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Ski Length ??

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
This question may sound stupid and simplistic and let me apologize before hand if it is but, here it goes:

How do you know when your skis are too long or too short? In other words how do you determine the correct ski length? Specially with the new shapes of skis available now.

Thanks
post #2 of 16
Beats the heck out of me. What works best for you is a combination of a myriad of factors: weight, skill level, terrain skied, style of skiing. In general I find:

More length give float and more stability at speed.

Short make it turn quicker.


But choosing between a 177cm or 184cm lenght of the same ski can only be answered for sure with a demo or wicked gossip from these forums.
post #3 of 16
There are no stupid questions.

A rough generic rule of thumb is chin high for novice, nose high for intermediate, forehead high for advanced. But length also depends upon your preferences, the ski design, and where you like to ski. For example, a shorter ski may hold better on hard snow and ice than the same ski in a longer length, but the trade off may be less stablity for you at higher speeds.

The current skis are designed to be skied in much shorter lengths than the traditional skis were. You could downsize by as much as 30 to 40cm if you liked traditional skis in the 200cm range.

Jim
post #4 of 16
Your skis are too short when you experience instability at speeds you want to go and are otherwise comfortable with.

Your skis are too long when you can't decend a steep pitch in control, or make tight turns in trees, narrow trails or moguls.

Skis are too skinny when your tips dive in powder or get bashed around in crud.

Skis are too fat when you cant change edge angles fast enough or hold on ice.

The answer is: get a short skinny pair and a long fat pair and you should be good for whatever the day throws at you. Be sure to bring a caddy. And if you like Caddy I be sure to check out Caddy II.
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuyax
In other words how do you determine the correct ski length?
Thanks
I was always told to hold my arm straight up over my head and the ski should reach my palm. That rule of thumb might be a little outdated though.....
post #6 of 16
Just get 170's
That is the popular choice now. Just do what everyone else does and you will be fine.
Unless you are racing, will you ever need to venture to a 190.
I like 180's.
This has nothing to do with weight, ability, or skill mind you. This is merely opinion.
In any event demo!!!
post #7 of 16
I just went from 205 straight skis to 178 Atomic M9's. Not sure what to expect as I havent skied them yet. They sure are short and much softer than my old boards
post #8 of 16
racetra : You'll be fine ! The newer shorter stuff is much improved and its just the way it is !!! Shorter is now what's happening

in 9 yrs i went from 205's to 184's to 178's to the 170's i just bought 170 and they hold and rip better than the old 205's did.

Yuyax : Cirquerider and the Jim's are on target
post #9 of 16
Agree very much with Cirquerider and JimL!

However, to start with, (for modern shaped skis) here are the 4 steps I like:
1) Starting length size: up to 100lb = 140cm; 101-115lb = 145cm; 116-130lb = 150cm; 131-150lb = 155cm; 151-175lb = 160cm; 176-200lb = 165cm; 201 and up = 170cm.
2) Add 0cm if you are a beginner; 5cm intermediate; 10cm advanced/expert.
3) Add 0cm if you ski mostly groomed or hard snow; 5cm off-piste or soft snow.
4) Add 2cm if you ski slalom race, freestyle, or park tricks; 10cm all-mountain, GS race, freeride, or powder.

The result after step #4 is a good starting length. Try a couple of pairs with different lengths close this. Ski them on the terrain(s) and the skiing style(s) you intend to. The one you feel comfy most is the right size!

Keep in mind that certain skis are designed to be even shorter so you need to read manufacturer's specs (or hear gossips here ). Example: Rossignol T-Power Viper X is designed to be a fast compact ski whose ideal length is about 8cm shorter than other shaped skis. And guess what? More and more manufacturers follow this trend.

Good luck!
post #10 of 16
I just got my 185cm M:EX's into the pow for the first time (15" at Breck ... stick that in your pipe and smoke it Seattle). They were awesome. Any less ski would have been insufficient float.

According to Atomic's sizing chart, at 6'2", 210lbs, expert, long radius, yada, yada, yada, I should be barely into a 175cm. That's a load of crap. The 185 is a perfect board and certainly not too much ski for someone my size.

My opinion is that if you're 6', 200lbs, or more - a legitimate expert with above average strength, you can handle as long a board as the manufacturer puts out there. (If you're not big enough, then who is?) If I had a 175cm in the deep stuff, I'd have probably been going over the handlebars all day long. As it was, I was able to rip it up (21,000 vertical feet : ) on my 185s
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
I was always told to hold my arm straight up over my head and the ski should reach my palm. That rule of thumb might be a little outdated though.....
I surely hope you said this tongue in cheek. Yes, that rule of thumb is a couple of decades outdated.
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stratify
) If I had a 175cm in the deep stuff, I'd have probably been going over the handlebars all day long.
You probably just need to learn to ski, you loser! No, just kidding. I agree with you.

I use my longest skis (186) in deep powder, some 171-180 in mixed and 170 SL skis on hardpack. Snow type seems to be left out of the equation too often. I have friends who won't give up their 165's and ski powder by trenching the slope. I also have friends on their 190's who will never cut a short radius arc on corduroy until they see the light and try a short radius short ski.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Be sure to bring a caddy. And if you like Caddy I be sure to check out Caddy II.
That is freakin' hilarious
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider
Be sure to bring a caddy. And if you like Caddy I be sure to check out Caddy II.
Dang... I had that idea about 5 years ago!!!!!!
post #15 of 16
cirquerider, really really funny

Im 6foot2, 190cm and I like my new 161cm slalom race department sandwich skis. I could even have the 156cm if I wanted. If you dont compete keep your SL skis short.
post #16 of 16
Ideal ski length is determinied the same way it was in the fifties. You skis should come to your wrist with your arm extended vertically. The only difference is that now you do this test while kneeling.
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