How To Compare Skis With Data? The Ski Comparison Application Guide 

 September 2, 2021

By  Marius Bulota

Access the Sooth Ski Comparison App

Our first version of Sooth Ski Comparison Application is now available online. This article is a quick guide on how to use the application. Keep in mind that this application was developed for skiers with a strong knowledge and understanding of ski properties. Although we have integrated a glossary of ski terminology used within the Ski Comparison (look for the "i" symbols), the interpretation of the values still requires advanced ski knowledge. 

If you want to benefit from our expertise to identify skis that would suit you the most, feel free to contact us or to request a ski fit.

Ski Search Function

Use the search bar to find the ski that you are looking for by using model name, brand, year or length. Results appear in the list below. You can reset your search by clicking the "x" button. 

We are adding about 1000 skis every year. Make sure to subscribe to our mailing list to get notified of additions. 

Use Filters To Search By Specifications 

If you are looking for some given specifications, use filters to narrow the  results. Try to add filters until you create a short list of 10-30 skis that is to look at. Available filters include: 

  • Sidecut (tip/waist/tail width, turning radius)
  • Mass and area (mass, base area, surface to weight ratio)
  • Average bending and torsional stiffnesses
  • Rocker (tip/tail length and height)
  • Other shapes info (tip/tail taper length, sidecut length, front contact point range,  camber, setback)

Filter Skis By Year, Brand, Gender & Category

You can focus your search on any specific year, brand, gender or category.

There is unfortunately no clear definition of each ski categories. However, most of them are based on geometric features. We'll publish an article soon about how Sooth established its categories. Skis can appear in multiple categories.

You can reset all filters using the reset button. 

Add Columns To Search Results

You can add columns to the ski listing. The columns can be sorted and reordered as you wish. 

Select Up To Five Skis To Compare

To add skis to the comparison, simply click on its line in the search results. You can compare up to five skis at a given time. To remove skis, simply click on the highlighted line you want to remove.

Note that selected ski will remain in the search result regardless of the filters. This enables you to keep a reference ski during your filtering process or use different search criteria.

Compare Ski Geometries

The "Ski Geometry" is an overlay of the selected ski shapes, each centered at the manufacturer recommended mount point. The first overlay is a top view to easily compare the shapes (sidecut, radius, front/aft area). The second overlay is a profile view (side view). You can use it to compare camber, rockers, snow contact points and tip/tail height. The zoomed view is a close-up of the tip and tail areas. This tells you how a ski engage and release from the snow. Move your cursor on any line to identify the ski, or refer to the legend.

Ski Specifications  

The table shows specific values that we have extracted from our raw measurements. Those values are organized into the same subsections as the filters from the search page. 

Not sure what those specs mean? Click the information icon on the left and a lightbox will appear.

Disclaimer: the length, tip/tail length/height, area and setback are accurately measured only since 20/21. Before that, we are missing measurements on a few cm at the tip/tail. 

Compare Ski Average Bending Stiffness VS Torsional Stiffness

Sooth Ski is the only place where you can this information! Bending stiffness correspond to the amount of force required to flex a ski a given distance, the way many people "test" skis with their hand in shops. This property is often related to the speed limit and suspension of a ski. Torsional stiffness correspond to the amount of torque required to twist a ski. It is extremely hard to test this by hand. Torsional stiffness influences the playfulness/precision of a ski, its ice hold and its vibration response. The level of torsional stiffness that you prefer is very personal like wine or beer.

Both stiffnesses tend to increase together. However, many "surprising" skis deviate from that main trend line. We'll be publishing an article about this soon.

Similar skis definition

You will notice that all graphs show the full dataset in light grey. "Similar skis" are illustrated in dark grey. These can help you figure out how one property ranks with respect to other skis. The similar skis definition is very inclusive and defined as:

  • All skis that are 5cm longer/shorter than your selection AND
  • All skis that are 5mm wider/narrower at the waist than your selection

Compare Ski Average Bending Stiffness VS Weight

Everything in life is a compromise!

When trying to make a light ski, certain properties may be compromised, such as bending stiffness. Similarly, it might be less common to find heavy and soft flexing ski. This chart compares the bending stiffness level to the weight of a ski. For a same weight, some skis are stiffer than others, and vice versa.

Compare Ski Average Torsional Stiffness VS Weight

Torsional stiffness is one of the most important properties of a ski, one that people easily feel on snow. Very few people talk about it because it is hard to measure! This chart compares the torsional stiffness level to the weight. Torsional stiffness is often increased by adding layers of titanal, but can also be achieved with light constructions.  

Most efforts made to build a lighter ski will result into a compromise on bending and/or torsional stiffness level. Less torsional stiffness results into less edge grip. Too much will make you ski feel catchy. 

Compare Ski Surface VS Weight

Sooth measures the surface of all skis from precise width measurements at each millimetre along the full length of a ski!

Larger/longer skis float more, but they are also likely to be heavier, which is a drawback on ascents. The surface-to-weight ratio (S/W) is a useful metric to quickly find the ski construction that you are looking for. Light backcountry skis are typically above the S/W=1,2 line. Backcountry users that prioritize the down would typically prefer a S/W between 1 and 1.2. Skis below the S/W=1 line are considered heavy for the surface area they provide (many high performance piste skis).

Build Custom Ski Compare Graphs

The custom graph section allows you to compare any properties that you would want. For example, you can select the radius on one axis and the sidecut length on the other. This comparison would tell you how long the effective edge is for a given radius. This would help you in finding skis that turn more or less easily and feel stable/loose, according to your preferences. 

This is the place where you let your creativity go. Find an interesting graph to share? Let us know, we're curious about what you can find!

See How Your Skis  Compare

The How Your Skis Compare section is composed of density graphs. Those graphs basically show where your selection is when compared to the full database and to similar skis. 

This allows you to quickly assess if a ski has "a lot of" or "a little of" one property when compared to similar skis. Remember that the level of each properties can change depending on the intended usage. For example, you might want less torsional stiffness in a mogul ski than in a slalom ski. However, each of us has different weight, ability level, style and fitness. By using the database, you can figure out what generally works for you (e.g., you prefer soft flexing skis because you have a light built, or stiff skis because you are a worldcup athlete).  

Please leave us comments below

This blog post is meant to be updated with feedback from users, so please comment! We want this information to be useful to the skiing community. If you have a hard time understanding something or would like to suggest improvements, feel free to contribute!

Paying The Bills

Lastly, you will notice that in some cases we have links to check the price of skis online. Those links are "affiliate" links, which means we may obtain a commission if you end up purchasing on that site. There is no obligation to purchase anything and our data is 100% free. Please help us pay off the bills so we can continue this project!

Marius Bulota

Marius is the co-founder of SoothSki. He's also an electrical engineer, passionate of innovative technologies. Marius skis at Mont-Sainte-Anne in Canada and has travelled the world on remote backcountry adventures.

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