For whom is a slalom carver suitable?
Unlike all-round carvers and sport carvers, which could be described as generalists among the slope oriented skis, the slalom carver is a specialist: As the name suggests, the slalom carver is a ski for skiers who would like to do nothing more than spend the whole day in a narrow corridor on the groomed slope, taking one sharply cut short turn after the next.
Like most specialists, the slalom carver is excellent in its field, but rather unsuitable for other areas: Almost no other ski is better suited to be skied safely and controlled on the edge even on very steep and very hard or even icy slopes. However, if you prefer to ski in powder or deep snow, you could scarcely choose a ski type that is less suitable. And even though the slalom carver can be used to bring a medium turn on the slope, it is not well suited for long carving turns that make use of the entire width of the slope.
The slalom carver makes a lot of fun, but also demands a lot of technique and fitness from the skier and is therefore especially suitable for ambitious and sporty to very sporty skiers.
A slalom carver, especially at higher speeds, requires active concentration on transferring the pressure quickly and precisely to the outer ski with every turn, so as not to fall behind or, in the worst case, to get off track. And a descent in a perfect slalom turn may look elegant and light-footed from the outside, but in fact the cleanly skied slalom style is one of the most strenuous ways to get down the slope. Even very sporty skiers may feel a burning in their thighs after a few hours of slalom skiing.
However, if you have been honing your technique for a few years and are willing to do a few squats before going on vacation, the slalom carver will reward you with a skiing experience that is second to none.
What are the characteristics of a slalom carver?
In order to promote a skiing style characterized by fast turns on a narrow corridor, the slalom carver is usually equipped with a very narrow center width, which allows the ski to turn very quickly. Compared to the middle, the shovel and tail are relatively wide, which means that the slalom carver, when set on the edge, strives for an extremely tight radius.
Especially the top models are characterized by a strong preload, stable sidewalls and a very torsionally stiff construction. This construction makes the slalom carver particularly grippy on ice and also gives it a strong rebound.
So everything on the slalom carver is optimized for a fast and dynamic edge change, a secure and strong edge grip and an aggressive entry into the next turn.
In which length should you ski the slalom carver?
The slalom carver is all about agility and manoeuvrability. And because every ski is the more agile the shorter you ski it, it makes no sense to ski a slalom carver in a length that is even close to your own height. Therefore, in order to enjoy the advantages of a slalom carver to the full, you should ride it at a height that is about 15-20 cm below your body height.
Slalomcarver for women
Although there is of course nothing to prevent women from also skiing the men's (or unisex) slalom carvers, there are good reasons why female skiers should rather look around for the models developed especially for women.
Women's and men's skis differ not only in weight and design, but also in their handling characteristics. Women's body center of gravity is usually further towards the hips than men's, and since skiing is mainly about shifting the body center of gravity at the right moment, conventional skis do not always make it easy for women to initiate the turn. That's why women's skis are usually designed with the body's center of gravity further forward to make it easier to turn in.
Not the right ski for you?
Slalom carvers are too special for you and you prefer a more versatile slope ski? Then take a look at our sport carvers (here you can find the blog post "What is actually a sport carver?) You want a very sporty slope ski, but you are more into long turns at high speed? Then our race carvers could be just the right thing for you. (here you can find the blog post "What is actually a racecarver?)
Or do you not want to commit to one area and ski everything the mountain has to offer? Then look here for the allmountain skis.