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Perfect ski size for a 5'3 125 pound male?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey guys just have a quick question that I hope some of you ski gurus can answer.


So im a pretty advanced skiier living in Colorado, really confident all around, ski backcountry, moguls, park, groomers, etc but I'm a pretty short guy at 5 foot 3, and I weigh only 125 pounds. Ive been told alot of conflicting things about what size ski I should ride and im not really sure who to believe.


For a recent present, I just got some K2 Extremes that are 159cm long and 85mm under-foot. Do you guys think these skis are too small for me? My old skis were smaller - 153cm and 75mm under foot - which was fine because I was not as good as I am now. But now I feel I am a much much better skiier and could use a bigger ski.


So what do you guys think the perfect size ski for me? I normally ski about 30% backcountry, 30% mogels, 30% groomers and 10% park (although I want to ski more park).


Oh yeah and im 23 so no I dont think I will be growing anymore! lol

post #2 of 13

Those Extremes are in the range that most people would suggest for a strong skier of your height and weight.  Bear in mind that K2s measure longer than most other brands.


But those are just general guidelines.  The only way you'll know whether longer skis will suit you better is to try them.


I would think those skis would probably work well for you on moguls, groomers, and park -- where you spend 70% of your time.  For the other 30%, I might try something fatter (and maybe a little longer, especially if it's rockered).

post #3 of 13

159cm is too small for an advanced skier, I don't care how short you are.  You need to be riding a 170 mid, mid/fat.  Try something like a Salomon Fury. 

post #4 of 13

Mostly agree with TheDad, especially if you do a lot of bumps. You could/should get into the high 160's easily for something a bit more soft snow oriented, and even the mid-high 170's if you ever go to a rockered backside ski. To some extent, this depends on the model and brand. As TD says, K2's run long; your 159 is equivalent to a low-middle 160's in most other brands.


But also keep in mind where the ski sits in the range of lengths offered. If the smallest length for a model is 168, for instance, that's aimed at folks in your size range, say 110-150 lbs. Also keep in mind that as a male your 125 lbs is proportionately more muscle than an average female, so you probably can exert more force, bend a ski more, move up an increment more easily. 


Finally, stiff skis can be enjoyed shorter than softer skis. Extremes are kinda moderate IMO. And soft snow skis tend to be softer than skis designed for hardpack. So as you go up in width, you can often go up in length.

post #5 of 13

I would buy the F-17 in a 168.

post #6 of 13

Pick your ski first and then pick the correct length for you in THAT ski. 


post #7 of 13
Originally Posted by Paul Jones View Post

I would buy the F-17 in a 168.

post #8 of 13

Depending on model there are skis from 160 to 175 that are going to work. The number of days you ski, affecting how strong and well you are skiing, is the most important factor in making your sellection.

post #9 of 13

The F-17 would be good for everything except "back country", which carries a broad spectrum.  The F-17 is too narrow to be a powder ski, but it does quite well in comparison to other similar side cut skis.  In shallow powder, it would do fine.  I skied it in mushy powder and it was awesome.  But for everything else you would be fine, except maybe the pipe and you're 23 so maybe you could just skip that or just do the features.


I'm serious about this choice.  It would be an outstanding ski for what you have described.


post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for responding. So from what i've synthesized from reading everything so far is that I need a ski around 167-170cm and 95-110mm underfoot.


Kinda angry and the idiot at the ski store who told me a few years back that 159 was going to be too big for me. Well anywho I think my k2s at 159/85 are going to be fine... they wont rock the powder but im sure they will hold up alot better than my old k2 apache at 68 underfoot.


My next ski is definitely going to be 170-175 cm and atleast 100mm under foot.


post #11 of 13

You are 5 foot 3 (~160cm), so your current 159cm K2 Extreme skis should be roughly as long as your body height. For these specific skis, body height = ski length is a good measure for a lightweight advanced skier like you. I am 5 foot 7 (~169cm), 145 pounds, and have the 169cm K2 Extreme skis. I use these as my all-condition weapon. Mine have slightly detuned edges to get more flexibility in the park. They do keep me afloat in the powder thanks to the Schizo binding (+6cm = center mount for park, 1.5cm = ball of foot mount for groomers, 0cm = powder). The shorter running surface due to the twin tip and due to the slight early rise of the front tip gives you a lot of agility.


If you go longer, you may have problems in the park and in the trees. If you go wider, you will gain float in powder, but loose hard pack and ice performance. If you do not have the Schizo binding, you will have to settle for a reasonable mount point and trade off park vs. powder performance.


My suggestion always, read ski tests (actual on-the-snow tests and not just the vendor-provided stuff) and test a number of skis yourself before you buy. Don't just buy skis blindly. There are a lot of rental shops that have a variety of demo skis. There are a few ski resorts that even have on-mountain demo centers where you can get demo skis for free for a few hours. Also, ski technology is changing, so don't make assumptions based on your old skis. For example, the K2 Extreme skis are discontinued and have been replaced by the K2 Revival, which is 90mm wide and has a rocker.

post #12 of 13

I'm reviving this thread because I'm curious to see what you ended up using and how you liked them.


I'm in the process of getting new skis for the season, but I'm not sure about one of my ski choices. I'm in the same height/weight range as Underpressure. I'm 5'6", 125lbs so I thought this would be a good place to continue the discussion.


Last season I was on the Head SuperShape (66 under foot, 160 length). They were great skis, but turned a bit too much (radius was 10.7!). This season, I'm going to try the Salomon 3V slalom race (67 under foot, 165 lenght, R=12.5). I'm not sure if these will kick my ass or not? I have not tried the Salomons, but they were so cheap, I could not pass them up.


I'm also getting a pair of Head SuperShape Speed (163cm) and Head SuperShape GS (172cm). These will be fine as I've demoed them already. I tried the SS Speed (170cm), but found them to be too much. I could use them, but I just didn't find it as fun as the 163.


My other skis include:

Rossignol S80 (165cm) - my all mountain ski.

K2 Obsethed (169cm) - now sold.SUBMIT

post #13 of 13
Originally Posted by MattL View Post

Pick your ski first and then pick the correct length for you in THAT ski. 


Great advice!


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