The recommended ski length generated lies in the middle of your recommended ski length range after considering your height, weight, gender, ability level, skiing style, snow conditions, and fitness level.
Theoretically, anything within -/+3cms would work pretty fine for you. Do feel free to pick a pair of skis according to your preference. At the end of the day, you are the one who knows yourself the best.
Ski Length Calculator and Size Guide – How Can We Help You?
Hello and welcome! Here comes our ski length calculator to help you pick the most recommended ski length!
I am Aspen, the ski school manager of SSWBoardHouse. To develop this ski length calculator, we have asked the opinion of a lot of great skiers, snow gear shop owners, and trainers. After spending almost two months collecting thoughts and ideas, here comes our final version of the ski length calculator!
As ski instructors, we believe it is essential for you to understand the theory behind it. This ski length calculator will give you a rough idea about what length is suitable for you.
For sure, there is no fixed standard, and it’s more or less your own choice. That’s why we are adding some guidelines and explanations here so you can get a better picture of how to choose the most suitable skis.
Here are some of the factors we will take into account while choosing the skis.
Factors Affecting the Length of Your Skis
There are 2 types of factors that will affect the length of your skis, the fixed elements and variables.
Height – The taller you are, the longer skis you need. For an expert skier, we would recommend you choose a ski length the same as your height. For a beginner, you may need a pair of skis that’s at your jaw level.
The next factor is your weight. If your weight is below average? Go for shorter skis and vice versa. You will need a pair of longer skis if you are heavier than average.
Genders will be taken into account too, because females’ muscular strength is different from males’.
The below factors will also affect the suitable length of your skis.
Your Ski Level?
Other than height and weight, we believe your ski level is the 3rd most important factor in choosing ski lengths.
Here are some common standards used by instructors to determine a student’s ski level:
- Beginners: You can ski down a beginner-intermediate slope with wedge turn
- Intermediate: You can ski down an intermediate-advanced slope with half parallel and parallel turns
- Advanced: You can ski down advanced slopes with parallel turns, and you can perform basic short turns
- Experts: you can ride on all types of slopes in parallel and show the performance of your skis
Note: We often come across skiers who tend to believe they ski better than they actually are. Our online ski lessons service offers a quick ski level video analysis service if you are unsure about your ski level.
You may get fewer detailed comments, but we will let you know your overall performance—very affordable price too.
Beginners need much shorter skis than an expert. Sometimes, the difference can be up to 20 cm. Shorter skis are easier to control, and they create less pressure for your legs. So it’s always good to start with shorter skis.
However, shorter skis are also less stable at higher speeds. It would help if you had stiffer and longer skis when you get better at skiing, but let’s talk about the flex in another article.
Your Skiing Style?
As mentioned, the shorter the skis, the easier for you to control them. So if you love something relaxing and easy going, skiing at a relatively slow speed and terrains, shorter skis are great options because they are lighter and less tiring.
If you love speeds and explore different terrains, it’s a good idea for you to get longer, heavier, and stiffer skis because it’s more stable.
Where will You be Skiing?
On-piste (groomer) skis are most likely your first pair of skis, and they are more like the average option, pretty standard.
If you plan to explore the whole mountain, then all-mountain skis would probably be a great option. Considering you will ski on both powders and groomed runs, they are usually longer than groomers and shorter than powder skis.
*Groomer (Carving long turn): it took us some time to consider whether we should add this opinion. Usually, if you are advanced or Expert skiers who love to carve long turns like Giant Slalom, you probably know what skis work best and don’t need this calculator.
But then we believe it’s nice to explain the theory behind it: you will need longer skis that will bring you more stability under high speed, very likely that you will need a pair of stiffer skis, and stiffer ski boots too.
If you ski in off-piste/powder conditions, you need something long and wide too, preferably with a rocker profile. Skis with a larger surface area will allow you to float better on powder snow.
If you are starting on freestyle, it’s good to get something shorter, lighter, and with higher maneuverability. However, my friend, a professional freestyle skier, his skis are pretty long too, because he needed higher speed for generating longer air time. But you should know what length you need when you are at that level.
Your Fitness Level?
Skiing is a sport, a fantastic sport, but it is a sport. It’s easier for you to handle it if your body is pretty used to working out because your muscles are activated.
So you may want to go easy on choosing your skis if you consider yourself not too fit, though. It’s less tiring, so you can have a more prolonged and enjoyable time on the slopes.
If you exercise regularly or consider yourself pretty good at controlling your body, usually, it will be just fine for you to go for a standard length.
Ski Size Guide
When it comes to choosing the appropriate ski size, other than length, you may come across the terms “ski waist width” and “ski sidecut radius.”
Ski waist width
Depending on the snow conditions and your skiing style. If you prefer to ski on groomed runs or love carving, you want to go for a pair of skis with narrow ski waist width, so it shortens the time for changing edge, i.e., more responsive.
If you love skiing on powder snow or off pistes (backcountry), then you will need a wider ski waist, so your skis will float on the powder snow.
Here are the suggested ski waist width for different conditions:
- 60-70mm: Icy conditions/Racing/Giant Slalom
- 70-80mm: Beginner
- 70-90mm: Groomer
- 80-100mm: All- Mountain
- 85-105mm: Ungroomed packed powder
- 100-115mmVariable snow/Crud/Chopped up powder
- 100 +mm: Powder
Ski Sidecut Radius
The lower the sidecut radius number, the easier for you to make a shorter and sharper turn. If you prefer faster skiing, you may want to go for a larger sidecut radius number because your skis will tend to make longer turns (point straight downhill).
- 10-13m – Slalom, carving ski
- 14-22m – All-mountain, park, powder, freestyle skis for taking up a higher speed
- 18-35m – Giant Slalom, Junior to World Cup skis
- 40+m and above: SuperG, Downhill skis
Important Tips and Information
We believe that over 90% of readers who need to use this ski size calculator are beginners or intermediate skiers. Advance or expert skiers probably know what you need already, but do feel free to give us some opinion!
There are tons of factors you need to consider when choosing the right skis, length, ski radius, sidecut, types of skis. We are just trying to simplify everything and give you a big picture. You are welcome to contact us for an online conference call if you want to learn something deeper.
Again, do remember that the numbers are just a recommended length. Don’t panic if you can’t find a pair of skis matching the recommended length at the rental shop. It’s ok, the most optimum ski length is usually a range, and your body will get used to it.
Simply pick a shorter or longer one based on your conditions and preferences. And you will be fine.
This calculator is for adults only, do avoid using this calculator for kids, if you want to check the ski size for your kids, please drop us a line.
Still not so sure about how to pick your ski length? Simply email us at email@example.com and we will see how we can help you out!