’t let that fool you. This model can easily handle many conditions, such as tree skiing and going off the track. Of course, when you’re off the slope, you need the attributes that it has to tackle those bumpy runs. These skis can take on any tree-lined path because it’s sturdy and can hold up even after extended use.
- Good value
- Solid control
- Safe bindings
- Versatile skis
- Appropriate for tree skiing
- Quite narrow
- Not ideal for advanced intermediates
What If You’re a Beginner?
Most people are shocked to realize that the ski industry doesn’t really focus on beginner skis. Modern versions are easy to handle, but most of them are geared toward women. It’s often difficult for men to find what they require. Generally, women weigh less, but they also carry that weight more at the front. With that came frustration in the ski world, so the industry chose to produce lighter and shorter skis. They’re often called unisex skis.
What skis do you need? To answer that question, you’ve got to determine where you’re going to ski most and what conditions you like. The best all-mountain skis are there to help you with almost any task. Still, you’ve got a few options that are going to do better when tree skiing. Though you can see the trees while you’re gliding down the slope, it’s often hard to judge timing. When you ski, you’ve got to stay a step ahead (or more) of the game. Trees can easily hurt you if you’re not prepared for them.
Regardless of how much equipment you’ve got, it’s not easy to ski in the trees. You’ve got to take the most appropriate steps and watch out for a variety of obstacles. Of course, trees are the main issue, but your ski could hit a bump and catch you off-guard.
You’ve always got to remain vigilant and be careful. Though you may like to ski among the trees, you’ve got to have the right ones for the conditions in which you find yourself. We’ve talked about many of the best skis out there. Whether you want to ski with the trees or stay on the slope, there are endless choices. Of course, it’s hard for us to pick a specific brand or model. You may ski differently than your friend or may be an intermediate where they’re a beginner.
Try to determine the outline of the area before you ski down the slope. This helps you pinpoint the trees and focus on how you’re going to maneuver them.
When it comes time to ski, everyone has a preference. Some people avoid trees like the plague, while others enjoy the challenges they provide. Those who want skis that are suitable for almost anything should consider the all-terrain versions. However, if you’re an intermediate, you may want to check out the best three ski options in that category. There are many choices available, and you’re sure to find some skis that you like.