Cooler weather is here and with it, one of the most exciting times of the year:

SKI SHOPPING SEASON!!!

Okay, I’ll tamp it down a bit. But there’s no doubt that ski selection is a hot topic over at TheSkiDiva.com. One of our most common posts is, “What’s the best ski for me?” Which is a tough question, given the crazy variety of skis you’ll find in ski shops.

So how do you pick the right ski?

The best way is to demo. Try them out. Which isn’t something you can readily do this time of year.

What you can do, however, is narrow things down a bit. Do some research. Read reviews in ski magazines and forums (like TheSkiDiva). And when you go to a ski shop, take advantage of the sales team’s expertise. Chances are they’ve tried out the skis you’re interested in, or received feedback from people who have.

I think it was Socrates who famously said, “Know thyself.” There’s no doubt that a measure of self-awareness can go a long way in ski shopping.  So before you hit the shops, be sure you know the following:

1. Your height and weight: Yes, these do figure into the ski you choose. A more advanced skier generally skis on a longer ski. But the type of ski can you choose can make a difference. A rockered ski, for example, has a smaller area of contact with the snow, so you may want to go longer.

2. Your skill level: Are you a never-ever or an expert skier? You wouldn’t want to put a new driver in a Ferrari. Lower level skis are generally more forgiving than skis that are more advanced. So be honest in your appraisal. You won’t do yourself any favors by exaggerating either way.

3. The conditions you generally ski, and your terrain preference: Do you ski on east coast ice or west coast powder?  What type of terrain do you like? Groomers, bumps, off piste? Are you aggressive? Laid back? Do you want to make big GS turns down the groomers, or would you rather pound through the moguls all day? Different skis are better for differing things, so get this dialed in first.

4. Awareness of what you need:  A collection of skis is known as a “quiver.”  Do you want to add to yours with a ski that’s dedicated to powder or the park, or do you want  one ski that can do it all? Decide what you need before you hit the store.

5: Your past history: Have you ever tried a ski you really didn’t like?  Knowing what you hate is just as important as knowing what you like. And a lot of ski selection has to do with personal preference. Which brings us back to demoing, and why it’s so important.

I know; there’s a lot to consider. And yes, it can be a bit intimidating. But approach it the right way, and you’ll be grinning when you hit the slopes. And if you’re not, it’s not the end of the world. That’s why God invented ebay.