Picking the right skis depends on skier age, size and weight; gender; ability; type of skiing you plan to do, and terrain you plan to be on.

Are you a racer? You probably won't need our advice if you are, and we might learn some things from you. You look for high-end equipment, strong, nimble, and stable.

Are you a beginner? We suggest you rent equipment until your first series of lessons is over, and you have a feel for skiing. All ski areas have rental shops, most with the most up-to-date equipment, so you will be trying state-of-the-art gear. Even when lessons are done, do not spend a lot of money on skis right away; your skill, and perhaps your size, will quickly outgrow whatever equipment you buy in your early days of skiing. Look at year-end demo and rental sales for good equipment that will last you the next couple of seasons.

Intermediate to expert? Here your choice will probably depend on where you ski. Out West, wider and longer, designed for powder as well as groomed terrain. East, consider skis designed for groomers and bumps.

Freestyle? Twintips, a tad shorter than you would choose for straight alpine gear.

When you are ready to buy that first pair of top-of-the-line skis, don't be afraid to try demo gear. It's best way to choose a ski.

Many advanced skiers have several pairs of skis, and often bring several even on day trips. We ski with a friend who has five pairs, and if he were not afraid of the scorn of his friends would bring them all every time he hit the slopes.

Question: What skis are right for me?

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