Guide to Choosing Ski Length

Choosing ski length used to be so easy. All you had to do was hold your skis up to your body, reach over your head, and make sure that the tips of the skis touched your wrist. This, of course, was before a wide variety of ski types became available. As ski technology has advanced and skis have become wider, they have also become shorter. This means that the standard of measuring skis has had to evolve.

Some people make the mistake of believing that your height comes into play when choosing ski length. Actually, it is primarily your weight. The heavier you are, the longer you'll want your skis to be. This will make you steadier on your skis. Be sure to avoid skis which are too long; these may cause you to have difficulty turning. If you're on the lighter side, look for skis which come up to around your nose. Just as you don't want your skis to be too long, make sure they're not too short. If they are, you'll have trouble keeping control of yourself, especially at higher speeds.

Other things to consider are the type of skiing that you do. If you're into quick, sharp turns or doing tricks, stick to skis which are on the shorter side. Shorter skis will provide you with more maneuverability. Long skis don't do well in moguls, as they don't turn well. If you're a recreational skier, your skis will most likely be a bit longer (though still much shorter than they would have been ten to twenty years ago).

Ultimately the length of your skis will be determined by the brand and style that you choose. Ski manufacturers design their skis differently and don't stick to one universal guideline. This means that when you're ski shopping you'll have to consult the size chart that is produced by the ski manufacturer you're considering. Don't forget that you can always ask ski salespeople for help. They're generally experts in the area and will help you find the skis that you are comfortable on.

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