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Skis - Ski Length

Skis - Ski Length After deciding on the Ski Type you need, you then have to choose the appropriate Ski Length. This is very important since it greatly affects your performance in Skiing. Besides, you will not be comfortable in Skiing if you do not have the Skis with the proper Ski Length for you. The Ski Length will vary as you progress- from short to longer Skis, or nose-height Skis at the start, then Head-height when you feel a bit more confident. In this section, we will take a look at the different things to consider in finding the Correct Ski Length:
  • You need to consider the Skiing Discipline that you want to do, your level of Skiing skill, and also your weight. These factors are definitely great indicators in finding the Correct Ski Length for you.

  • Most Skis are measured in centimeters (cm). Conventional Skis usually have five cm increments - from approximately 175 to 210 cm, and most Shaped Skis are 160 cm, 180 cm, or 190 cm long. Most Carving Skis are about 20 cm shorter than the traditional ones. As one of the general guidelines, most Carving Skis should reach between your nose and your forehead.

  • Your weight can be a useful guide in choosing the right
    Ski Length. Ski manufacturers are creating different Skis suited for people in varying weights. It pays to listen to the salesperson or technician. In general, they know better what is right for you. But the right Ski Length can be determined based on the "feel" of the Skis. It falls on the pair of Skis that feels not too long and not too short. Do not go for the extremes. Select the pair that feels right for you.

  • If you want Skis that will enable you to steer more easily and carve more effectively at slow speed, choose shorter Skis. Likewise, they are lightweight and very stable.

  • If you want to ski through different Snow Conditions such as Crud Snow Condition and tracked Powder Snow Condition, choose longer Skis to keep you centered and to smoothen out Moguls. Longer Skis are also the effective Skis for very aggressive skiers who ski for speed in mountain conditions.
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Make sure to determine the Correct Ski Length according to your skill level, your weight, and the Skiing Discipline that you want to pursue. More and more variations of Skis are flooding the market today so you really need to consider these factors so that you can pick out the Skis with the Ski Length suited to your Skiing needs.

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Article Comments
Tuesday 14th August 2007 at 4:23:44 PM  

I think ski length should be selected according to one's weight. What the ski "feels" is your weight not your height but, if you are a beginner, choosing a shorter ski will facilitate learning. Once you have mastered parallel skiing you can start selecting a more specific lenght and sidecut. As long as you stay on gentle slopes, short and soft skis will work well enough, as soon as you go to the steeper and harder ones you'll feel the need for a different, more advanced ski.
Excuse my poor english, I'm from Argentina, South America, I hope what I wrote above will be useful to some beginner fighting to maneuver his too long skis.

Jorge Belloni
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Sunday 15th February 2009 at 9:46:13 AM  

Jorge, Thank you for your comments. I just started skiing again after 15 yrs. I was an advanced beginner then. A friend suggested a short ski to start. I did well with them, but i found that when i went fast on a steeper hill, i was out of control. I agree with you, because i am 6''2" and weigh over 230lbs. I am now going to try a longer ski that will give me the stability. Thank you and your English is great.

Friday 22nd October 2010 at 3:19:58 AM  

i am pretty good skier:)) am trying to buy the skis rossignol S2. am 172cm hight and am interested what lenghth is the best size for me.

Saturday 1st January 2011 at 2:13:27 PM  

Well, skis require your height not weight, since the weight is calculated based on your height. Having shorter skis could be good tool for new skiers, but having longer will improve your skills and have better control on the slope.
Skis height equal to your nose height is good to maintain for the first year then you can get longer to your forehead.

I would like to conclude that this is a great website for skiers. Thanks for the host team and well done.

Sunday 30th January 2011 at 7:21:33 PM  

I weigh 160 lbs and bought shaped skis 2 years ago that are 175 cm. On steeper slopes and in deeper snow, I feel slightly out of control most of the time, though I still have fun. In talking to someone recently they suggested a shorter shaped ski, perhaps 160cm based on my weight. I consider myself an intermdiate skier and am looking for advice. Would 160cm be better for my weight? How much of a control difference is their between 160 and 175cm?

Thanks in advance

Sunday 6th February 2011 at 11:37:26 AM  

@Matt: Yes, 160cm should suit you much better. As an example, I am 180 lbs. and ski on 170cm skis. My brother is ~230 lbs. and skis on 190''s. The primary factor is indeed weight, not height as others have suggested.

Height used to be the primary determination of ski length, but when shaped skis came out almost 20 years ago, that concept changed to a more accurate measure of one''s ability to flex the ski ... i.e., weight. In fact, when shaped skis were first released they didn''t even have cm lengths on them, rather they had "power ratings" which were correlated to weight. This didn''t go over well with long time ski buyers, so it was quickly replaced by putting ski lengths back on in cm. This is when skis stopped coming in only 5 cm increments and started being all kinds of odd measurements. Why, because they are designed for a specific weight range and the length is then measured secondarily.

It is true that height is a good first indicator, but it will only tell you to ski something that falls between your chin and the top of your head. You actual weight will tell you more the appropriate size, but even that will be different depending on the type of ski, your style and ability.

Sunday 27th February 2011 at 12:21:12 AM  

Hi, I am considering purchasing new skis. I am a female advanced skiier. I can ski any terrain, preferring to ski moguls, steeps and bowls (when there is powder). Though advanced, I am moderately aggressive. I weigh 108 lbs and am 5''1". Any recommendations on an appropriate length (and better yet, model?). Many thanks!

Monday 18th July 2011 at 8:44:50 PM  

Base on your skill level as well as your height, the appropriate ski length for you would be 146-150 cm.

Tuesday 2nd August 2011 at 8:38:47 PM  

I am a beginner and really enjoy the sport. I think i am a quick learner and have picked it up quite nicely. I am really looking to build my skills in the sport. I am 175cm tall and weigh 63kg-65kg. Based on the above: What ski length would you suggest? Also any other comments would be much appreciated :)

Wednesday 8th February 2012 at 1:08:03 PM  

The right length for the ski is important and you want to pick on that matches you.

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