In this article, we will discuss the benefits of twin tip skis. You will learn about the characteristics of twin tip skis, their advantages and disadvantages, and if they are suitable for you.
What Are Twin Tip Skis?
When you look around the lift line, you will notice many skiers with twin tip skis. They are easy to spot, as both the tips and tails turn upwards, meaning they are identical when skiing backward, as well as forward. This makes them great for performing freestyle tricks in the terrain park.
There are a few different types of twin tip skis you should know about before you head to the ski shop:
A freestyle twin tip ski is usually more flexible than other skis, such as all mountain skis, powder skis, and carving skis. The extra flex makes them more forgiving while performing tricks, park use, and taking heavy landings.
The other advantage of extra flex is that they are easy to turn, so twin tips are a pretty good choice for beginner to intermediate skiers.
Another characteristic of freestyle twin tips skis is that they are shorter. This is something else that makes them easier to turn, more manageable, and easier to spin in the air.
All Mountain Twin Tips
If you want to be able to enjoy the whole mountain, you need all mountain skis. These can be used in the terrain park, on the groomed slopes, on moguls, or even in powder.
These all mountain skis will be a little stiffer than freestyle skis, so they are not quite as forgiving. However, they do perform better when carving, and give you more control at higher speeds, even when you ski switch.
Some of these skis are more biased towards powder, so you will notice that they are much wider to give you more float. If you want to take your freestyle into the backcountry, you should look for twin tip freeride or big mountain skis.
Freeride and big mountain skis are much fatter than other skis, and they are cambered under your feet. Also, they are significantly stiffer to help you cope with the increased speeds.
What Are Twin Tips Skis Good For?
As you can ski in either direction on twin tip skis, you can be more inventive with your freestyle tricks. For example, you can take off, or land jumps switch (skiing backward). Being able to ski backward adds a whole new level of style and difficulty to your freestyle skiing.
Do You Need Twin Tips To Ski Backwards?
You don’t necessarily need twin tips to ski backwards. However, regular skis are more susceptible to bumps, ruts, and moguls. This is because the tails don’t have the same rise as the tips.
Taking off and landing switch can be challenging on non-twin tips. They will probably be quite stiff and unforgiving too. So, if you want to up your freestyle game, twin tips are the way forward.
Aren’t Twin Tips Only For Park/Freestyle Skiers?
As we mentioned earlier, there are different types of twin tips. But you don’t have to be a hardcore freestyler to use them.
There is an infinite range of skis to choose from. They all vary concerning their flex, length, and shape, giving them different performance characteristics, ensuring you can have fun no matter what kind of skier you are.
For example, very flexible skis are great for jib tricks. But stiffer ones are better for more general recreational skiing.
It is best to go to a ski shop and ask for advice from a specialist. They will recommend a pair of skis that will suit your skiing style.
Why Shouldn’t I Buy Twin Tips?
Twin tip skis have many benefits; however, they might not be the best choice for every skier.
Not Great At High Speed
The bindings are usually mounted in the center of the skis. This gives you great control for freestyle, but you will feel less secure at high speeds.
As the tails are raised, you have less effective edge, giving them less contact with the snow. Therefore, you have less stability when you let the skis run.
Different Handling Characteristics
Some skiers like their skis to have a long turn radius for big sweeping carves. You don’t get this with freestyle twin tips, as they have a short sidecut radius (which also affects the effective edge). This makes them more suited to short and fast turns.
Many skiers who have transitioned to twin tips from regular skis share a common experience. They often feel like they will fall over the front of their skis.
This comes from the centrally mounted binding, which effectively shortens the front of the skis. To counteract this, they usually go for a longer ski. The issue with longer skis is that it is much easier to catch an edge when the terrain is tricky. On the flip side, skis with longer tails are more manageable to land jumps due to the extra ski to lean back onto.
Are Twin Tip Skis Better?
There is no right or wrong answer to this question. What skis you use all depends on what you want to do on the mountain.
If you are going to spend all your time charging steep slopes as fast as possible, or on variable terrain, you need a good pair of alpine skis. But if you want to experiment with freestyle and jumps, you should ride with some twin tips.
Are Twin Tips More Expensive?
Typically, prices of skis vary between manufacturers and what they are meant to be used for. You will find expensive ones, but you will find cheaper ones too.
However, you will notice that most twin tip skis are less expensive than regular ones. This is because they get lots of punishment. Ski manufacturers want to make them more affordable so they are cheaper to replace.
However, these skis are pretty durable, as they are designed to cope with punishing landings and rail slides.
Are Twin Tip Skis Good For Beginners?
Twin tip skis are great for beginner skiers, especially more flexible ones. They are very forgiving and make turning exceptionally easy thanks to their flexibility, shape, and short length.
If you are interested in having fun doing jumps and other tricks in the park, a pair of freestyle twin tips will make everything more manageable and fun. It won’t take long before you progress and develop your own style.
A Note On Where To Mount Your Bindings With Twin Tips
Where you mount your bindings on twin tip skis needs some careful consideration. For example, if you spend all your time in the snow park or ride switch often, you should mount your bindings in the center of your skis.
But, if you like to hunt for powder, you should mount your them about 7cm back from the center of the skis.
However, your skis’ length will make a difference to your binding position. If you put them in the center, the front of your skis effectively becomes “shorter.” The problem with this is that it can be more challenging to ski powder or in the resort. Therefore, many skiers that do this opt for longer skis.
What About Partial Twin Tips (Aka Directional Twins)?
You will find that most all mountain skis have partial twin tips. These have a slight rise in the tail, but not as much as full twin tips.
This slight rise allows you to ski backwards on resort slopes and land small jumps facing the other way. If you like to play on side hits, directional twin skis are a great choice.
Can You Skin With Twin Tip Skis?
Many ski tourers use twin tips in the backcountry. Their lower cost and ease of use make them popular. Also, being able to ski backwards helps when side slipping steep chutes and faces.
Therefore, you can attach touring skins to twin tip skis. Some skins are specially designed for them, while others take a connector to hook around the tips and tails.
As you can see, twin tip skis are great for those who want to experiment and be more playful. They also have their benefits in the backcountry.
They are not suitable for every skier, but there are plenty of other types of skis to keep everyone happy. To be confident about which type of ski is best for you, you should visit a shop. They will be able to advise you on some great options, and you may even be able to test some before you buy.