A problem with your skis or your technique can directly impact your performance on the slopes. Plus, it can be dangerous.
In this post, I’ll answer 6 common ski problems skiers often face with their skis.
Why Do My Skis Wobble?
Skis wobbling sideways is something many intermediate skiers experience as they speed downhill. There are 3 main causes for wobbly skis, these are:
One major cause of this wobbly movement of skis is that the skis stay flat on the snow during the run downhill due to a lack of edging from the skier.
You need to work on improving your edging technique. The faster you go downhill, the more edging you need to apply to make your skis run smoothly.
Also read our guide on can you catch an edge on skis.
Weight Not Properly Distributed
Improper distribution of your weight during the run can make your skis wobble too, as there is not enough downward force on the tips of your skis.
You will have to focus on proper posture, bending your knees, flexing your ankles, and keeping your center mass forward so that the ski tips would not easily disengage from the snow.
Boots Too Stiff
If your ski boots are either too stiff or too soft, it can contribute to ski wobbling too. It can affect proper weight distribution on your skis by restricting ankle flexion or allowing them to flex too easily thus reducing the force they can generate.
It will be advisable to talk to a ski instructor and a professional ski boot fitter and get a pair of boots with the right fit for you or custom fit the pair you already got if possible.
Read our guide on how to know if ski boots are too stiff for signs.
Why Do My Skis Keep Crossing?
Ski tip crossing during a turn is another annoying ski problem beginner to intermediate-level skiers often experience. Your skis might cross during a turn as the result of not changing the pressure on your outside and inside skis properly.
You are not increasing the pressure on the outside ski and not reducing the pressure on the inside ski in a coordinated manner.
How To Keep Ski Tips From Crossing
You need to shift your weight to the outside ski and put pressure on it while simultaneously reducing the pressure on the outside ski when making a turn so that the outside ski will engage the snow and turn while the inside ski follows suit.
Ask your ski instructor for help in practicing pressing on the outside ski and reducing pressure on the inside one for turning.
With practice, you will be able to make smooth turns on your runs downhill without your ski tips crossing.
Having a wide enough stance will help in preventing your skis from crossing too.
A hip-width stance is good as a general rule, but your individual but has to be considered in determining the ideal width of your stance. Your ski instructor can help you with that too.
Why Are Skis Getting Wider?
Ski manufacturers have so far shown a tendency to make the skis they produce wider over time, and there are a few good reasons behind that.
Wider skis distribute the skier’s weight on a larger surface area, reducing the pressure skis excerpt on the snow. This makes them float better on deep powder snow and slushy spring snow, allowing for smooth gliding with less friction.
This better-floating ability of wider skis also reduces the risk of hitting rocks and stuff deep under the snow.
The reduced traction due to lower pressure on the snow allows for faster speeds too. Wider skis are better at absorbing vibrations so the ride will be less bouncy and the skis will stay on the snow for longer, resulting in reduced air resistance and higher speed.
Plus, you don’t need to lean back to keep the ski tips up and stay more centered when you are on wider skis, and this is less exhausting for your legs..
Wider skis also have better flexing rigidity due to their larger mass too, so they will have their structural integrity for longer.
Moreover, wider and more rigid bindings that spread further across those wide skis make it easy for skiers to roll the skis onto their edges.
Why Do My Skis Squeak?
If your skis make a squeaky sound when you ski, it is probably something to do with the bindings.
Most of the time, it’s some friction between the parts or parts getting loosened that makes the noise. Your best bet in this scenario will be to have them checked at the nearest ski gear shop.
Why Are Skis So Heavy?
Skis are as heavy as they are due to their build which aims for flexibility, sturdiness, and durability for them to withstand the forces of the skiers’ weights and traction from the snow and collision impacts from the rocks and stuff buried in the snow.
Also read our guide on why are skis so expensive.
For them to be sturdy, flexible, and durable, they are manufactured with layers of various materials such as wood, carbon, etc, adhered with glue.
The collective bulk of these materials together with the bindings make them heavy.
Not all skis are on the heavy side though. There are lightweight skis made of materials like fiberglass to be used in certain types of skiing.
For example, those who engage in Alpine touring skiing use lighter skis whereas heavy skis will be impractical as they use skis not only to run down the slopes but also to ascend the hills as well.
Why Are My Skis Chipping?
Skis are susceptible to wear and tear like any other man-made object. So, your skis get chipped as you use them over the seasons.
There are a few ways skis get chipped, especially on the sides and lamination on the top.
- One way skis chip is by crossing and clashing with each other, especially during turns taken by beginner to intermediate-level skiers.
- Skiing in snow terrain parks can cause skis to get chipped too.
There are many hard objects in terrain parks that skis can come into contact with high impact, such as rails and tubes.
- Foreign objects like rocks and gravel embedded in the snow can abrade and chip your skis too, especially in spring skiing where the melted snow exposes rocks and gravel.
- The snow itself can be abrasive on the skis in the long run too.
How To Fix Chipped Skis?
When your skis get chipped due to whatever reason, you need to mend them to prevent further damage. You can take your chipped skis to the nearest gear shop to mend them, or you can do it yourself.
Also read our guide on how to remove rust on ski edges.
Here’s how you do it yourself:
- Make sure the skis are dry and fill the chip holes with super glue or epoxy.
- Flatten the glue out so that it is not going out.
- Leave it for a day to dry out.
Note: Even though super glue dries fast, your best bet is to use glue with a hardening agent, like epoxy.