Find the Right Ski


9 slalom skis guaranteed to make your sets easier and more fun

Let's be honest. Some of us are forking over far too much cash for a ski that's way too advanced for our skill level. You know who you are. But don't be ashamed. Sleek, top of-the-line sticks are tough to resist. Who didn't dream of driving a Ferrari when they fi rst got their learner's permit? Think about what we would've done to the clutch, though. Not pretty, and no fun, either.

Struggling with a ride that's not suited to your skiing can stunt your progression, not to mention ruin your set. Consider instead, one of the nine pleasure platforms in this lineup. They're accessible and affordable. And they'll flat out help you ski better.

It's your choice. Would you rather be styling on the dock, or having fun on the water?


Wide and Stable Skis
The skis in this group are designed for beginning skiers or anyone simply looking to easily cruise the lake. Wider profi les make these skis easy for deepwater starts and skiing at slower speeds.

1) Radar P6 (65", 67", 69") MSRP: $209: The most stable of the wide skis tested, the Radar P6 is a traditional-shape recreational ski for those looking for stability and casual skiing at slower speeds. The P6 will cut through the wakes and throw up a wall of water. This ski is designed for long, comfortable cruises around the lake.

2) HO Rival (66.5", 68.5") MSRP: $295: The HO Rival is the perfect fi rst ski. It is perhaps the easiest ski on the market for those beginning to take on deepwater starts. Once you get going on the Rival, it is stable and comfortable for easy turns and cruising behind the boat.

3) Connelly Outlaw (65", 67", 69") MSRP: $239: The Outlaw has the highest performance of the wide skis. It is a great ski to learn to get out of the water on and if you are looking for some fun, this is the wide ski for you. It is not as stable as others in the group, but it turns easily and edges through the wake like a champ.

Midrange Skis
Midrange skis bridge the gap between the ultra-stable wide skis and the more aggressive performance skis. Ridden at slower speeds, these skis carve turns and track through the wakes nearly as well as the performance skis.

4) HO Triumph (65", 67", 69", 71") MSRP: $405: The HO Triumph is a recreational ski with the heart of a tournament ski. It's a great choice for a skier looking for easy deepwater starts and stability with the basic feel of a more advanced ski. This ski carves a turn and goes through the wakes better than most skis of the same size. Female swervers should take a serious look at the Siren, which is a women's version of the Triumph (available in 63" and 65").

5) HO Comp Freeride (65" Venture, 67" Burner, 69" Charger, 71" Magnum) MSRP: $325: The Comp Freeride skis require a little less skill than the other skis in this group. They hold well through the wakes and carve big turns with very little effort. As their name implies, the Comp Freeride skis are designed for free-skiing around the lake.

6) O'Brien Synchro (63", 66", 69") MSRP: $259.99: The Synchro is the only ski on the market that has been used to run deep shortline in a cash prize event. It is also a great option for beginning skiers. With a wide body design and a distinctively shaped profile, the Synchro gives the recreational skier easy deepwater starts and very smooth turns. This stick has the widest appeal of any of the recreational skis tested.

Performance Skis
The skis in this group are more aggressive and technical. Generally speaking, these are designed to be skied a few miles per hour faster than the midrange or wide skis.

7) Radar Senate (65", 67", 69") MSRP: $380.99: The Radar Senate is a softer fl ex version of the Radar Senate AC. Both skis are wider versions of Radar's top-of-the line MPD. Taking advantage of the MPD's basic shape, the Senate rides like a tournament ski for the masses. For the skier moving up from a midrange ski looking to start shortening the rope, the Senate is a solid performer.

8) Radar Theory (65", 67", 69") MSRP: $248.99: The Radar Theory, like the Senate, shares basic design elements with Radar's MPD. The Theory is wider and softer in flex than the Senate, which offers the skier more stability. This ski is still slalom-course capable, but is aimed at a less-aggressive skier who wants a smooth carving ski for a relaxed day at the lake.

9) Connelly F1X (65", 67", 69") MSRP: $310: The F1X is an aggressive and fun ski for anyone wanting to crank hard turns and create a wall of spray like the pros. Like the top-of-the-line Connelly skis, it turns fast and then rockets through the wakes. The F1X is a great ski for learning to run the slalom course at speeds up to 34 mph.