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Freeski


What distinguishes Freestyle and Freeride skis from normal skis?

Unlike regular skis, freestyle skis have a twin tip construction. Both ends of the ski have a symmetrical curve in order to make it easier to ride backwards or land backwards while doing tricks. Freestyle skis are mainly used in parks and in the halfpipe. They often have a bi-directional sidecut, which means that the shape of the ski is symmetrical on both sides.

Freeride skis are usually ridden in powder. They are longer than freestyle skis or regular skis, and usually exceed your own height. Freeride skis are often called “fat skis”, because they are wider than regular skis. Their dimensions usually start at 90mm under your foot (where your binding is mounted) and can reach up to 140mm. This wider design helps you get more float in powder, as well as more safety and stability. Most freeride skis still have enough of a sidecut to make them comfortable to ride on the piste as well as in powder.

You can find further information about the different riding styles here.

What are Twin Tip Skis?

Twin tips are skis designed with a curved up tip and tail. This allows riders to ski backwards (switch) as well as forwards.

Twin tip skis give you more maneuverability, so the skis are easier to handle, especially while doing tricks. They are also very durable and have a slightly softer flex.

Further information about ski shapes can be found here.

What does Ski Flex mean and how does it affect my skiing?

Depending on the material or structure of the core of your skis, your skis will have either a soft flex or a stiff flex.
The stiffer and harder your skis are, the more stable it feels at high speeds. However, a stiff flex also requires much more strength and concentration to ride.
A softer flex makes your skis more forgiving and easier to ride, making them ideal for lighter riders such as kids and beginners.

Find out more about ski flex here.

How long should my Skis be?

Your ideal ski length depends completely on the type of terrain you would like to ride in and on your level of skill:
If you would like to buy a pair of freestyle skis, they should reach somewhere between your full height or 10cm shorter.

If you’d like to spend more time in powder and backcountry, you should choose a pair of freeride skis! They must be at least as high as you are tall – skis that are up to 10cm larger than your full height are ideal. They will give you the best performance (and most fun) in powder.

Beginners should go for a shorter model, because they will find it easier to handle. Advanced to expert riders can choose their ski length according to their riding style and preferences.

More details about the perfect ski length here.

How long do my Poles need to be?

Just like your skis, the length of your poles depends on your riding preferences:
If you’re headed for the park, you can use shorter polest that reach up to around your hip. For a regular day of freeski riding, however, we suggest you choose slightly longer poles.

Here’s a trick to choosing the right length: turn the pole upside down, place it on the floor and hold it under the disc. If it’s the right size, your elbows should be bent roughly at a right angle (90°).

More information is available in our Ski Poles Buyer‘s Guide.

How important is the width of your Skis?

In general, narrower skis are more comfortable to ride on the piste and especially in park and pipe. The wider your skis are, the more strength they require. However, wider skis offer you more float in powder.
Freestyle skis usually have a waist width of up to 95mm and are ideal for park and pipe. All-mountain skis usually range from 95mm to 105mm in width. Freeride skis have a width of 105mm and more, making them ideal for powder and big mountain riding.

What should I look for in a Binding?

Your bindings are the connection between you and your skis, so you should make sure your bindings suit the rest of your equipment and your riding style, and also ensure that it is correctly adjusted for you.

Freestyle bindings are perfectly adapted for freestyle or freeride skis and boots. They are lighter than regular ski bindings, but they still offer plenty of stability!

It is very important that your bindings are correctly adjusted. The length of your boots, your weight and your skill level are the deciding factors in this case. Your bindings shouldn’t unexpectedly open up while jumping and landing, but they should release if you fall.

More information: How do I correctly install my ski bindings?

 
Find more useful information in the Ski bindings Buyer‘s Guide.

How does a Freestyle or Freeride Boot differ from regular Ski Boots?

Freestyle boots have different characteristics from regular ski boots:
These boots often only have two or three ratchets (a regular ski boot usually has 4) and they usually have more padding in the heel and toe areas. They also have the right type of flex for certain terrains.

Freestyle boots are ideal if you spend your whole day in the park riding plenty of rails and kickers. A softer boot gives you more manoeuvrability, but if you want to speed down the steepest slopes and hit a casual cliff or two, you should choose a tougher flex and freeride boot.

More details in our Ski boots Buyer‘s Guide.

Camber/Rocker: What does it mean?

Camber and Rocker are terms used to describe the pre-tensioning construction of your skis.

Camber

Camber is also known as “positive camber“: if you place your skis on the ground, the contact points at the ends of the skis have a convex curve, almost like a bridge. The advantages of a camber ski include the length of the edge that you have when your put pressure on the ski and use your edges! This gives you great performance on hard slopes and at higher speeds.

Rocker

Rocker-Skis (also known as „Reversed Camber“) are the exact opposite. The contact points on rocker skis are usually closer to the centre of the skis and the ends are curved upwards, i.e. concave. This makes rocker skis more forgiving than those with a camber construction, and they also offer more float in powder.

There are several variations of camber and rocker profiles, and also many combinations of the two. You can find all information at the symbol keys.

Find everything you need to know in our Freeski Buyer‘s Guide.

How do I correctly install my ski bindings?

It is very difficult to install your ski bindings yourself, because there are several adjustments that must be made and things to be aware of. You also need the right tools to adjust them, and it is unlikely you will have these lying around at home.

