Are your friends better skiers, zooming past you while you struggle to maintain balance?
Don’t worry; you just need to improve the basics. Might we recommend opting for mini short skis since they are perfect for building your technique while you learn the art of stability and balance?
In today’s guide, we have shortlisted the best short skis and highlighted the essential points about this skiing gear.
What Are Short Skis Called?
As the name suggests, short skis are smaller than traditional skis, known as snowblades or mini skis. They usually measure between 65 and 150cm, making them ideal for beginners just learning to ski.
On closer observation, you’ll see that these skis have a slightly different shape and are not straight like longer boards. Instead, they sport an hourglass design with a parabolic body, allowing manufacturers to experiment with their width and length.
However, there’s no reason to worry about performance because the metal grip and laminated wooden core ensure that they are easy to maneuver. Not to mention, you can use regular bindings or opt for special short ski bindings.
What Are The Benefits Of Mini Short Skis?
Now, there are certain benefits of using short skis, which we will discuss next. But before that, we must mention that they are extremely easy to use.
Due to their small size, there’s less material on the skis, making them highly maneuverable. As a result, this increased movement translates into the following advantages:
Smaller Turning Radius
Depending on the terrain you’re skiing in, the turning radius determines your control over the slopes. With mini skis, you can turn faster, thanks to their smaller radius, which some find useful.
They may prove more efficient due to quicker energy transfer. Meaning, you might get better control at higher speeds without compromising on safety or smoothness.
As they are shorter and lighter with less material, the skis are more flexible, especially on hard snow.
Lot of Fun
You can have a lot of fun with snow blades if you want to learn some tricks. With short skis, it’s easier for people who are just starting out because there’s less weight attached and they will be able to execute maneuvers that may not work well on longer skies, like spinning 360’s, landing switch, or even 540.
What Are Mini Or Short Skis Best For?
A short ski is more agile but not as stable and fast as a longer ski because it implies short edges. There are a lot of factors to consider when choosing the length of your ski, including how old you are, what style of skier you are, terrain preference, fitness level, and how frequently you ski.
Should I get shorter skis? Here are some guidelines you can use:
- You’re a beginner or intermediate skier – shorter skis tend to be easier to control.
- Shorter skis are better when you like to make quick turns and prefer to ski slower.
- Size your skis shorter when you weigh less than average for your height.
- The older you get, the shorter your skis should be. Why? There’s a correlation between age and the general decline in strength, fitness level, and reflex speed.
- You’ll benefit from shorter skis as a conservative skier.
- A shorter ski will be easier if you want a carving ski with no rocker, or your terrain preference is moguls.
- The less time you spend on the slopes, the shorter your skis should be.
What Are The Downsides Of Mini Short Skis?
Despite the many advantages of short skis, there’s no denying that they are not to everyone’s liking. There are several reasons for this, but the most important among them is the fact that they fail to replicate the feeling of skiing on regular boards.
This is because due to their lack of surface area, it is challenging to generate speed. While it guarantees safety, seasoned skiers may choose a longer board.
Other than that, you must make a note of the following points:
While shorter skis offer faster movement and sharp turns, you may find it difficult to make S-shaped turns. Needless to say, at high speeds, it could prove dangerous and may lead to injuries if you lose control.
Due to their shorter surface area, only a small part of the board is in contact with the snow, which may give rise to stability issues. In other words, uneven weight distribution may make it difficult to stay in control.
The terrain plays a crucial part, determining whether you can use short skis. While they are good on hard snow, the reliability goes down during heavy snowfall or powdery conditions. In such circumstances, try to ensure that you don’t go off-piste.
Best Mini Short Skis
For further information on snowblades, you can check out our selection of the top three products.
Elan Freeride Skiboards (99cm Snowblades w Release Bindings )
This skiboard is 99cm long and comes with release bindings. The manufacturers have integrated these bindings into the ski boots to ensure that they are easy to control.
Moreover, the bindings are adjustable so that you can make the necessary changes based on the conditions and your skiing ability. We also loved the wooden core that offers sufficient durability without adding to the weight of the model.
As such, you can maneuver it without any hassle, thereby making the structure highly stable. Speaking of stability, its excellent design and carvings make the skis ideal for winter sports, downhill skiing, and other recreational activities.
Buy from Amazon: Elan Freeride Skiboards
Summit Carbon Pro (99cm with Atomic L10 Release Bindings)
The Summit Carbon Pro skis are incredibly eye-catching with a shiny silver appearance. Like the previous model, it measures 99 cm in length with a height of 5.6 cm.
Again, it comes with adjustable release bindings for better control, thereby allowing you to make alterations when skiing in varying weather conditions. But especially satisfying is the fact that it has sintered bases, permitting you to glide across the surface with minimum effort.
Other than that, it is suitable for adults and offers exceptional stability even for slightly heavy individuals. Long story short, you won’t have any trouble changing directions at high speed.
