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Ski length: is there a general rule?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm 5'9", 165lbs., an aspiring intermediate, and I just bought some old but unused Head iC160s at 170cm. A Canadian friend who grew up skiing 215s but now skis the new short shaped skis tells me thay look long for me. Is there any rule for ski length, skiier height, weight, style, skill, that would suggest what to get when looking for skis? Or is it just a "guess and tell" kind of thing?
post #2 of 12
Annoyingly, there's no general rule, it really depends on the type of ski. I think those Heads are carvers with an intermediate radius. In that case, they might be a tad long for you, but probably fine. Are you worried about mounting them and then not being able to return them?

If you let us know the dimensions and radius of the skis, we'll be able to give a better answer.
post #3 of 12
Just saw an earlier thread, that you got them off eBay. Best thing to do is mount them up and try them out. I think there are still some ski areas open in the Northeast.
post #4 of 12
"Aspiring Intermediate" = quickly progressing beginner, is that correct?

Does this look like what you bought?



People here debate all the time about ski lengths, but these debates tend to center around skis that can be specialized toward dissimilar usage (i.e. wide-ish twin-tips for park and/or powder). The ski you have is both narrow and features a somewhat deep sidecut (111/63/92, 14.7m), which pretty much screams "on-piste mid-radius carver". In the absence of personal experience regarding this specific make and model, in general you're supposed to size this style of ski on the short side, especially for a beginner-to-intermediate skier.

Like everyone up-to-now has said, I think those are a little long for you. At your current ability level you'd probably be better off between ~161-166cm.
post #5 of 12
Hold your arm above your head. The should measure to the following places,

Wrist for slalom
Palm for GS
Fingertips for Downhill.
post #6 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilT View Post
Hold your arm above your head. The should measure to the following places,

Wrist for slalom
Palm for GS
Fingertips for Downhill.
thanks for the flashback to 1985.

seriously though... the general rule is go one size longer than the guy at the shop recommends.
post #7 of 12
I ski on the short side 168 k2 phat luv,162 atomic b5.I believe its a matter of preference.All i hear from people is i should be longer and at 5'8" and 235 lbs i felt better on shorter.
post #8 of 12
Its a personal choice. These days Head high is the general rule for all-around carving. It used to be that longer skis were much more stable, but now the ski construction makes more of a difference than length. Getting a longer I160 will not make it more stable enough to matter. I would get a 170 cm ski if I were getting that ski, and I'm rounding up to 5'9".

Starting out with skis at chin height helps the first few days, but you probably want to rent for those days.

If you plan on skiing faster making wider turns on bigger hills, you might want longer skis, but you likely also want more stable ones (another model).
post #9 of 12
ski length has very little bearing on how tall you are. weight/skill/speed/where on the mountain you will be skiing on mountain, and factoring in the skis construction(stiffness,sidecut,width) is WAY more important. Beside the little bit extra leverage of some extra inches on yourself that will all be meaningless if the person was skiing alittle faster.

To answer your question there is no rule, but I would say 170 in that ski you will be fine and they wont hold you back. Just rule with that and stop over thinking something as simple as skiing.
post #10 of 12
In my current quiver...

Range:

Length: 16cm (165-181)
Waist: 33mm (66-99)
TR: 6.6M (13.5-21.1)


*Subject to change
post #11 of 12
Rules are boring, especially the general ones.
post #12 of 12
just ski them - you'll be fine , there's a tendancy to ski too short these days - just ski them and enjoy them as bushwhacker said " don't overthink something as simple as skiing" anyhow you'll be up grading them after one season!
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EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Ski Gear Discussion › Ski length: is there a general rule?