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Am i too Big to ski

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi Guys

I am very new to all this so please bare with me on my limited knowledge, I know this may have been brought up a lot but i need to get some answers to my size and weight,
I have been looking to ski for years i have finally got the chance to go in the next weak or so but am worried that i will get there and there wont be skis for my size.

I am 25 6ft and weight around 310 pounds, I dont look it but i was a weight lifter for many years so i am very strong,

I need to know if i would be able to ski and if so what size ski should i be looking at, I have skied when i was younger but i am a beginner as this was years ago.

Please be honest i wont be offended, I know i am very overweight and am working on it but would still like to be able to ski

Thanks in Advance

post #2 of 20
Hi steve Welcome to epic! :P

I don't see your weight as any problem, all you need is a stiff ski that is a little longer than what they put on standard people As long as you're strong you will be able to bend the ski correctly etc. - You would have been a lot worse off if you had weak muscles and were pure fat..

Will you be renting your skis? If so, just hope that the guy will get you what you need but I don't see your weight as that big a problem..

Have fun skiing!

btw. where are you from? It seems quite early for a US citizen to post doesn't it?
post #3 of 20
It will be difficult but not impossible to get gear. But first, some good news;

All new skiers benifit from shorter skis. If you are a new skier you will find a 175cm to 185cm length will work well.

Look for skis from Head & Elan, these are stiffer than most others.

Let us know if you are buying or renting and where you will ski. Also, do you have boots?

post #4 of 20
Thread Starter 
Hi Grook

Thank you for the warm welcome, I am in the UK and hopefully i am going to Austria, I was thinking about buying my own skis just so i know they will manage my weight,
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I will need to rent Boots and ski`s
post #6 of 20


You are NOT too big to ski. I would say (not knowing much about you) that endurance is more of an issue than actual strength. Even if you're in bad shape you can still ski, it may just not be for as long as youd like. I will say that getting involved in skiing will help with your endurance and overall health as well. Since I don't know your activity level I'll give you both of my opinions.
1 (you're in ok shape even though you're overweight and you're not completely sedentary "inactive")
You shouldn't have any more trouble than a normal beginner. The shop will set you up with some skis, I'd recommend a lesson and you can give it a go.

2 (you're inactive and in pretty poor shape conditioning wise)
you can still ski. You're likely to get tired as does everyone who skis, but its going to happen faster. Don't let it frustrate you. It is a fun sport and will help a lot with beginning a healthier lifestyle. I would still take a lesson, maybe a half day if you don't think you could finish a full day lesson.

Either way you're still 6" so I am picturing you to not be too big and the fact used to lift makes me think a lot of it could still be muscle. I don't think you'll have ny trouble finding some skis to rent that will work for you. there are plenty of skiers out there around 250lbs or so that can really rip around the mountain. my advice is to go rent and take a lesson, enjoy it and don't get discouraged after the first time. Let me know how it goes. Hope this helped.
post #7 of 20
def. rent before you buy just so you know you'll like it. If the rentals seem below average you can demo most new equipment from various companies and look for a stiffer ski.
post #8 of 20
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for your advise, I am going to go and see how i get on with it, I will ring the rental place first to make sure they can accommodate me and then give it a go.

As long as i don't turn into a 500 Lb snowball i will be happy :-)

I will book a lesson one of the guys i am going with is having a starter lesson so i will join them,

Thanks :-)
post #9 of 20
The thing you need to dial in, is that muscle and macho does not turn the skis.

Subtle technique and pressure/edging and balance do.

Keep all of that muscle quiet and dormant.

post #10 of 20
Originally Posted by steveh000 View Post

As long as i don't turn into a 500 Lb snowball i will be happy :-)

I will book a lesson one of the guys i am going with is having a starter lesson so i will join them,

Thanks :-)
If you get to 500LBS you might be forced to take share a lesson with Bigfoot so try to keep the weight off...
Good luck!
post #11 of 20
^^^I agree,
I am 6,2 / 240 lbs myself.
You need some strength though to withstand the G forces at high speed.
Considering you are skiing in Austria I reccomend to rent the higher end Volkl ski's. That should not be a problem at all. I myself ski on Volkl supersport 5* ti at 1.75 without any problems.
post #12 of 20
I'm bigger than you are (both height and weight), and I ski 50+ Days a year, both in the US midwest and 3 or 4 trips to the Rockies. So, no, you aren't too big to ski.

Finding stiff boots was the biggest challenge.

I ski Fischer AMC 76 in a 182 as my everyday ski and Volkl Mantras in 191 out west. Both are plenty stiff for my size, and are some of the best skis I have ever used. I demoed a pair of Volkl AC30s and found them versy similar in feel to the AMC 76s.
post #13 of 20
Not too big!