Buy from Amazon: Summit Carbon Pro
Black Diamond GlideLite (127cm Snow Trekkers with Bindings)
If you’re looking for a longer yet durable model, this may be the perfect option. Compared to the two other short skis, the Black Diamond GlideLite is slightly longer, measuring 127 cm.
What’s more, thanks to its steel edges, you won’t need to worry about wear and tear when skiing in any terrain. Also, the glossy skins sit perfectly on top of the board for better grip and easy movement.
Along with the skins, you will find an elastic foam core that adjusts according to the surface. Meaning, it’s compression-resistant and can bear the weight of heavy skiers.
Buy from Amazon: Black Diamond GlideLite
How To Choose Short Skis?
The ‘short skis’ name comes from the stunted length of the boards that measure between 65 and 150 cm. But their smaller size doesn’t impact performance because the skis tend to be more agile so that you feel the rush of gliding down a mountain slope.
Most importantly, they are extremely easy to use, perfect for people taking baby steps in skiing. For example, the reduced surface area helps develop balance with extra focus on using the thighs to transfer weight and change speed.
What’s more, you won’t need to use ski poles while ensuring that the nimbleness of the board remains intact. But then, how do you choose the best short skis? Consider the following points:
The measurement of the waist is directly proportional to the length of the ski. But in some cases, seasoned skiers may have marginally different ski and waist lengths, such as for powder skis or groomer skis.
That said, more than the length, the width of the skis impacts the flotation and stability. If you are skiing in terrain where the snow is in powdery form, it would be best to use a wider ski.
You can usually measure the flotation, also known as ‘bearing surface,’ by multiplying the length and width.
Ski Sidecut Radius
Next, let’s look at how the ski sidecut radius will impact your performance. For those who don’t know, the sidecut radius allows you to calculate the turning radius of the ski, which is crucial when moving at high speed.
It is measured in meters and is related to the shape of the ski or the sidecut. Understandably, a ski with a higher sidecut value means that it has a wider turn.
Depending on the sidecut, you should choose the length of the ski accordingly. Skis with a bigger turning radius should be smaller in length and vice-versa.
Rocker And Camber
The rocker and camber give the ski its shape, with mountain skis following a specific design pattern. We found that the rocker lies under foot between the cambers present in the tip and tail.
With rockered tips, you will get better handling combined with improved floatation and faster turning. This could come in handy in powdery conditions where you need to maintain an athletic stance to shift balance quickly.
Moreover, thanks to the camber, the ski may feel more stable, allowing you to seamlessly glide in the right direction.
Flex And Stiffness
In short, a stiffer ski offers more stability, while a more flexible model allows greater maneuverability. So, depending on the conditions, you need to choose what kind of ski will work best.
Now, there are a couple of factors that impact flexibility and stiffness, like weight and length. If you want to use a stiff ski without compromising on movement, it would be best to choose a shorter model.
A longer board will be challenging to control, making it feel unstable. Similarly, people who weigh more may have stability issues if they fail to adjust the length of the board.
In addition to all the above factors, the performance of the skis comes down to the material. Choosing the right material ensures that there are no issues with flex, stability, and movement.
You will find that a ski comprises several layers, including a top sheet, rubber damping, and two structural layers on either side of the core. The most vital among these is the core which determines how the board feels underfoot.
Moreover, the walls protect the integrity of the board by keeping out moisture and other elements.
Do All Ski Resorts Allow The Use Of Mini Short Skis On Their Slopes?
No, all resorts don’t allow the use of short skis on their slopes, so it would help if you called them up before booking a stay. Some resorts feel that mini skis are unsafe and therefore ask people to use only traditional skis.
However, there’s no reason to worry because the metal edges on snowblades perform the same as they would on a regular ski. So, keep in mind that some resorts may need convincing even though they may disagree initially.
Are Short Skis Better For Beginners?
Yes, short skis are better for beginners because they are easy to use. These skis don’t have much surface area; as such, they have less material due to their shorter length.
That’s why they are lightweight, and beginners won’t have trouble turning the skis at high speeds. In fact, many people use them to learn tricks as the boots don’t hold a lot of weight underneath.
Additionally, you won’t need to use poles to control the movement and direction of the boards. However, the weather conditions must be suitable for using short skis.
Is It Easier To Ski With Shorter Skis?
There are a lot of factors like weight, skiing style, and the weather conditions that determine whether you can use short skis. That said, shorter skis are suitable for people learning about the nitty-gritty of skiing since they are easy to handle.
But you must remember that mini skis are not ideal in rough terrain or if there is heavy snowfall. Also, it’s challenging to experience the speed and thrill of skiing on smaller boards once you become a professional.
We believe that now you have all the information when it comes to using mini short skis.
As this guide will tell you, skiing is a personal experience, and what works for someone may not be ideal for you. That’s why it would be best to try out the equipment yourself to better understand the feel and stability of the blades.
Not to mention, remember to take your time and don’t rush through training. Rest assured, if you can control the short skis, the switch to longer boards will be easier.
Overall, short skis come with their pros and cons, so read our guide to choose wisely!