How To Size Downhill Skis

Walking into a ski shop and seeing row upon row of skis, you may find yourself wondering how you are supposed to size downhill skis. There are several important factors to consider with downhill skis: height, weight and skiing ability. In general, the shorter the ski, the easier it is to control, which is why if you are a beginner it's a good idea to get a shorter ski.

  • Measuring tape
  • Scales
  • Manufacturer sizing guide
  1. Consider what type of skier you are. Are you a beginner, sticking to green slopes, or do you mostly ski on the blue slopes? Perhaps you are an expert skier that skis the more challenging black diamond slopes at fast speeds.

  2. Use a tape measure to measure your height in centimeters.

  3. Factor in your skiing ability to determine a base ski length. If you are a beginner, subtract 15cm from your height to get your ski length., If you are an intermediate skier subtract 10cm to get your ski length. Expert skiers should subtract 5 to 10cm from their height to get a base downhill ski length.

  4. Consider your weight when choosing a ski length. The heavier you are, the longer the ski you will need. The manufacturer's size chart for the type of downhill ski you are considering purchasing will help guide you.


Tips: Consult with a knowledgeable pro at a ski shop. No matter how much measuring, weighing and calculating you can do, it's always a good idea to talk to a pro when you are considering buying new downhill skis.

See if you can rent the pair of skis that you are considering purchasing. The only way you can truly test out skis is to try them on the slopes.

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