How to Determine Ski Length

How To Determine Ski Length

It’s not easy to choose the right ski for yourself if you haven’t ever gone ski shopping before. To pick the right ski, you need to know what length will be the perfect fit for you. The ski length you choose to buy depends greatly on what your riding style is, along with your ability to ride the ski and the terrain you wish to ski on.

It is crucial to remember that the ski you choose should be the right size for your weight, height, skiing style, and talent to ski. While there is no special formula out there that knows how to determine ski length, universally, if the ski length is anywhere between your chin and the top of your head, then it is the correct one for you.

Let’s slide right into the process of determining the right ski length for you.

Determining the Correct Length of Skis for You

The emphasis will always remain on the height, weight, ability to ski, and the skier’s style. These are the top factors to consider when buying the perfect ski. Other factors that a skier needs to consider are their personal preference, the terrain on which they will ski, snow type, and the ski group they fall into.

If someone is a beginner, they will want to go for shorter skis since it’ll be much easier to handle them, unlike longer skis. On the other hand, a more advanced skier will prefer longer skis thanks to their skill level and great command over skis.

Say, for example, a skier who is around 5’8 will want to look for skis between 170 cm to 180 cm. Height is one factor of determination; the others factors include capability and ski style. Most professional ski shops have a ski sizing chart that allows the skier to understand better what ski length would be good for them based on their height and weight.

When to Size Up or Size Down

There are many reasons why skiers tend to size up or size down on their skis. A shorter ski is easier to handle. It will be simple to make turns on a shorter ski without the constant fear of falling. A longer ski will not be as stable, and you will fall a lot.

When to Size Down (Shorter Skis)

  • Your first time skiing
  • Your weight is less than regular when compared to your height
  • You are a fast skier and like to make short and speedy turns


When to Size Up (Longer Skis)

  • An advanced skier
  • You like fast and aggressive skiing
  • Your weight is more than your height
  • You plan majorly to ski off-trail


Your Ability to Ski

The factor taken into most consideration after the weight and height of the skier is their ability to ski. It plays a huge part in purchasing the right type of ski. There are three levels of ability that determine what ski length to buy.

First-Time/Beginner Level

For someone who has recently started skiing or a skier who’s working on making better and smoother turns without tumbling off falls into this ability level. The skis should have a spongier flex, finer widths, and foam wood centers for such skiers. This main goal is to build easy turn ski and not be harsh when they misstep.

Intermediary Level

Thanks to the advancement in ski equipment, most skiers and skis fall into this ability level. So whether you like to ski carve or go powder skiing, this is the level for you. The plus point of these skis is that they are wider than beginner skis and have a powerful wood center.

Advanced/Expert Level

As the name of the level states, only advanced and highly skilled skiers fall into this category. You will find that the skis used here have layers of carbon and Titanal and flax etc. since these resources give a better speed and act to these skiers. These advanced skis are usually stiffer than all other level skis. Therefore, it can be quite a challenge to slow down the speed.

Terrain Type

One more factor that requires a skier’s attention when buying a ski is the type of terrain they wish to ski on. If you didn’t know this already, now you do that different terrains require different styles of skis.

All Mountain Skis

These skis are perfect for skiing the entire mountain. Built to handle whatever comes their way, they come in various shapes and sizes, each to fit the needs of individual skiers. Find your fit wisely.

Huge Mountain Skis

These skis are made in a way so that they can ski big lines with high speed. Such skis are stiffer and have more weight than powder skis.

Carving Skis

Skiers who wish to arc a perfect turn, carvings skis are what you need. Carving skiers are known to have fine waists and shorter turn areas for a speedy turn.

Powder Skis

Need to stay afloat on deep snow days? Powder skis are the perfect ski type for you. They have distinctive side cuts and relatively softer flex to handle varied situations of snow.

Our Final Thoughts

Even though all this information helps a great deal when determining ski length, there are always exceptions. However, it is crucial to remember that the length is something you pick depending upon your height, weight, skiing style, the terrain you ski on, and your ability to ski. No one should be telling you what ski to buy; it is always going to be your decision. So, don’t buy a ski until you feel like it’s the right one for you.

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