I don't ski enough to justify the cost of buying skis in the household budget, so I just hire when I go. This will be my 4th year in Perisher and with daily lessons I've slowly progressed over the last 3 years of 5-day stays to the point where I can confidently parallel turn and pole-plant. Last year I finished on level 4 lessons and was told that if I was staying another day I should join a level 5 group. I'm looking at a 9-day mid-August stay this year and I'm wondering if I should hire the basic cheapest skis again or consider the "performance" skis. The decision isn't helped by not knowing what "performance" skis actually are. I guess that they would be "allround" skis rather than "beginner" skis as defined here: http://www.mechanicsofsport.com/skiing/equipment/skis.html So I'm thinking that "performance" hire skis would be longer and stiffer than what I'm used to (Note: not to be taken out of context!) and maybe a bit more inclined to throw me off. I wasn't going fast enough last year to have any issues with flexing, but after 9 days this year? Should I upgrade straight up or go with the standard skis at first and try upgrading as my speed & skill improve? Or am I kidding myself that I'm anywhere near needing to upgrade?