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Rule of thumb

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Is there some rule of thumb to follow in selecting ski length?  I know that the ski's sidecut plays a key role.  How does one relate that to the skier's weight, height, abiility, and skiing style?  I'm 5'10", 165 lb., in excellent shape for a middle-ager, can ski any terrain or condition, and am an old-school hard-on-the-edges, East coaster who has been skiing primarily in the Pacific NW (with an annual week in Colorado) for the past 25 years.  I'm interested in skis with waists in roughly the 85-95 mm range.

 

     

post #2 of 17

Here's a good general guide for ski equipment with a ski length table midway down the page: 

 

http://www.sierratradingpost.com/lp2/alpine-skiing-guide.html

 

 

Here's also a ski length 'calculator':

 

http://www.frostyrider.com/tips/size-guide-skis.htm

 

 

HTH.  Good luck.

post #3 of 17

That second link is a joke. You'll be skiing on toothpicks if you use the second link.

post #4 of 17

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmg97 View Post

That second link is a joke. You'll be skiing on toothpicks if you use the second link.

 

I don't think it's a joke at all.  I'm sure it's off by 2-4cm for some profiles, but it nailed the length of my skis almost exactly the same as the recommendations I received from the knowledgeable folks on this here very forum.

 

post #5 of 17



 

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaneMeyerK12 View Post

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmg97 View Post

That second link is a joke. You'll be skiing on toothpicks if you use the second link.

 

I don't think it's a joke at all.  I'm sure it's off by 2-4cm for some profiles, but it nailed the length of my skis almost exactly the same as the recommendations I received from the knowledgeable folks on this here very forum.

 


It's got me on a 167,168,169. I would never feel comfortable on a ski that short. for reference I'm 5 9' and 180 lbs. My opinion, it's way off.
 

post #6 of 17

Agreed that the second link to sizing is way off. It has me on a 162-164cm ski. I am 5'6" 160lb former racer now patroller. I ski 170-175 for everyday skis and would go bigger if i did not live in New England.

post #7 of 17

At 6'6" and 230lbs the site puts me on 175 ski's. I have 178s now and they are just a bit short in my opinion. This is not because I am a great skier, because I am simply not (level 5 on a bad day, mostly 6, sometimes level 7). Expertlevel does not seem to increase the length.

 

Funny thing is I said this (that it is short on good advice ;)) on another thread an hour ago :).

post #8 of 17

Second site gives way too short a ski.  It has me skiing 165 cm.  My SLs are 165, my quiver ranges from 165 to 208.

 

Rule of thumb Head height.  A bit (5 to 10 cm) longer for GS, a bit shorter for slalom.   Even longer than GS for off-piste, a lot longer for off-piste  pm skinny skis.  Bumps = same as groomers, personal preference between SL and GS length.  Speed skis longer than GS.

 

Add length if you weigh more than the average person of your height.  Take of a little length if you are a lightweight.

 

First site isn't too bad.

post #9 of 17

For frontside or Eastern "all-mountain", (i.e. something in a 70-90mm waist) I usually say to go between chin-high and the top of your head.  Unless you're racing SG/DH you probably don't need carving skis that are taller than you are.  If you want edge-hold and stability at speed, you want torsional stiffness more than something very long.

 

If you spend a lot of time off-piste, or are looking at powder skis, you need to go longer, probably somewhere in the +10-20cm range vs. your height.  Maybe even bigger for really wide skis.

 

Quote:
Add length if you weigh more than the average person of your height.  Take of a little length if you are a lightweight.

 

I've also seen things suggesting that length should vary with your height, and stiffness with your weight.  e.g. if you're heavier, you should ski more "advanced/expert" skis, but not necessarily bigger ones.  Of course, ski stiffness also varies to some extent with size.

 

If you are talking about flotation in powder, then you would also want to get longer for a heavier skier, so there is more surface area.  But you might be better off going wider rather than longer.

post #10 of 17

I must be weird because I am 6'0 and 210 lbs and I loveeeee 165's.

post #11 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jbird1991 View Post

I must be weird because I am 6'0 and 210 lbs and I loveeeee 165's.


Unless you loveeee FIS spec 165 SL's...yes you are weird. 

post #12 of 17

This thread Almost answers my question as well, but what about going to a wider ski?  I'm 5' 10" - 185 and I need to replace my 170 R11's that sadly bit the dust.  I felt that they were a little too short, but now I'm looking at a wider ski (Kendo or Sultan possibly).  Should width be a consideration in the length equation?  Should I stick with 170 or go longer?  Any thoughts would be appreciated as demoing is not really an option where I live. Oh, and for the record, I'm an advanced but aging skier 50/50 with some regular steeps.

Sorry - didn't mean to thread jack - hopefully useful to OP as well...


Edited by mtashbum - 11/30/10 at 3:00am
post #13 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by bmg97 View Post

That second link is a joke. You'll be skiing on toothpicks if you use the second link.



 The first one is even more joke. Gives me 147 cm (the second one 156 cm, I ski 164 cm and that's a good lenght for the skis I have - with slalom skis I could go a bit shorter).

post #14 of 17

Well I think this thread suggests again that ski length is a very personal characteristic, like width, rigidity/dampness, camber, rocker, etc.

 

Also I'd venture to guess that most online 'guides' for ski length like the ones linked above will be geared to the more passive recreational frontside skier (thus targeting current ability and erring a bit on the shorter side for forgiveness and fun factor) versus the more active, devoted intermediate/advanced/expert and off-piste skiers who represent most of the Epic community and will have a stronger tendency toward longer skis.


Edited by LaneMeyerK12 - 11/30/10 at 9:20am
post #15 of 17

Also agreed that the second link is garbage, it may be alright for reccomending a front side carver, but it put me on 179's. I'm ski 186's on my Pow, and daily driver. And i'm looking at a 191. I'm sure it doesn't take into account twin tips, and early rise in a ski either.

post #16 of 17
Thread Starter 

This reply pretty much sums it up for me.  I'll spend some time renting demos to really figure this out.

post #17 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charlieski View Post

This reply pretty much sums it up for me.  I'll spend some time renting demos to really figure this out.



Honestly, that is the smartest thing you can do. It will help you find the sweet spot in length and width that you feel comfortable on. Keep in mind, different skis require different lenghts and widths. I have skis from 174 (carving) to 186 (powder and ripping). Lots of people have only one pair  (probably not on here)   and you need to determine what size will allow you to handle most of the terrain you ski on. I honestly think the 179 in height and 90mm under foot is a great all purpose size.

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