Ski | Dec 1, 2022

Find & test the perfect race skis

Martin Bieswanger
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Have you ever heard of the Völkl Racetiger, the Atomic Redster, the Fischer RC4 or the Rossignol Hero? Sounds awe-inspiring and almost a bit intimidating? Sounds like race skis! Of course, you don't have to race with them. But you should at least have a bit of a racer in you when you strap on a pair of speedy race carvers.

You guessed it: Race skis are designed for high speeds, steep descents, and hard slopes. But what exactly characterises skis that perform best in the above conditions? Are race skis right for you? And what should you look for when choosing a new pair of race skis?

Our winter sports experts, the RENTertainers, have summarised the most important facts about race carvers for you. What’s more, thanks to INTERSPORT Rent, you can test the latest racing equipment right on site at your favourite ski resort!

What is a race ski?

To all giant slalom fans, speed freaks and racers: Race skis or race carvers are the high-speed stars among skis. They deliver optimum performance even in challenging conditions.

Their focus varies: Some race skis are designed for medium carving turns. Other models are perfect for really big and sweeping turns at maximum speed.

When not to use race skis: They are neither designed for quick, sharp parallel turns nor for trips into the backcountry. Unfortunately, they are also not suitable for beginners.

© Fischer Sports GmbH

Race skis are the right choice for you if ...

  • you place high demands on yourself and your skis.
  • you like to ski fast and rather aggressively.
  • wide, fast and precise turns are right up your alley.
  • you are an excellent, seasoned and ambitious skier.
  • you have a lot of strength in your thighs.
  • you prefer hard-packed, groomed slopes.
  • you are always working on perfecting your skiing technique.
  • you want to have full control over your skis even at high speeds.
  • you don't want to compromise safety for the thrill of speed.

What are the characteristics of race carvers?

The build and design of race skis are similar to those of classic giant slalom skis: They are long and wider-waisted, making them ideal for wide radius turns (up to 30 metres). Due to their high torsional stiffness and hard flex, they are extremely stable and smooth-running at high speeds. Thanks to their special edges, race skis provide plenty of grip on hard-packed, groomed slopes and enough control on icy surfaces.

For comparison: The characteristics of race carvers differ significantly from the visibly shorter and much more narrow-waisted slalom carvers (turn radius of about 13 metres). The latter are more manoeuvrable and require less effort to initiate a turn. So they are better suited to those who prefer quick, sharp turns.

© Fischer Sports GmbH

The ideal ski size for giant slalom skis

Race skis can easily be as long as you are tall or even longer. Slalom carvers, on the other hand, only go up to about shoulder height. Shorter skis start to chatter when going very fast, so longer skis are simply easier to control at speed.

But remember: Your height is only one criterion for the length of your skis – others are your weight, skiing ability, and preferred skiing style or terrain.

The main characteristics of race carvers at a glance

  • wider waist
  • large radius
  • long length
  • high torsional stiffness
  • hard flex

Race skis for women and men

Women's skis – including race skis – are characterised by bindings mounted closer to the tip of the skis. The centre of gravity in women is usually further back than in men, so this improves power transmission. Because women generally tend to be shorter as well, the so-called lady carvers are available in shorter versions than men's race skis.

© Fischer Sports GmbH

Rent high-quality race skis at INTERSPORT Rent

INTERSPORT Rent carries the latest ski models of internationally renowned winter sports brands. This gives you the chance to test race skis by Atomic, Völkl, Rossignol and other leading manufacturers on the steepest, iciest and most notorious slopes in the world. Get a first impression of how the "speedsters" of the various brands differ and find out which one suits you best! Our RENTertainers at the shops will be glad to advise you on the models available.

Atomic Redster

© Atomic Austria GmbH

The Atomic Redster is synonymous with racing in the snow. The ski has its roots in Alpine ski racing – and it features genuine World Cup technologies. Characteristic for the Atomic Redster: the Revoshock technology, which minimises impacts and vibrations.

Our verdict: This revolutionary race ski stands for maximum acceleration during turns and excellent stability even at high speeds.

Rossignol Hero

The Hero by Rossignol is a race ski for top- and high-performance athletes. It goes without saying that the various race ski models in the Hero series comply with international FIS regulations. The narrow, stiff skis are recommended for experienced skiers who value having state-of-the-art equipment. If you got the technique down and are always hunting for new personal bests, the Rossignol Hero in its various versions is the right race carver for you.

© Rossignol

Völkl Racetiger

© VÖLKL / Syo van Vliet

More aggressive, narrower and designed for maximum speed: That's the best way to describe the race skis of the Racetiger family by Völkl. Developed over generations, these race ski models combine tradition and innovation. The result: full control and optimum power transmission for dynamic and powerful skiing.

Made for winners: The Racetiger giant slalom skis are also available in a World Cup version (Racetiger GS WC).

More ski equipment for speed freaks

If you love going fast, then all of your equipment should be geared to that. The winter sports experts of INTERSPORT Rent will be happy to equip you for warp speed, from head to toe. We offer first-rate racing equipment – including ...

Race bindings

Ideally, your ski bindings come from the same manufacturer as your race skis. Regardless of whether they are already mounted or not: Don’t compromise on the bindings! In the event of a fall or crash, it's all about when the binding mechanism releases so that you don't injure yourself. This is even more important for high-speed skis than for other models.

That's why you should always have the bindings adjusted by a professional. The correct adjustment depends on many factors, for instance, your height, weight, skiing ability and style. Tip: Let our RENTertainers adjust your bindings for you.

© Fischer Sports GmbH

Race ski boots

© Fischer Sports GmbH

Race ski boots must offer precise power transmission and maximum control over your skis. The stiffer they are, the more likely they will have these characteristics. Unfortunately, this also means that the boots are less comfortable than regular ski boots.

Race ski poles

Ski poles for racers need to be as robust as they are light. They have to withstand extreme speeds and mustn’t weigh down the skier. That’s why manufacturers usually use a blend of lightweight carbon and strong aluminium for them. Race ski poles ideally also have a non-slip, ergonomic grip that sits securely in your hand.

Important: Never go without a ski helmet! Find out how to choose the perfect helmet ...

© Fischer Sports GmbH


You are not yet entirely sure that race skis are the right choice? Then our article "Which carving ski is the right one for me?" might help you find the ideal skis for you. If you prefer personal and individual advice, go ahead and speak to our RENTertainers! You can find our winter sports experts in more than 800 INTERSPORT Rent shops in Europe and Canada.

Do you already know exactly what racing equipment to get? How about giving our three-step online reservation system a try? Step 1: Select your preferred location ...

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