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Ski sizing

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
How does one go about choosing the right size skis when purchasing?

I ask because I get different answers from different salesfolks for exactly the same skis!

I presume it involves some combination of height, weight, ability, type of ski, right?

I hope this isn't a too involved or broad question...
post #2 of 6
You're more or less right about the factors, but there's no set formula. Generally manufacturers will have a chart recommending a range of lengths based on your height and weight, and for the more agressive skier, recommend you pick the larger length, and shorter for less agressive. Tell us what skis you're looking at, and what your height, weight and ability are, and we'll help you out.
post #3 of 6
Although appropriate ski length does vary according to many factors, I'd bet that anything shorter than floor-to-chin would be shorter than you need and anything longer than floor-to-forehead would be longer than you need. There are specialty products, though, that are VERY short.

I've noticed that a lot of the strong youngbloods in the stores tend to sell you something stiffer and longer than you'd enjoy. If you're in the early stages of skiing, the best advice you can get is to get instruction and ask for suggestions about ski length.

But it's true that even in the same model, you may find one length that feels right at the up-to-the-chin length and also - same model ski - in the up-to-the-nose length.

As you'll read many, many times on this web site, TRY THEM OUT before you buy them - demo, demo, demo.

P.S. To get the most useful replies, HarvardTiger, tell us for how many years you've been skiing, how many times a year you ski, where you ski, the kinds of slopes or trails that you ski, and your age, height and weight.
post #4 of 6
HT, this is how you've described yourself on another thread: "Intermediate skier (probably level 5 or 6, 6'2" tall, 185 lbs." How old are you? How many days a year do you ski? Where? On what kind of trails/slopes?

Before you consider length, consider model. If you've previously skied many years ago on Kastles (and I don't know how to insert the umlaut - the two dots over the a), then you must be discovering that skis are used in much shorter lengths now, and there is a model to suit almost every skier. PLEASE do yourself a favor: Don't buy skis. Just rent them for now, and take some coaching from an instructor. Read the magazines, ask about different models on this site - take your time. Sooner or later, you'll develop your own thoughts about ski model and length. When you do, choose a few which you think will fill the bill and pay to DEMO the skis - try them out.

By the way, although I am not now and never was anything better than mediocre on skis, I went to college with Olympian skiers, and they pronounced the name of their skis of choice "KEST-lees". The other major brand at the time was Kneisle (sp?) which they pronounced K-NI-zll.
post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks - and some more info...

Many thanks for the info so far. Here's some more background and skis I'm currently considering.

Height: 6'2"
Weight: 185 lbs.
Age: 51
Level: 5 or 6 (5.5?)
Years skiing: ~ 22
Total days skiing: ~ 30 (yep, spread out over 22ish years!)

Skis tried: Kastle somethings in the mid-80's Loved 'em.
Skis owned: Rossignol S3 with Tyrolia 260D bindings
Boots owned: Hansen (ha ha), Nordica boots that looked like they were from Star Wars and had onboard heaters!

I've rented, rented and rented skis. Ho hum.

Demoing skis. I completely concur. But it is a challenge from a practicality standpoint. Going skiing for me is an ordeal. It involves flying out west and all that goes with that. I hope you guys understand that I really don't care to spend valuable ski trip time trying to locate, among various shops that I don't even know exists before getting out there, the skis that I am interested in trying. Then, there's the $$ to demo the good stuff. Essentially, I am for giving a short-list of skis a try; but, I'd like to get the ski shopping out of the way and get on with having fun using 'em!

Skiing style and interests: I ski groomed runs. I need to work on carving and making more efficient/appropriate turns for the steepness and surface. I would love to try out some powder; but, that can wait until my proficiency improves. I just want to be able to ski smoothly and efficiently and increase my steepness abilities.

Skis I am considering:
Dynastar Omecarve 9
Fischer RX 6
K2 Omni 5.5
Atomic C:9 Puls
Blizzard X05
Blizzard Sigma CXP
Volkl 5-Star
Volkl Energy 380
Rossignol Zenight Z5

I know that's a long list! I will be shaving it down (substantially) if I go demo-ing on the ski trip!

Many thanks in advance for all your input and help!

- Jim
post #6 of 6
Nice, list, Harvard - except for the Volkl 5*. The 4* would be better for you in an appropriate length. Also, the Fischer R6.

Suggestion: Since you're getting into this, why not buy the Fischer or the Volkl in an appropriate length and then just ski?! After that, coaching and mileage are what you'll want.

This is fascinating! I myself skied between the ages of 17 and 18 - then just got frustrated and quit. At the age of 50, I tried again - and got hooked.

I'd like to discuss this further. E-mail me (address is bg@vtlink.net ), I'll send you my phone number, and let's talk - ok?! and you know, "west" is not the only direction to go for skiing. I really have to admire a 50 year old guy from (gasp!) Montgomery, Alabama who's into skiing! Please do contact me.
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