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ski sizing

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

After a few years of skiing recreationally, I've finally decided to purchase a set of skis. I've read the FAQ regarding ski sizing on this forum, and it states that the length of the ski is determined by my height. However, I've also read contradictory information online that specifies that shaped ski length is actually determined by the weight and skill level of an individual.

Can someone please clarify this?

FYI: I'm 5'6", 140 lbs, athletic, i can ski blues fine, some blacks fine (working on the moguls).

Thank you.
post #2 of 9
Really depends on the ski. If you have good technique, I'd say chin to nose height for carvers and nose to forehead height for all-mountain.
post #3 of 9
Weight is more important.
Were I you I would look at 155 to 160 for top end carvers and 165 for on-piste cruiser or larger turns (GS). 170 to 180 for really big open spaces and deep snow.
post #4 of 9
I recommend you go out and demo lots of different skis at different lengths and different radius sidcuts. Then buy what trips your trigger.

I own a number of pairs of skis. The ones I use the most are 163cm Atomic Metrons followed by 120cm Atomic shorties. I play on both of them at different times. I have owned a variety of skis over the years from 90cm snowblades to 178cm. Again, I buy what I find is fun to play on.
post #5 of 9

You ask a difficult question. Skis are made stiffer when they're made longer. Some lines of skis are made to ski "long" and some aren't, as ghost is alluding to.

Every ski needs a certain amount of energy put into it by the skier for that ski to "come alive," exactly as T-square is describing as fun to ski on. That depends on the skier's height, weight, skiing style, skiing speed, terrain, and the design of the line of skis. You might like a 160cm top-line packed-snow ski and a 170cm mid-line packed-snow ski. You might like a 170cm fat twin tip top-line ski. My skis are top-line one size from the max in each line--170cm carver and 188cm powder & crud ski. Both are right for me, 6', 200#.

So, rent some demo skis and see what puts the biggest smile on your face. If you can rent at the hill, arrange on a slow day to be able to swap skis during the day, especially different sizes of the same model. Skis that are too short/soft will be disappointing. Skis that are too long/stiff will be very difficult.

Other than that, skier, Ghost, & T-square are in the ballpark.

Do you have boots that are Just Right For YOU? Just-right boots are more important than skis. Any of us can ski on any garage sale skis with our just-right boots. None of us can ski well on our skis and the wrong boots.
post #6 of 9

Ski Sizing

Sounds like you've been provided with a fair amount of guidance. I just wanted to re-iterate the key points based on my limited experience.

Boots are the single most important piece of equipment.

Get all the info you can and suggestions on skis but at the end of the day, demo for yourself. It was amazing to me how different various skis felt. Whatever skis you buy, just demoing various skis seemed eye-opening and worthwhile to me.
post #7 of 9

You got to watch us here as we tend to pry into your life wondering if you got the right boots because we get so stoked how they ski when they are fitted and sized properly . Yet your question was ski length.

Skis often serve different purposes depending on their construction. Wide, thin,light, heavier,differing flexes along and across the ski, stiff , softer and many different profiles no matter how you look at the ski.

Racing skis are very stiff along the ski and across the ski. A Slalom ski will be short and turny being narrow also and the skis will lengthen through each discipline as a longer ski offers more stability at high speeds especially found in the Downhill.
A shorter ski will turn a shorter radius . A narrower ski will go from edge to edge more quickly than a wider one.

Your size will dictate a range of sizing depending also on your skill level as a starting point. Beginners do better on shorter skis that are not really stiff.

When I pick a ski I consider them a tool and consider what I am going to use it for. That will determine the shape I am looking for.

My skill level, size or personal preference will determine what kind of flex and length the ski should have to serve my needs.

It is the user of the ski that determines it's best use. So it's not an easy question to answer without much more information.

Basic guidelines that will get you in the ballpark have been expressed above. If you need more info ,give us some idea of who, where and what they might be needed for.

Edited by GarryZ - 2/16/2009 at 10:31 pm
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
ok guys, thanks for all the great feedback given.

I've taken it to heart and decided to get fitted for boots last sunday. I ended up getting a pair of nordic speedmachine 8's that fit extremely snug.

I'm gonna go demo the skis available at the next demo event at the mountain I ski at.

I did also happen to ask about skis in the store. When I asked the rep what kind of work they do to prep the skis after someone buys them, they told me that they don't do anything and that the skis are ready to go out of the box. Is this true? I had always thought that they had to tune or modify stuff or at least wax the skis.
post #9 of 9

New skis

My new skis came with an excellent tune and wax. I got them from Dawgcatcher's (epic member) shop. Very happy with skis, service, price, etc.
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