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How to get the right length ski...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I have seen in many retail and rental shops, salespeople/ technicians just using height and weight as the primary factors in determining ski length. Though they are important, there is another factor which equals those.

The percentage of leg length, compared to the entire body is almost more important. When a person has long legs, they have a longer lever arm with which to turn the skis. Thusly, they can comfortably handle a slightly longer ski. Inversely, with shorter legs, and a shorter lever arm, they will be more comfortable on a shorter ski.

How to measure-

1)- Identify your HIP JOINT.
(If you are not sure where it is, lift your knee to 90 degrees while finding the spot where the femur attaches to the pelvis.)

2)- Eyeball your leg length from ANKLE to HIP JOINT.

3)- Eyeball the length of the torso from the TOP of the SHOULDER to the HIP JOINT.

If the leg is significantly longer, go with the slightly longer ski. If you are closer to 50/50, or longer in the torso, go to the shorter ski.

I can assure you it will result in better skiing and more enjoyment.

Get out and RIP!

post #2 of 5
VSP, any further thoughts on this?
post #3 of 5
Hmmm. I'm 5'8", 165 lbs with a 30" inseam and love my 186 Mojo 90s and 183 Gotamas. I tried shorter skis and didn't like them, especially on steep terrain with deeper snow and/or chop & crud. We get a lot of heavy, deep snow around here that gets skied out quickly and often gets crusty. The longer skis were far more confidence inspiring in these types of conditions and allow me to keep my weight forward or neutral without worrying about going over the handlebars. I avoid groomers and moguls, except as necessary to get back to the lift

I think there might be another component - skier ability. And another - type of terrain & snow. And yet another - skier preference.

The formula you reference might be fine for someone starting or a solid intermediate out who doesn't know what length of ski will work for them, but once you've been at it for a few years and have the confidence and ability to tackle whatever the mountain can throw at you, such simplistic formulas don't work any more. Better to just demo a bunch of different skis in different lengths and find out what works best for you in the conditions and terrain you typically ski (or, "How I fell in love with my skis before buying them").

Just this skier's opinion, based on what's worked for me.
post #4 of 5
Body shape, body size, body weight, skier ability, skier aggressiveness, ski construction. The hard charging skier needs more ski than the easy-going skier, everything else remaining the same. This could be a longer length of the same model ski, or the same length of a different model, or combination of both. With out thorough demoing, it's just a guess. Too many folks don't understand that a longer ski of the same model is also stiffer. The ski makers sometimes make their longest ski of one model much more demanding than the ski just one size shorter.

post #5 of 5
Way to complicate a relatively simple process.

SL/GS ski: FIS regulations
Carving ski: Nose
Powder ski: Longest one they make
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