Throughout their life, a skier will go through many different skis. All-mountain skis, trick skis, cross country skis, etc. All skis will need to be replaced at least once from the wear and tear that they endure. Through the years, skiers will crash into trees, rocks, and other skiers. They will end up breaking their skis from ill-timed tricks and wrong turns that end up as a four skier pile up on the slope. Since you ski traveling forward, the tips of your skis are the first to feel the damage before your boots and your body. So it should not surprise you when a repair person tells you that your ski tips are shredded, and they need to be reinforced and protected. Protecting your ski tips does not require reinforced metal and more repair bills. All you need is a well-made pair of ski tip protectors. But what are ski tip protectors, and how do you use them? And what are the best ski protectors on the market?

tip protectors on skis

What Is A Ski Tip Protector?

You may have already figured out the purpose of a ski tip protector, but I will elaborate on it anyway. A ski tip protector is a separate small shield that a skier installs over their skis tips to lessen any damage that they are about to receive. There are many different types of ski tip protectors: metal ski tip protector, rubber protectors, plastic protectors, and rubber, and metal combinations. Plus, a ski protector has the right design that fits the specific type of skis that you won’t. No matter what kind of ski you have, you’ll be able to find a pair of ski protectors that fit perfectly over the tips of your skis.

If you find yourself skiing off piste and in the trees often you will want to protect your skis with ski tip protectors.

Are there any Ski Tip Protector Replacements?

skis without ski tip protectors

Ski tip protectors are great pieces of equipment to have since they reduce any damage the tips of your skis receive when you get into an accident or go over terrible terrain. But what if you don’t want to use tip protectors? Is there something else that you can use to protect your skis from damage without purchasing another piece of equipment?

Unfortunately, there is no replacement for a ski tip protector. This is the only piece of equipment designed to go over your skis and protect them from damage. The only way you can protect your skis a different way is to personally pay for your own completely designed skis and have the maker of your skis make built-in ski protectors. While having a pair of custom made skis sounds amazing, they usually cost around several thousand dollars. Perhaps, one day if you win the lottery, you can pay to create any type of ski you want with any additional piece of equipment specifically built into it. But for now, we have to use mass manufactured ski tip protectors.

Features to Look For In A Ski Tip Protector

Extra Nails

If you have ever created Ikea furniture, you know the painful feeling you get when you realize that there are not enough nails or small connective pieces included with the furniture you must build. Nothing is worse than going back to the store and asking customer service if you can either return the item or any extra parts. This is why it is difficult to work with items that require nails. They are so unbelievably small that if you drop one on the ground, you might as well go to the hardware store and get more because you won’t find the one that has disappeared. Since ski protective tips have to be secured onto the ski with nails, the tip manufacturer would include extra nails, in case famous an issue and enough weren’t included, or you lose some while trying to assemble it. You can also crash so hard that your ski tips come off, and the nails go flying in the air. You won’t be able to find the nails again, but you will be able to find the ski tip.

Lightweight

No matter what equipment you are focusing on, anything you have on your body or skis while you were skiing must not drag you down. Skis need to be both lightweight and aerodynamic, so they do not affect your skiing. And this goes double for protective ski tips. Lightweight ski tips are usually made from a combination of rubber and plastic, although metal ski tips can be lightweight as well. You may not feel much of a problem if your ski tips and back rise up slightly, but if your ski tips are flat on the snow and the middle of your skis rise up, the heaviness could become an issue.

Non-bulky

Protective ski tips should protect the entire front and bottom, and top sides of your ski, but they shouldn’t be thick and large. Not only will a bulky protective ski tip make it harder to store in your bag, but its shape and size could also affect how it maneuvers on the snow, especially if the tip and back of your skis touch the ground. When you choose a ski tip, place them over your ski to see how it fits, but do not screw the nails in yet. If you see that it is too large, you must take them back and choose a protective tip that is more slender.

Added rubber

If you purchase a protective ski tip that is made of rubber, then you don’t have to worry about this feature. But if you choose to purchase a protective tip that is made with metal or plastic, seek out ones that have rubber on the outside. If your skis collide with an object or rocks, the rubber acts as a protectant, so you don’t feel the encounter’s full force. It may not be much as it is only a small piece of rubber, but anything that keeps you and your skis safe is worth investing in. Plus, the metal or the plastic tip is protected from damage by the rubber as well, so it will last longer than those protective tips that do not have rubber. 

