‘No bad skis’ — finding the perfect ski in today’s industry

Hannah Jones

With advances in ski technology and a growing variety of ski types, consumers may find themselves struggling to find the perfect match for them.

Phil Pugliese of Pugski, an online ski forum, warns consumers to focus less on the height, weight and turn radius of a ski and more on what they want it to achieve.

“Those numbers are just starting points in your ski discovery,” he said.

On Monday night Pugliese, joined by other ski industry professionals, spoke to an audience on changes in ski technology at a Tahoe Silicon Mountain presentation.

As a ski tester Pugliese said he will ride over 100 pairs of skis in a year.

“There’s no bad skis, but there’s wrong skis,” he said. “They make skis with a purpose for a specific consumer. There’s a multitude of things that go into how that ski is going to act and perform on snow.”

These include not only the size of the ski but whether that ski is rockered, with both tips curving up; cambered with an arc in the middle; or a mix of both. Though rockered skis were originally used for skiing powder, Jacobson said, companies have used rocker variations in skis meant for all types of terrain.

“A lot of people think rocker is just for soft snow and that’s just not true,” said Luke Jacobson, chief executive officer of Moment Skis, which hand makes their skis in Sparks, Nevada.

“Bending the ski up is going to be doing a lot more than just helping with float. When you rocker the tip of the ski, it’s starting the first half of the turn process for you,” he said.

About eight years ago Moment Skis developed a triple camber ski. The ski is equipped with smaller twin cambers within the center camber of the ski. This allows a skier to float in the powder with rockered ends but still grip the hard packed snow.

“What we wanted to do was still make it ski really well on hardpack,” said Jacobson. “It provides more confidence and stability when you’re in your turns.”

Changing the narrative

The advancements in ski technology, skiing and riding have become more accessible for everyone, said Lauren Okerman, creative director for Coalition Snow. As an all women ski company she said it focuses on making skiing more inclusive to those who have been left out in the past.

“We believe the way we talk about the equipment is really important,” said Okerman, something, she added, that can greatly effect the type of ski a customer wants. “Anyone who has traditionally been left out of the narrative, we really focus on including them.”

Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or

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