or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Selecting Ski Length

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

In researching what size skis to buy, I am seeing two schools of thought. One is based on height, another based on weight. If I go by one, I'm on a pair in the mid 150s, if I go by another i'm in the 170s. 

 

What to do?

post #2 of 15

I'd go by your weight more than height.

post #3 of 15

Ski length is really tricky.  Generally the most important determinants are ability, weight, and skiing style, along with the ski itself.  Generally the only way to really know is to demo the particular skis in a couple of different lengths, which is not always an available option.  Alternately, if you've had a chance to get on another ski or skis,  but not the particular model you're thinking about, you could post on here telling us how you liked the various length/model combos you've been on, and then then ask for a length recommendation for the ski you're interested in.

 

Also, I've found the manufacturers' online length algorithms can give ridiculous results.  If you're not buying from a shop, it's better to call the manufacturer's customer service line and ask for guidance.


Edited by chemist - 1/23/16 at 5:24pm
post #4 of 15

Go by weight and use height as the deciding variable if your weight puts you between sizes.

post #5 of 15

When going by weight, does one go by naked body weight or weight with ski clothes and boots on (because that stuff weighs a lot)?

post #6 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
 

When going by weight, does one go by naked body weight or weight with ski clothes and boots on (because that stuff weighs a lot)?


I have found that if you look at the range of lengths the ski comes in, and place yourself in the same spot on that range as you would place yourself in the range of weight skiers come in it works pretty well for a starting point.  Adjust up or down based on where and how you ski (e.g. faster than most skiers go up a length, wide open spaces up, tight spaces and slow turns go down a length, extra tall up half a length).  I also find that once positioned on the range it doesn't really change that much from ski to ski (For example I usually end up happiest with the 2nd longest length).

post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott112 View Post
 

In researching what size skis to buy, I am seeing two schools of thought. One is based on height, another based on weight. If I go by one, I'm on a pair in the mid 150s, if I go by another i'm in the 170s.

 

What to do?

What to do? Help us out by posting some more info. Height, weight, skiing ability, region you ski, how many days a season? Powder, groom, steeps, trees? Speed or relaxed? It all plays in. There are two schools of thought on here too. One East of the Mississippi and one West of the Mississippi, but I bet we are a way better source than "The Oracle" (Google).

post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by offpiste View Post

What to do? Help us out by posting some more info. Height, weight, skiing ability, region you ski, how many days a season? Powder, groom, steeps, trees? Speed or relaxed? It all plays in. There are two schools of thought on here too. One East of the Mississippi and one West of the Mississippi, but I bet we are a way better source than "The Oracle" (Google).

5'5, 200, within 6-12 months hoping to be at 150. Beginning on snow, moving carpet lessons I can do 3 different types of parabolic turns, just need Mileage to be able to apply. California/West Coast, mammoth and southern cal mostly. Groomed. On piste.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott112 View Post


5'5, 200, within 6-12 months hoping to be at 150. 

 

That's tricky. If you buy a ski for your current weight it will unsuitable in 6-12 months when you drop that 50#.

post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by scott112 View Post


5'5, 200, within 6-12 months hoping to be at 150. Beginning on snow, moving carpet lessons I can do 3 different types of parabolic turns, just need Mileage to be able to apply. California/West Coast, mammoth and southern cal mostly. Groomed. On piste.

It sounds like you are quite new. A seasonal rental might be more flexible until you get your skis under you. If you improve quickly, you can always swap out for a different length through the season. That being said, either length would suffice. If you feel you will improve significantly, the longer length will give you some growing room and are a little more work out of the gate, but not horribly. The shorter length is good while you are working up to parallel turns because you are not used to having something longer than your feet down there. It sounds like you may be in the latter group. Many will say that there are hard and fast rules about ski lengths. This height, this weight, this ability = this ski and to a point it is quite accurate, but it doesn't take ambition into account. If you are driven to improve your skills, are somewhat athletic with a basic concept of physics and you have enough days on the hill, you can quite easily get ahead of the curve. Personal commitment has a lot to do with it, which is why I suggested the seasonal rental. You don't want to purchase a piece of gear and out perform it in a season or have it work you too much while you are learning. Something to keep in mind. Welcome to Epic. I hope you have a wonderful experience skiing...I do.

post #11 of 15

Lenght vs height: the taller you are, the more lenght you'll need for BALANCE... Think of a tree and his roots...

Lenght vs weight: this is more a matter of having sufficient edge lenght for CONTROL...Think of a truck with the tires of a Prius...

