Choosing the right pair of skis can be a bit of a daunting task, especially if you’re someone who is newer to the sport and are purchasing your very first pair. (If you’re new to skiing, you may want to check out this post all about tips for beginners!) There are many questions to ask yourself when you’re looking at your options. What shape do I want? What width will work best for me? What profile is the best suited for the type of skiing I’ll be doing? But one of the most important, and sometimes most confusing, things you’ll need to ask yourself is what is the best ski length for me?
Determining Your Ski Length
Finding out what the best ski length is for you is not quite as simple as plugging your weight and height into a chart and choosing from there. While there are charts like this one that are a helpful guide when first considering a ski length for you, there are a number of other things you need to remember to keep in mind also. Some of these factors are the style of skiing you do and what type of terrain or snow conditions you’re usually skiing in. Another thing to consider is ability level as well as your individual level of confidence when it comes to hitting the slopes. You don’t want to end up with something that may match your height and weight only to realize that you don’t feel comfortable with them!
Let’s go over some pros of both short and long skis that might help you determine which ski length is the best for you.
Reasons Why You May Want Shorter Skis
Shorter skis are best suited for beginners. They can also be a good option for intermediate skiers who still aren’t feeling super confident. Why is this? Shorter skis are lighter and will feel less bulky, allowing you to have more control over your movement and turning. Therefore, it’s a good idea to go for a ski length that is a little shorter as you’re just starting out.
You also may want shorter skis if you know you’ll be making a lot of quick turns while out on the slopes or prefer carving, in which case you’ll want to check out our selection of carving skis to find something perfect for you!
Another reason why you may want to get a shorter ski is if you weigh less than average for your height. Sizing down is always a safer performance option than sizing up!
Reasons Why You May Want Longer Skis
Unlike short skis, longer skis are a little more difficult to maneuver and are not great for beginners. They are a good option, however, for advanced skiers or those who are feeling confident about skiing faster and more aggressively. (Check out our selection of advanced-expert skis.) Longer skis are great for making longer turns, so keep that in mind when picking out a pair that matches your skiing style.
If off-trail or backcountry skiing is what you prefer, this is another reason why longer skis will work better for you.
Last of all, if you weigh more than average for your height, you’ll want to size up and get longer skis. Having a pair that’s too short for your weight might end up slowing you down.
How to Size
Now that you have an idea of if shorter or longer skis are better for you, it’s time to learn what “short” and “long” actually means in terms of sizing skis specifically to you.
In the most basic format, ski length is usually measured to you by using your chin or the top of your head as a reference. Generally, a shorter ski will be sized to your chin while a longer ski will be sized to the top of your head. Obviously, this is where your height comes into play with ski length and why sizing charts can be very helpful. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that different brands may measure their skis differently, so look at a sizing chart that is specific to the brand of skis you’re checking out.
Hopefully this has been a helpful guide when it comes to choosing the best ski length for you! Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, there is so much to enjoy when it comes to this sport and having a pair of skis that are the right length will make all the difference. Be sure to visit our complete ski shop to find all the gear you need before you get out on the slopes!