Most shops seem to be out to confuse you! They give their equipment levels all sorts of waffly names which don't tell you anything at all about what's in them (gold, innovate, prestige etc etc), so you have no idea really what to book.
At Snowberry we keep it dead simple, what you see is what you get, so our categories are named according to ability level. You just choose the one that matches you. We give you a guideline based on your number of weeks' experience, though there is a bit of crossover in this.
To keep it even more simple we have the same 5 adult ability levels in our three categories, Premium, Economy and Budget. The only difference is the age of the ski (and of course the price).
Our Specialist Expert skis really are the very best of the very best out there, these are what the real pros ski on. To give you plenty of choice, we have very wide range of models but we don't have many in each size so if you want these skis get in quickly - you won't find them in other shops!
Weeks' experience: 20+ weeks' experience
Advanced/Expert level is where skiing really starts to become fun and the different disciplines separate quite distinctly, with skis to match. High end piste skis hold on to the carve for grim death while at the other end of the range All Mountain Backside skis are wide, soft and floaty for plenty of flotation in softer, deeper snow or long and stiff as befits a crud-charger.
Weeks' experience: for 12+ weeks' experience
At intermediate/advanced level, skis are designed to engage quickly in the turn and hold on to the carve but at the same time they will allow you a bit of a skid where you still need it, especially at the end of the turn. These are the skis to push you to perfect your carving technique.
Weeks' experience: for 6-15 weeks' experience
Once you reach the stage where you are happy for a few hours on your own, without an instructor, you need to step your skis up a level too. Our lower intermediate skis are shaped to encourage the transition from skid to carve yet still allow you to break out of the end of the turn when you need to and are soft enough to let you get away with the inevitable wobbles.
Weeks' experience: for 1-8 weeks' experience
Soft flexing skis designed specifically for beginners make it easy to tip the ski over on the edge to initiate a turn and collapse easily into a skid or plough, also giving you plenty of time to correct your mistakes before they react. Watch out for other shops putting beginner skiers on old downgraded advanced skis - it's downright dangerous.
Weeks' experience: for 0-2 weeks' experience
Over the last few years we've had an increasing number of properly good junior skiers who are frustrated because they can't get the sort of skis they're after in the sizes they need! Our junior expert skis really are just that - proper race, all mountain and specialist off piste skis for younger skiers. Age depends on the model but we usually have the shortest available. Booking strongly recommended as supply is very limited!
Age from approx: 8 -12 years depending on height
Weeks' experience: for 10+ weeks' experience
Once your kids have a few holidays under their belts and especially if they are confident and sporty, it's time to move up to the next level. These skis are more shaped, to encourage them as they develop their carving skills and hold onto the edge until the end of the turn, and stiffer to support them through the turn at higher speeds
Age from approx: 7-12 years depending on height
Weeks' experience: for 4 - 12 weeks' experience
Soft, easy skis for children starting out on snow through to early intermediate level. Skis go down to 65cms - the smallest made - in this range, but plenty of longer skis and slightly stiffer models available too for older children with a bit more experience.
Age from approx: 3 - 12 years depending on height
Weeks' experience: for 0 - 6 weeks' experience