Looking for a playful off piste ski this winter? Staff writer Sophie tests out Roxy Shima freeride models in Meribel
For anyone who has never tried freeride skis, the prospect of having a significantly wider planks underfoot can be a little bit daunting. Having mostly skied on piste with a little bit of off piste here and there, it was new to me, but I was keen to see what the fuss was all about.
I headed to Méribel, France, where the weather gods had delivered a few centimetres of the fresh stuff. To warm up my ski legs, I started with a few runs on piste to get used to the shape and feel of the ski. My normal ski is the K2 Missconduct, which is an all-mountain model and one I couldn’t help but compare my experience to. My initial impression of the Shima was that they were a heavier ski which I found slightly challenging to handle on piste. Being used to a narrower waist and shorter rocker, I was accustomed to having more control, and took some time to adjust to the change in movement required.
There are two things which are important to take note of with freeride skis: rocker and camber.
Camber refers to the slight upward curve in the middle of the skis, with the contact points (where an unweighted ski contacts the snow) close to the ends. Skis with camber require more precise turn initiation. The Shima has a 3mm camber which means you need to put a little bit more pressure and effort into your turns to accentuate them. This may explain why I found that my turns weren’t as sharp as I would like on piste.