Choosing the Right Skis and Boots, and Summer Skiing in Switzerland
By Iwan Fuchs, Guest Columnist

Let’s face it, almost everyone thinks about the latest gear for next season. The horrendous decision everyone has to make before every season starts. Well not to disturb your shopping list for this upcoming season, but in most cases it makes no difference whether you buy an All Mountain or a Slalom Ski. The difference is YOU and not really in your gear. A good workout in the off season and a great nutrition lifestyle will help you to be a better skier. I do have to agree the right gear can make a difference, but in all honesty, not for 90% of us. How many times did you buy skis or boots due to their colors? Or when the salesperson asked the famous question: what kind of a skier are you? A. a novice B. an intermediate and/or C. an expert? Or due to their high cost? High-priced skis might not be the right ski for you and/or your mountain. Check next time advertises ski swaps in your neighborhood, as this may save you a lot of money.

Again face the truth, you really have no idea. I have faced the same question every year for the past 18 years. This year’s decision will be especially hard. I am a Nordica Factory Team member and at the same time like the Stökli brand, as well as the RTC (Ready to Carve) and the Movement Ski. If you believe I have an answer to my own question - well, not really. I do know what I can do and where I spend most of my on-snow time: well-groomed slopes with a lot of vertical, multiple lift rides, but little horizontal. I guess I don’t need the RTC Swiss Ski. Or should I go for the Movement backcountry ski? Unless I ski more then two feet of fresh powder it will make no difference between my all mountain ski and the big daddy. I guess we can scratch the backcountry ski off my list.

Ski Boots

A recent article about ski boots in the December ‘07 Snowactive magazine, from Switzerland, stated that 85% of skiers have boots that are too big or too wide. Since we ski more on our edges (carving) and the result is more gravity power, it becomes more important to adjust the fine tuning of our boots. In many cases skiers buy bigger boots because they think they will be more comfortable. If it gets colder they simply think they can put another pair of socks on to keep their feet warm. Skiing with a big boot size, a skier starts to compensate for extra movements. Big ski boots will lead to:

  • Exhaustion
  • Weak joints
  • Higher accident rate

    Perfect fitted ski boots give you better edge control. It also becomes easier to control spontaneous falls.

    Skiing in Switzerland Summer ‘08

    For many of us it will still take about 5 months before we even get the taste of snow. If you cannot wait to ski or board, just take an airplane with the final destination of Zurich or Geneva Switzerland on your e-ticket. This year I will be in Saas-Fee (Matterhorn), which is in the state of Wallis. I’ll be skiing and working for the Ski Academy Switzerland (SAS), provider of the most extensive and affordable Snowsports instructors and performance training programs on the market for two weeks in August.

    Some of the resorts who have used the program and support it are Mount Snow and Stratton. The PSIA (Professional Ski Instructors of America) also uses the academy. I will be a coach for the academy and bring expertise with me from two cultures and hope to explain to future instructors what teaching is all about. There are always good deals on skiing in Switzerland at

    My home mountain Titlis in Engelberg always has great glacier skiing. They also have a great fun winter park with snow tubing and snow biking. Since we had a great winter in Switzerland, the snow is especially great.

  • About the Author

    Iwan Fuchs currently serves as the Snowsports School Director at Seven Springs Resort. He has over 18 years of experience teaching, and has served as a certified Swiss ski instructor in his native Switzerland. He has also been a USSA racing coach.

    DCSki Sponsor: Canaan Valley Resort

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