The Best Ski Tip Protectors

Volkl Sl Tip Protector – Symmetric

Created for the most popular type of skis, all-mountain skis, these tip protectors should easily fit on most types of skis. Because of the company’s reputation, they include the right amount of nails and no extra nails in case you lose them. They do use a standard – sized nail, so you should find some more at a hardware store if you lose them. This ski tip protector does not come with backings, so only the front of the ski is protected. The bronze color on this product is beautiful and solid, so you’ll be able to ski in style if you have a pair of mostly black skis. 

Kitty cat ski tip rubber

If you love cats as much as I do, you will love these plastic kitty cat tip protectors. Even though this product is made out of plastic, it does come with a rubber piece over the outside of the plastic frame. These kitty tip protectors do not come with nails, so you will have to clamp them onto the ski’s tip. It does not come with backings either, so if you need backings, these are not the protectors for you. They come in a lovely solid black color, so they should match with any ski that also has black in their color scheme.

Original Fis Raceskis

Made especially for slalom skis, these ski tip protectors are asymmetrical as each tip is designed to lean more towards the outside of the ski. This product comes with the nail and washers to secure them in place since slalom skiing is more intense than regular all-mountain skiing. This tip protector is a solid black, and it is not shiny. The nails and the washers are also black. They all have a matte color to them. There is no backing included.

How To Use Ski Tip Protectors

Many ski types don’t have premade holes to screw the tip protectors into, so you have to make it yourself, or you can ask a ski repair person to make them for you. You have to drill two holes in the front of the ski and two holes in the back if you tip protectors have protectors for the back. If you are using a drill gun, don’t use the fastest setting or drill the nail in too fast and crack your ski base. Slide the protectors onto your first ski and drill the nails into the holes. Once drilled, grasp the protector and shake it. It should be mounted firmly on the ski tip and not move around. Once you confirm that it is fastened securely, install the back protects on the first ski and then complete the entire second ski. 

When you go to the slopes, first test out how the tip protectors feel. Ski down the slopes slowly as if you are a beginner. The ski tips should not keep you from gaining speed or make your ride bumpier than usual. If they do, then you need to choose a different brand of ski tips. 

Tips for Choosing Ski Protectors

First, you need to know about choosing a pair of ski protectors is that they must fit perfectly over the tips and backs of your skis. The protectors should not move around or fall off while skiing. They have to fit securely on the tip of the ski. There’s no reason to purchase a pair of ski tip protectors if they fall off and leave your skis unprotected.

The second thing you must know about ski protectors is that they cannot impede your ability to gain speed. One of the most frustrating elements of skiing is that any little piece of equipment that is incorrectly added onto your skis can prevent you from achieving high speeds. This is a critical issue, especially if you enjoyed competitive races or you’re a speed demon. If you love to ski at top speeds, you should ask other high-speed skiers on forums and around your ski community for recommendations on the best ski tip protectors that will not slow you down. 

The last thing I need to tell you about ski tip protectors is that you can’t install your protective tips on right before you start skiing. You definitely cannot add them to your skis while you’re putting on your boots and warming up for the day. Ski tips protectors need to be added to your skis in a workshop or by a ski repair shop worker. Many of these protectors require the skier to drill holes into the ski base and connect the protectors with nails. If you wait until the final moment to open up your protector package, you won’t be able to use them until you return home and pull out your drill gun. And What if you severely damaged the tips of your skis on that last final run? You’ll be kicking yourself for weeks as the repair bills roll in. 

Conclusion

With all the different pieces of equipment skis have to buy, it may put you off from buying more. But it is a terrible idea to delay or not consider buying protective ski tips. They helped reinforce through skis in both the front and the back to keep them safe from high-impact accidents and collisions. Protective ski tips can keep you from spending a lot of money on repairs since the tips of your skis will remain scratch-free for a long time then if you didn’t buy them. Be sure to purchase ski tips that perfectly fit your skis and have a rubber coating on the outside. Protective tips are quite inexpensive but don’t let their cheapness fool you. They are made to take a beating. If you own multiple as skis, each of your skis needs to be outfitted with protective tips.

Categories: Ski

Harry Sowers

Harry has been skiing and snowboarding since he was a boy growing up outside of Denver Colorado. He is most passionate about skiing and when he was in college a UC Boulder he even participated in the olympic trials for the USA Olympic Downhill Ski team.