 

So basically, if you're:

  • tall and skinny: a long but supple ski
  • tall and heavy: a long and stiffer ski
  • short and skinny: a short supple ski
  • short and heavy: a longer ski and/or stiffer ski...

And then, there is personal preferences...

post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ghost View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toecutter View Post
 

When going by weight, does one go by naked body weight or weight with ski clothes and boots on (because that stuff weighs a lot)?


I have found that if you look at the range of lengths the ski comes in, and place yourself in the same spot on that range as you would place yourself in the range of weight skiers come in it works pretty well for a starting point.  Adjust up or down based on where and how you ski (e.g. faster than most skiers go up a length, wide open spaces up, tight spaces and slow turns go down a length, extra tall up half a length).  I also find that once positioned on the range it doesn't really change that much from ski to ski (For example I usually end up happiest with the 2nd longest length).

This^^^^^

Note that different styles of skis come in different length ranges. Frontside carving skis will be a lot shorter than powder skis--for the same skier.

IMO strength and ability matter a lot more than height and weight. And picking a ski with the right stiffness matters more than picking the right length. My son and I are the same height and weight (but not the same percentage body fat) and he can handle a much longer stiffer ski than I can. I would agree that for a beginner hoping to continue in the sport, it makes sense to minimize the gear investment initially, as the skier won't be getting much use out of it.

post #13 of 15
Skis are made stiffer as they're made longer. The ski needs to respond to the energy the skier puts into it. A 6' 200#, say, green run skier will need a shorter (softer) ski of the same model than a same-sized black diamond skier.

I stumbled into a system that works well for me. At my size and ski energy the size one down from the max of that model works great for me. The longest (stiffest) length is made for the biggest, strongest, fastest skier on the mountain. That ain't me. My main skis come in a 177 max, and the 170 is my choice. My powder skis come in a 186 max, and the 180 is just right for me. You may consider something like this for yourself.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoftSnowGuy View Post

Skis are made stiffer as they're made longer. The ski needs to respond to the energy the skier puts into it. A 6' 200#, say, green run skier will need a shorter (softer) ski of the same model than a same-sized black diamond skier.

I stumbled into a system that works well for me. At my size and ski energy the size one down from the max of that model works great for me. The longest (stiffest) length is made for the biggest, strongest, fastest skier on the mountain. That ain't me. My main skis come in a 177 max, and the 170 is my choice. My powder skis come in a 186 max, and the 180 is just right for me. You may consider something like this for yourself.

It may be true for some (rare) models but certainly not the case for most of the skis... An exemple? I prefered to ski bumps on a 183 Speed Course Ti versus a 177 cm because the flex of the longer skis were much smoother in bumps...

If you look at skis that change underfoot widht while changing lenght, these skis will be compensated ( to a point) as they get longer ( like the Armada TST)... 

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by offpiste View Post
 

It sounds like you are quite new. A seasonal rental might be more flexible until you get your skis under you. If you improve quickly, you can always swap out for a different length through the season. That being said, either length would suffice. If you feel you will improve significantly, the longer length will give you some growing room and are a little more work out of the gate, but not horribly. The shorter length is good while you are working up to parallel turns because you are not used to having something longer than your feet down there. It sounds like you may be in the latter group. Many will say that there are hard and fast rules about ski lengths. This height, this weight, this ability = this ski and to a point it is quite accurate, but it doesn't take ambition into account. If you are driven to improve your skills, are somewhat athletic with a basic concept of physics and you have enough days on the hill, you can quite easily get ahead of the curve. Personal commitment has a lot to do with it, which is why I suggested the seasonal rental. You don't want to purchase a piece of gear and out perform it in a season or have it work you too much while you are learning. Something to keep in mind. Welcome to Epic. I hope you have a wonderful experience skiing...I do.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by scott112 View Post


5'5, 200, within 6-12 months hoping to be at 150. Beginning on snow, moving carpet lessons I can do 3 different types of parabolic turns, just need Mileage to be able to apply. California/West Coast, mammoth and southern cal mostly. Groomed. On piste.

 

Being a beginner I  think you should err on the side of height which would put you on a shorter ski and probably would be still be good when you get down to 150. The height rule of thumb  for a beginner is chin high I think. Given your current  weight I would go nose high or a little more. I am 5'4 150lbs but the last few years pushing 165. I am finding that it takes more to drive the longer, stiffer skis I got when I was heavier. As you improve and learn how to ride the ski you will be better able to figure out what length works best for you. Good Luck!

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Ski Gear Discussion