What Size Skis Do I Need?


If you are thinking of a skiing trip, the chances are you may wonder, “what size skis do I need?” Without the correct size of skis, you may have a slippery time of it on the slopes. Additionally, the wrong size skis may result in serious injury, so you must pick the right ones for you.



man skis at snow

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There is one essential question you need to ask yourself to get the best skis to maximize your skiing potential. What size skis do I need? While performing in such an extreme sport (even on the bunny slope), you don’t want to cause yourself an extreme injury. Consequently, the lengthof your skis plays a vital role in keeping you safe.

Unfortunately, there is no perfect size ski for a particular skier. This is because everyone is different. Our height and weight vary from person to person. Consequently, the ski size will differ from person to person.

As a rule of thumb, you want to pick a ski length that is somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. You will not go far wrong as a result of following this simple rule.

However, if you ask yourself what size ski do I need, then there exist a few considerations for you to consider.


When you ask yourself what size ski do I need, you should think about a few things. Your weight, your height, and your skill level all come into play. Are you skiing on or off-piste (piste is the French word for groomed trail)? Do you ski fast or slow?

However, the rule between the chin and the top of your head may prove more accurate than you realize.

Why choose shorter skies, closer to your chin?

If you are a beginner or intermediate level, then it is worth considering shorter skies as you will find them easier to control. Furthermore, for those who weigh in lighter than the average weight for height ratio should use shorter skies.

Also, if you like to perform fast moves such as sharp turns, then shorter skies will allow for quick movements. Furthermore, your style of skiing is gentler. Therefore, the shorter skies will suit you best.

Why choose longer skies that sit close to or go beyond your head?

You like your skiing extreme. Consequently, you ski fast and aggressively. As a result, longer skies will prove your best choice.

Also, if you weigh more than average for your height, you’ll need to compensate for balance. Or perhaps you like to ski off-piste, and you want your skiing to be free and spontaneous. If this is your style, longer skies will suit you.

An important point to note

Not all brands of skies measure the length in the same way. Consequently, one brand’s skis may be slightly longer than another brand. When you find yourself wondering what size skis do I need, ensure you check with the supplier for their recommendation on length.



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More often than not, your ability level on the slopes will factor into the question of what size skis do I need. Different ski lengths will suit skiers of varying skiing abilities.

They’ll all need to maintain their skis, but the type of skis they’ll use with be quite different.

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Beginners and intermediate skiers

A beginner or intermediate skier will work to gain smoother turning skills. Skis with a softer flex and narrower widths will form the ideal choice of skis. Consequently, this type of shorter ski will allow for easier turns and prove very forgiving if you should make a mistake.

Intermediate to advanced skiers

The question of what size skis do I need still applies to the more advanced skier. If you like to carve through soft powder and venture off-piste, longer skies with a durable wood core may prove more beneficial. Additionally, the more advanced skier may use a ski with a fuller camber because the advanced skier will like to move with speed.

Advanced and expert skiers

The more advanced and expert skiers tend to ski with a more aggressive approach. Speed is the name of the game, so skis formed with layers of Titanal, carbon, and flax will give the skier better performance. This type of construction leads to stiffer skis and result in superior performance at speed and on more mountainous terrains.



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Some other factors may influence your choice of skis. Regardless of your skill level.

Ski waist width

The waist of the ski is the narrowest point in the middle of the ski. The width of the waist will influence how the ski turns and how it will handle the snow. Narrower waist skis tend to allow for quicker turns while wider widths provide better floatation in soft, powdery snow.

The ski turning radius

The turn radius is the shape of skis in relation to its tip, waist, and tail width. This is usually expressed in meters. The narrower the waist of the skis in relation to its tip and tail, the shorter the tail radius. A ski with a short turn radius will make quicker turns than one with a long turn radius.


As technology improves the production of skis, many more varieties enter the marketplace. However, when you wonder what size skis do I need, you should also consider what skis are suitable for the type of skiing you want to undertake.

On piste skis

Choose on-piste skis if you want to ski on groomed slopes, and you love to carve your way through the prepared snow.

All-mountain skis

All-mountain skis remain particularly suited to those skiers who love to ski on and off-piste.

Off-piste skis

Perhaps you like to ski on unprepared, deep snow. Such terrain is best suited to off-piste skis.

Park skis

Do you like ski jumping? Perhaps you love to perform tricks while out on the slopes. Consequently, park skis remain the choice for your particular style.

Alpine touring skis

If you are a beginner, then you will ask yourself what size skis do I need. Additionally, to begin with, you may stick to lightweight skiing suitable for touring your location. Therefore, alpine touring skies remain a perfect choice.

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When you consider the question of what size skis do I need, then choose a ski who’s length sits somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. Furthermore, take into consideration the type of skiing and the terrain you wish to explore as you make your choice.

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Do you love skiing? Perhaps you have some expert tips you would like to share with us? Leave your comments below as we would love to read any advice you may share with us.

Featured image by: Pixabay

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