Touring skis – characteristics and technical features
characteristics and technical features
Compared to alpine skis, touring skis are designed to weigh significantly less. After all, the foot pushes the ski uphill for most of the ski tour – and not long after the start you feel every gram.
Alpine touring skis with all-round characteristics offer a balanced mixture of stability, downhill performance and adapted weight for the easiest possible ascent. Because they are used downhill in deep, often soft snow, they are constructed much softer, wider over the entire length, less in the waist and have less torsional stiffness. This makes them very agile and they float very well in deep powder. In very icy conditions and at high speeds, however, they can reach their limits. In order to offer every ski tourer the product that suits his needs best, most ski manufacturers now offer a broad range of touring skis – from very narrow touring skis for competitive/fitness ski tourers to wide, freeride-oriented models. To find out which touring ski fits your needs, take a look at the article “Which touring ski suits me best?”
Of course, the concept and technologies of touring skis make the ascent handling as easy as possible and safe to hike with. Extreme rocker constructions have therefore not proved to be successful, as the contact area of the ski and the climbing skins on hard ground would be too small. The ski would slide backwards too often. All touring skis are equipped with a skin attachment system and several versions are standard now. It is important that the system matches the skin in order to avoid unintentional slipping during ascent. Völkl offers the Smart Skin Clip System on all touring skis, for example, which allows the athlete to put the climbing skin on and take it off the ski from both tip and tail.