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ski length difference

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I am 5 feet 3 and a half and 250 pounds. Last year I was about 50 pounds less and ski'd the double black. This year I am so out of weight I am lucky to be a low intermediate.

Last year I ski'd on 156 head 72 im's. This year I also have 160 troublemakers and 168 elan 888's.

How is size going to affect me? This is a extremely beginner/noob question, I know. My thinking was that the more of a phat phuck I am, the shorter the skis, since it would be like trying to turn 2 by 4's.

Several days ago I went out and skied my 160 troublemakers (twin tip), today I ski'd my elan 888's, and I tell you, my knee was really feeling it today after only a little bit! Don't know why.

So the 160's seemed easier to turn, the 168's tired me out more, fairly fast.
post #2 of 3

In general, longer skis are faster but harder to turn. In general, you add ski length to compensate for extra weight and extra height. You reduce ski length to compensate for lower ability. Still today's skis can be awfully versatile if you're skiing groomed runs. I'm 5'10", 230 right now and can ski just fine on 120cm skis, but my regular skis are 168cm.


50 lbs is a lot to put on in one year. And it's a lot of added stress to put on your knees relatively suddenly. You could have started wear and tear on your knee last week and then aggravated it this week. Or it could be the extra length ski caused you to start forcing your turns and that was what made the difference. What matters most is that your knee is telling you that you need some help. Find a doctor, physical therapist or trainer who can test your strength and recommend some exercises before you get hurt. Muscle strength imbalance is a significant contributing factor to ACL/MCL tears. Having an instructor look at your turns (or posting video for us to look at) could also help identify technique changes that can reduce knee stress. Obviously, losing some weight would help, but some of us know that's easier said than done. You may want to get a neoprene brace for short term protection, but please don't use one as a long term solution.

Please take care!

post #3 of 3
I agree with therusty. I know you've heard this before but you need to get on a program and stick to it. The fact of the matter is that you will end up getting hurt if you do not start taking better care of yourself. As for ski length, I think you'll do fine on the 156. Some skis are thicker than others and you might want to look at some of these brands when you are looking for new skis. anyway, set some goals and get after it.----Wigs
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