Better Glide

Q: I would like to help my husband find skate skis with optimal glide. Though he is a great wax technician and takes meticulous care of his skis, everyone else (including me) has better glide most of the time. He is 5 ft 11 in, 175 lb and a strong skier, looking for skis to use in average winter temps (the 15 to 25 degree range) in New England.

A: He should first consider two things.

1) Technique – if he does not ride a flat ski and glide well, others can out glide him even if his skis are fast.

2) Skis – rather than just suggesting new skis, which at his very common weight would be a very easy pick, I would suggest you get his present skis analyzed to help determine why he is being out glided.

A) Flex – if skis are too stiff or/too soft they will not be the fastest.

Too stiff and the skis carry your load over a very small area. The skis will be slower in soft snow because they will “plow”. In hard snow the skis will be unsteady edge to edge and make it hard to ride a flat ski and glide long.

Too soft and the bridge under your foot closes under load. This makes your forces go straight down into the snow and does not suspend you over the snow and your speed is robbed with every stride. Soft skis will feel better in soft snow than in hard snow. In hard snow the skis will feel like that want to rotate under your foot like arms on a watch.

B) If the bases are sealed ( from overheating), perfect waxing, perfect flex and perfect technique will still not be enough to out-glide his friends and rivals. He should have his bases examined.

So go to your favorite race center with your skis and they should be able to be of more help to you than i can over email.


As a 5’11 175 pound skier you should have no difficulty finding a new fast ski. From most brands a 192 cm stiff flex ski rack will be the place to start. Another good option will be to test ride new skis on snow.

But first discover why glide is missing now.

– Andy at


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