Hello all - I've noticed that one of the problems we have when describing ourselves is that words like "big," or "heavy," or "tall" are used ten different ways by 10 different members. Nor do actual heights and weights help much out of context. Eg, is 5' 10" "tall" or "average?" So here are the latest CDC heights and weights collected 2007-2010, in inches and lbs, for the 5th, 25th, 50th (the median, or value with half above and half below), 75th, and 95th percentiles of all Americans aged 30-39. If you're numbers oriented, it's Series 11, #252. I chose 30-39 years because I have a hunch it's the largest single decade membership. If you're older, add 2 lbs per decade for each percentile and subtract about a 1/2 inch. Finally, I've rounded to either .5 or the next whole value up or down, depending on what the tenths decimal is closest to.

I propose that when categorizing ourselves for purposes of seeking gear, we call 5th to 25th percentile for weight as "light," 25th to 50th as "light-average," 50th to 75th as "average-heavy," and 75th to 95th as "heavy." For height, we could do 5th to 25th as "short," 25th to 50th as "short-average," 50th to 75th as "average-tall," and 75th to 95th as "tall." Open to suggestions for other adjectives; they don't matter as long as we all know what we're talking about. Also, having four categories helps with a fit to the typical four ski lengths a maker offers, but nothing magical about the increments. And there are no smaller or larger percentiles offered than 5th and 95th, so some compression relative to the 25 percent range of the others.

Here are the numbers:

Females' Weight: 5th 112 lbs; 25th 137 lbs; 50th 160 lbs; 75th 194 lbs; 95th 254 lbs

Males' Weight: 5th 139.5 lbs; 25th 166 lbs; 50th 191 lbs; 75th 223 lbs; 95th 282 lbs

Females' Height: 5th 60 in; 25th 62 in; 50th 64 in; 75th 66 in; 95th 69 in

Males' Height: 5th 64 in; 25th 68 in; 50th 69.5 in; 75th 71.5 in; 95th 74 in

Now keep in mind that you could be heavy for your height or light, for example. The easiest way to see is to compare percentiles. But the ski flex doesn't care how tall you are, although its tip may notice.

Edited by beyond - 6/3/13 at 9:29pm