Despite your size, as a beginner, you probably don't want to go too long or too stiff (although you probably want a bit longer & stiffer ski than 6' beginners who are under 200).

Definitely rent first as your are likely to improve quickly and would then want something that is longer and stiffer.
post #14 of 20

Not too big

I thought I would chime in on this topic. I myself am every bit of 6'1" an 285 lbs and I love pulling those SG turns and really feeling the burn. I think you will find that you will fall back in love with skiing after getting your feet under you so to speak.

I currently ski the Salomon Foil in a 182cm length. They are just right for me and handle pretty much anything that I throw at them. Just get out there and have fun! I have found it helps my cardio when really getting after it. Enjoy!
post #15 of 20

I'm going to be honest.

Your are not going to like my answers, but i'm going to be honest.

1) Your not too big to ski, but you are too big to enjoy it for extented periods of time. Sorry weight lifting ALONE has zero to do with skiing endurance (especially power lifting). Your endurance will be awful that's simply a fact, a couple hours on the slope though should not be too bad..and it's a great starting place for you.

2)PLEASE do not buy skis this season, just rent and learn to enjoy the sport again..just remember easy does it, it's only your first season..don't hurry back and hurt your self, and ski slopes that you CAN ski.

3) in the offseason drop weight, your ok for your first season, but if you really want to enjoy the sport you need to drop some REAL weight. Your six feet tall you should be around 210lbs.. but set realistic goals your not dropping 90lbs in one offseason, aim at 250lbs for now and go from there..

4) aim to enjoy not to impress, and welcome back to the greatest sport in the world..

post #16 of 20
I am 5'10 and 260 pounds. My legs are quite strong and I have enough endurance to do a full day of skiing and come back the next day. I know I will not be able to do any double back diamonds until I lose some weight, but it's perfectly possible for me to enjoy myself the way I am now. Fat people have to work harder to make sure their momentum doesn't go out of control though, so if you're skiing in a group be aware that you need to act more cautious than everyone else. You should also start doing balancing exercises because you have a lot more to balance. I stand on one of these things every day

I am not sure if there are any skis designed for people of my weight though. I'm still trying to figure that out.

One more thing, I should warn you that skiing is not an excellent way to lose weight because being cold all day makes you hungry and resort food is not unhealthy and very overpriced. If possible just bring your own food.

Don't listen to boot sellers who tell you your feet only hurt because you need to lose weight. I wore crappy boots from mvp sports for years because of this. If you buy good enough boots they will not hurt. Your feet will hurt after skiing, not before damnit.
post #17 of 20
Just stay out of the bumps at first. It's really easy for big 'uns to bend a ski
post #18 of 20

Skiing is a very diverse sport. It can be done, and enjoyed, by all sorts of people and in all sorts of ways. You can have a fun and interesting day without regard to your expertise or talent. If you look around a ski area, it often seems that the people who are smiling the most are the ones who have only a few days of experience and minimal skills. Even if you never get any good at it, you're outdoors and touring around a scenic mountain.

More specifically: Best bet would be to rent all your equipment. I have no idea what the market is like in Austria, but someone, I hope, should be able to point you to a good rental source with a decent selection of equipment. Perhaps you've already figured that part out. Frankly, clothes may be your biggest obstacle ... though I'm sure that can be overcome.
post #19 of 20
So most people have commented on skis, and I really don't think that will be a problem.

As a former boot fitter I know the problem may very well lie with your boots.

The problem is you may have a very large calf. When fitting "larger" people it is sometimes very sifficult to get the boot even closed, let alone comfortable.

Not to discourage you in any way, but perhaps go and try some boots in a store to see?

As you are tall I assume you have big feet and that will help.
post #20 of 20
Perhaps the most important thing in the time that has left is to turn your leg muscles. If you're going to start from scratch, you're going to spend your first vacation (or at least first few days) snowplowing.I don't think the skis would make much of a difference at this stage.

Snowplowing requires you to open your legs far enough and then push forward with the skis to create the plow and break, and counter your momentum. This may require more work for you (because of the weight) but is also somewhat easier (because your legs are longer at 6ft). The snowplowing is what kills the legs, unfortunately since you use them to check your speed. So you want to do some running in the next few days (or exercise biking) to get them a little more ready. Also, if you have a choice of resorts or even trails, find the places that have a layer of snow (an inch would be good) and that are not too icy or hard packed. Snowplowing over icy ground is not very effective (since there's nothing to plow against), and it jostles your joints too much.

If your vacation is long enough for you to improve above snowplowing, I would try to learn to traverse rather than to turn. Traversing (essentially cutting across or close to across the fall line while your skis are edged) is a great way to slow your speed while absorbing less of the jostles of an uneven ground). You can still turn with a snowplow, but it would give you a way to go down the mountain without killing your legs.
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