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A question of size

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

In most of the ski web sites when look to size the length of a ski it says something like

Beginners chin height

Intermediate nose height

Expert, forehead height

The question is this in bare feet, shoes on, in ski boots, what?

Seems like a silly question, but I dont really see much on this, probably looking in the wrong place. Maybe someone can answer, or direct me to somewhere with a little more info?


post #2 of 3

I would add "ish" after each of the stated heights; i.e nose height-ish.


Barefoot to shoes, to ski boots change your height about 3/4" to 1.5" (ish th_dunno-1[1].gif) which is about 5cm.  You probably won't notice much difference in a ski that is 5cm longer as long as everything else is equal.


There's a bigger variation on the size of the chin, nose and forehead (my forehead is being more exposed every year eek.gif).  Above the eyebrow to below the hairline is all forehead and I think for most folks would be about 4+ inches or at least 10cm.


Then you could throw in the whole twin tip to rocker thing and it could really get complicated.


Chances are that when you are out buying skis you'll have shoes on (less than 2cm) so I would just go with that.


I did come across a site that had a formula for different types of skis and abilities.  I'll see if I can find it again. 



post #3 of 3

Hi OS1--I suppose that those numbers are as good a starting point for an "average" ski as any. Unfortunately, it depends on a lot more, and there is no such thing as an "average ski." I'm 6'1" and about 160 lbs. and the skis I ski on regularly range from 165cm (just above chin height) to 191cm. Occasionally I'll ski shorter than 165cm, and if I were racing downhill or SuperG ("speed events"), I'd go longer than the 191's (which are Giant Slalom race skis). 


Ski length depends a lot more on factors other than height. Ski type, conditions and terrain, preferences for speed and turn size...these are the critical factors in finding the "right" ski length. 


For a first-time beginner, I would recommend typical beginner skis that are no longer than chin height, as you've suggested. But there are skis much shorter than that that are specially designed for beginners, and that can make the early learning experience very easy and productive and fun. If you are a first-time beginner, or looking for advice for one, I would recommend that you go with what the rental shop at the resort you will ski at has for you. And above all, sign up for lessons. The instructor will help you fine tune your selection as needed, and help you decide when to upgrade.


If you are not a beginner, then you probably know what has worked for you as well as anyone. If you want specific suggestions, or if it's been a while, then by all means take a lesson. At any level of skill, a good lesson will open new doors of enjoyment, and it is the best way to get the personalized advice that you really need.


Good luck with everything. Keep us posted!


Best regards,

Bob Barnes

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