In the early days of skiing, the way to find the right ski length
for yourself was to measure the length of the ski against your body to the top of your head. Early skis were very narrow and very long, almost cumbersome.
Times have certainly changed and so have ski length recommendations. Skis have changed so much, in shape and in length. Shorter skis are now more popular than the longer skis that used to be popular.
Newer "shaped" skis are shorter, so if you have historically used a longer, narrow ski, you should reduce the length of your new skis by around 4 inches. The usual length of shaped skis
is from 62 inches to 74 inches. As far as ski length recommendations, shorter lighter skis allow you to carve more easily than longer ones.
Longer skis are designed for speed, so if you are a beginner, shorter skis may be the way for you to go. The main considerations for ski length recommendations are your skill level, your weight and the type of skiing you will be doing.
Shorter skis are generally easier to control, longer skis can be very cumbersome for a beginner. It is much easier to make turns with shorter skis. If you are a heavier person, you will need a longer ski to correspond with your weight. The effect of weight on skis is that the skier has more control with cutting. As your skills increase and you become a better skier, you will add length to your skis.
Two factors in ski length recommendations also have to do with the conditions you are skiing in. If the snow is loosely packed powder, longer skis are ideal, while shorter skis work best for packed snow
It is a good idea to try out several types of skis by renting them and seeing how they suit you before you go out and purchase expensive ski equipment. On the other hand, having your own personalized ski equipment can really enhance your experience.
Finding a good ski length when you are a beginner is the best way to ensure that you get the most out of your day. When you arrive at the rental shop, you will be asked to get onto a scale to find out your weight, then you will be measured for height. After you have selected some suitable boots that fit properly, skis are generally selected for your height up to the bridge of your nose.
Understanding types of skis
can also help with equipment selection and ski length recommendations. Each manufacturer has their own specifications, so you can refer to those as well. Here are a few types of different skis to consider, along with a description of what they are designed for:
Developmental Carving Skis
are similar to giant slalom skis, but are more flexible and responsive at slower speeds. These skis are for beginner to intermediate skiers. They have wider tips and more narrow tails for those who haven't quite mastered carving.
Giant slalom skis
are for expert racers and make large carved turns. These skis are designed to offer the best control on steep, icy terrain.
are built for speed and are narrow and very stiff. The are designed for shock absorption and require good technical skill for turning.
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