Before you go do some background research: flip through our gear finder, and read magazines and blogs to get a sense of which skis might be what you’re looking for. Think realistically about the kind of skiing you do, and the kind of ski you need. Fat skis are sexy, but if you primarily ski groomers they’re not going to make you happy.
To avoid fumbling, make sure you know your boot sole length, it’ll be printed inside the heel of one of your boots.
Brand reps really want you to love their skis. That’s how they get paid. But that means they want you to have a good time, so talk to them. Tell them what you’re looking for, ask them what they think you’d like and why. It will speed up your process, and you might try out something you love.
Don’t know what moustache rocker is? Curious about why you’re having trouble getting a certain ski on edge? Have no idea what cap construction is? Now is the time to ask.
That’s the point, right? Try brands you haven’t heard of; go with a bigger or more rockered ski; if you’re a lady, try a guy’s ski. It’s like freshman year of college: feel free to experiment.
Be realistic about what you ski and how you ski it. If you ski in North Carolina you probably don’t need boards that are 130 underfoot. But don’t let that limit you.
Go do what you normally do, but pay more attention. Make different sized turns and try to ski all conditions; pay attention to how the skis perform and how you feel on them.
Never skied rocker? Curious about the bizarre-shaped Salomon BBR pictured here? Try ’em out.