The best choice is usually to have your ski bindings installed by an expert in a sports shop (e.g. one of our Blue Tomato stores). The bindings will be installed straight away and adjusted to suit your personal requirements perfectly!

In order to install your bindings correctly, you will need to know your so-called “Z-number”. This number is made up of the height, riding skill, boot sole-length, weight and age of the rider.

Which equipment is suitable for beginners?

To be honest, this is something you need to figure out for yourself! There is no universal answer to this question. But we do have a few suggestions to help you make the right decision:

Take the time to consider what you would like to do with your equipment. This is especially important when choosing your skis and boots. You will definitely have more fun with beginner-friendly skis. Your boots should fit well, feel comfortable and they definitely must not be too hard. Here’s a little shopping tip: go shopping for your boots in the afternoon rather than early in the morning. Your feet tend to be swollen up early in the day and you might have trouble finding a boot with the perfect fit!

Another important point: whether you’re starting off in the park or plunging yourself into the backcountry, be sure to check your gear first. If you are going to hit the park, never forget your helmet, back protector and protection shorts. Never enter the backcountry without taking the right avalanche safety equipment (transceiver, shovel and probe) – your life may depend on it!

Let yourself be advised by the experts in your trusted sports shop. The staff are always informed on the latest developments and will be pleased to help you with your decision!

What’s special about thermo (T) shoes?

Thermo (sometimes just called “T”) shoes are special liners that can be molded onto your feet, unlike most other liners.

To do this, you can take the liners out of your boots and put them in the oven at 60°-70°C for about 15 minutes. This makes the thermo-fit liner soft and moldable. Make sure you take out the insoles, as they are not made to withstand such temperatures.

After “baking” your liners, you put them back in your boot, stuff a small wad of paper (like kitchen roll) right into the end to leave space for your toes, then put on the boot and tighten it, ideally with the ski socks you’ll be wearing underneath them. Wear the boots until they’ve cooled down, and the boot will have molded itself to your foot for guaranteed comfort.

If I buy ski and ski binding will it come fully mounted?

Yes, you can chose this option. If you buy your ski and binding as a set in our online shop you have the opportunity to get both of them fully mounted. The same applies if you buy skis, ski bindings and ski boots with us. With the latter choice we can even adjust your chosen binding to your ordered ski boot. However, you can also always tell us your prefered mounting position of the binding on the ski and the ski boot sole length of the boot you want to ride with the ski/binding so that we can adjust the binding accordingly. We solely mount the binding according to your given data. We do not calibrate the DIN value of your binding for example, which has to take into consideration your riding skills, body weight and height as well. Please visit your local Blue Tomato shop to get your personal DIN value calibrated by a specialist..

How much does the assembly cost?

We assemble your set for free when you buy skis and bindings in our online shop. 

Will the assembly delay the delivery?

No, the assembly doesn’t change the delivery time for your order. Please note that the time required for delivering your ski set depends on the item with the longer delivery time. 

What information do I have to provide for the assembly?

1) Sole length of your ski boot
The sole length is measured in millimetres and usually printed or stamped to the bottom or side of your boot. Please note that the sole length is not your EU, US, UK or Mondopoint shoe size and varies between manufacturers. If you can’t find or read the indication on the boot, simply measure the length of the sole with a measuring tape. If you order boots, skis and bindings together,  we can mount the ski set and and adjust it to fit your new boots. 

2) Mounting point for the binding
You can choose between 2 mounting options:

Recommended mounting point:
Every manufacturer defines a mounting point for their skis that guarantees the best riding experience. Each ski was designed and tested for this mounting point. It will make a freeride ski strong in powder, a freestyle ski unbeatable in the park and an all-mountain ski comfortable to ride in all conditions. We strongly suggest choosing this mounting point for your bindings. The recommended mounting point is clearly marked with a line or arrow on every ski that we sell.

Custom mounting point:
If you know exactly where you want your bindings mounted, then let us know! Give the position in relation to the true centre of the ski. So 0 is mounted centrally with equal lengths of tip and tail. Any other mounting point will be back from this, so one centimetre back is -1, two centimetres back is -2 and so on. Remember, if in doubt go with the recommended mounting point, that's where the ski was designed to be skied.

What is a mounting point and which one is right for me?

The mounting point is the position in which the bindings are mounted to the skis. Mounting points are indicated in centimetres and measured from the centre of the ski. For example, -1 means that the binding is mounted one centimetre back from the centre towards the tail of the ski. 

The right mounting point for your bidings highly depends on your skills as well as the conditions and terrain that you want to ride in.  

In the previous sections of this page, you can find more on mounting options and what information we need to assemble your set. Check out our Freeski Buyer's Guides for more on freeskiing and the perfect equipment.

 
How can I find or measure the sole length of my ski boot?

The sole length is measured in millimetres and usually printed or stamped to the bottom or side of your boot. Please note that the sole length is not your EU, US, UK or mondopoint shoe size and varies between manufacturers. If you can’t find or read the indication on the boot, simply measure the length of the sole with a measuring tape. If you order boots, skis and bindings together,  we can mount the ski set and adjust it to fit your new boots. 


Can I use my ski set straight away?

Unfortunately, your ski set is not ready to use straight away. We mount your bindings, but they still have to be adjusted to your weight and height.  Please bring your ski set to a specialist in one of our Blue Tomato shops, so they can calibrate the contact pressure and DIN value. We strongly discourage you to do these adjustments yourself, because you will have to take full liability in case of an accident and your insurance might reject claims.