Twin tips are fun. No matter your age or experience level, they are just plain fun.
They provide for a variety of ski styles, provide for freedom to explore, and the ability to get funky on skis. On groomers, in the terrain park, through mogul fields, and in powder they are a great go-to design.
OK, but what are twin tip skis?
What are Twin Tip Skis?
The design was originally created in 1974 for terrain parks and half pipes (jumps, tricks, harsh turns and landings, etc.) but it was not long before skiers began to discover their true calling – everywhere, anytime.
The twin tip description refers to the profile strictly on the tail and tip of any ski. Twin tip skis are skis that curve at the tip and tail (i.e. both tips curve and mirror each other). Meaning that any style of ski can have a twin tip feature (i.e. a powder ski with twin tips, a race ski with twin tips, an all-mountain ski with twin tips etc).
Twin tip skis help skiers performing freestyle tricks to land jumps more fluidly and to even ski backwards with ease (note: skiing backwards is a skill needed for initiating or landing tricks that require the skier to 180). This design is especially helpful for skiers who are beginners in the terrain park, as twin tips make small jumps and pipes in the park more manageable.
Types of Twin Tips
Twin tips is a general term referring to the variations of ski tips and tails: full (or true) twin tip, partial (or directional) twin tips. Skis without twin tips (either full or partial) usually have “flat tails”.
FULL TWIN TIPS
The tips and tails of a pair of full twin tip skis will be symmetrical in rise, flex, and rocker profile. Skiers often mount their bindings in the center so that they can take advantage of easily skiing forwards or backwards (referred to as ‘switched’). Full twin tips reduce the effective edge of the ski. A reduced effective edge means less of the ski will come in contact with the snow, which results in less grip and more of a buttery or surfy feel to the ski movement.
This type of full twin tip, with identical tips and tails, is great for freestyling and park and pipe, but is often used with other types of skis too – sometimes on all-mountain skis and powder skis.
PARTIAL TWIN TIPS
Partial twin tips will have slightly more rise and/or flex and/or length in the tip of the ski than the tail of the ski. In some cases, the tail may have a flared profile, where the tail is not quite as rounded as the tip, but there is some upward curve to it. Partial twin tips are intended primarily to be skied forwards but can be skied backwards with some skill.
These are usually found on all-mountain skis and powder skis – and sometimes on Carving Skis or Big Mountain Skis.
Flat tip skis are more traditional skis. A flat ski will actually appear straight and flat when there is not weight on it (i.e. no space between the base of the ski and surface, without applied weight). Flat skis make turn transitions more aggressive and are known for having a better edge grip. This type of ski is known for its control and stability and is most often found on carving skis and sometimes on big mountain skis.
When to Ski Twin Tips
Most all-mountain skis have the twin tip design. It helps skiers ski better in all mountain conditions and terrain. They are great for moguls as the turning and maneuvering of the skis is much easier with twin tips.
Generally, twin tips provide for a more symmetrical ski, whether facing forward or backwards, it will ski just the same. This is even more so the case with Full Twin Tip vs Partial Twin Tips.
It also helps you curve out of turns with more ease and less effort, allowing the ski to be more flexible and react quicker to the skier’s movement. Beginner skiers will find advantage in having twin tip skis. The twin tips help the skis to maneuver and turn with less effort, which will benefit new skiers who are just getting used to the sensation of turning anyway.
Powder skis often also benefit from some tip of twin tip – be it partial or full twin tip.
Carving Skis more often have flat tails- but if you’re looking for something good for carving, but want just that little bit more forgiveness in the tail, then there are carving skis with partial twin tips too.
There are many advantages of having Twin Tips on your skis – and whether you go for Full Twin Tip, Partial Twin Tip or go with e Flat Tail instead, depends on a number of things including:
- Your ability level
- Your style of skiing
- The type of terrain you ski most often
For more on how to choose the best skis for you, check out:
If you have any questions or comments, or reasons why you prefer one or the other, feel free to leave a comment below.