Twin Tip: Just as it Sounds
Twin Tip skis have upwardly rounded ends to make skiing backwards easy. The tails don't dig into the snow, so some skiers can go off jumps and land backwards with these skis. All park skis have twin tips, as well as some all mountain, freeride, and powder skis.
Twin tip skis almost always have the durable construction, wider waists, and softer tip/tails that terrain park riders demand.
"What does that have to do with me?" Joe six pack asks.
It just so happens that those features are perfect for intermediate and advanced skiers looking to become true all mountain skiers. The wider dimension, softer flex, and turned up tails are perfect for learning to ski powder and trees. We at Level Nine Sports are huge fans of getting skiers looking to develop their all mountain skills into twin tip skis.
So the point is, even if you don't plan to be hitting jumps and rails on your brand new skis, it doesn't mean you should rule out twin-tip skis.
Park skis differ from many other types of skis, but not a terrible amount. For instance, most park skiers like to have their bindings mounted in the center of the ski to make skiing backwards (or switch, as the kids say) more enjoyable. Because of this, many park skis' sidecuts will cater to this, and in some cases the sidecut will be symmetrical to ensure a delightful switch skiing experience. Also, many ski companies have been using sidewall technology in their park skis (technology lifted from snowboards about 10 years ago) to stand up to the abuse that is park skiing and give the ski a more even flex to allow for things like presses and butters. Which brings up the cores of park skis, sometimes companies will incorporate a "butter zone" or a part of the core that is softer (usually in front of the toepiece and behind the heelpiece) to make it extra easy to do some butters. Sometimes people even ski rockered powder skis in the park! The possibilities are endless in FREEskiing.
As the sport continues to develop, more and more styles of freeskiing emerge. In order to accompany this, twin tip skis are created in a number of shapes, sizes, and flexes, so that every park skier can find a ski that’s perfect for them. For instance, some park riders find themselves buttering around the park, and doing all kinds of presses. A rider like this would prefer a ski that is specific to park. Typically this means the ski will have little or no camber under foot, combined with a soft flex and tip and tail rocker. A ski like this will be super maneuverable in the park, and will have a wide enough platform to land on.
There are also park riders who prefer to spend their time lining up the biggest gaps they can, sending themselves off huge park booters. Riders like this usually prefer a stiffer flexing ski, as it makes landing big jumps more manageable. As you can imagine, coming down from 20 ft up, and landing on the tail of a really soft ski, usually doesn’t work out so well. This ski is going to give you the stiffness you need, and still be playful enough to hop around on rails with.
Finally, there are also skis that are somewhere between park skis and all mountain skis. Typically, skis in this category are a bit fatter under foot, and also feature some sort of rockered tip and tail. In order to increase all mountain performance, these skis will have camber under foot to improve edge hold. The stiffness of skis like this has quite the range as riders typically like to be able to select the flex that will work best for their skiing style.
Female Park SKis
Of course, park skis are also made for female riders. While the selection isn’t as large as it is for men, there is still a decent selection of twin tip skis for women. Typically, these skis follow the same characteristics as men’s versions, just a little toned down. When comparing a female park ski and a men’s park ski, the biggest differences are going to be length and flex. Because a majority of females are a bit shorter, it is more difficult to maneuver a long, stiff ski. Currently, we have some great options for females looking to get into the park scene a bit.