/ Question about ski length

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Why does your optimal ski length relate to your height?
Jack_Lewin - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

This is a general guide:

Piste Chin height to eye level, for easy carving and responsiveness. Longer for extra stability and wider, bigger turns.

All Mountain Nose level to forehead, can also depend on the width of ski chosen.

Freeride Forehead to over head height. Go ‘as big as you can handle’ for maximum floatation.

Freestyle Ski it eye level for the maximum ease of spinning and rail tricks, go bigger for all mountain versatility or extra stability and speed.

Park Ski it eye level for maximum ease of spinning and rail tricks, go bigger if you want the very best stability for landing and jumping.

Freestyle Backcountry Top of head and way beyond. The bigger the ski, the better the floatation.
top cat - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

> Why does your optimal ski length relate to your height?


It doesn't. It is a question of weight, not height. That's skiing weight, clothed with sack on..........
Jack_Lewin - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to top cat:

Not true, height is the more important variable for length. Weight comes in more when choosing boots and release settings for bindings. The longer the ski the more stable it will be but the harder to turn/give you a wider turning radius. The shorter the ski the easier to turn it will be but you will sacrifice float and stability. Then you have the stiffness of the ski to factor in as well...
nw - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to Jack_Lewin:

Yeah, otherwise why would they ask for height *and* weight when you buy skiis?
Jack_Lewin - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:

To set the binding release setting....
nw - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to Jack_Lewin:

er... I was agreeing with you and asking Topcat why people need to know your weight and height if height is irrelevant.
Jack_Lewin - on 06 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:

Oops sorry, misread your response.
top cat - on 07 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:

It's quite simple: your weight will determine how the ski flexes, and therefore how it will 'ski'. It will also determine how the ski will float in softer snow, and how likely it is to break through crust.

All the characteristics of the ski and it's skiability are down to weight. What does it matter where your head is in relation to the ski? [other than in terms of skiing technique of course]

The height factor is a throw back to trad Nordic/XC skiing, but now weight has been recognised as THE factor even for these disciplines.

And it is not just your normal weight, but your skiing weight...with pack etc.

If you can't see the logic in this, just go by heigth..........
In reply to top cat:

That seems logical to me.
Srick - on 07 Apr 2014
In reply to Submit to Gravity:

I think its mainly to do with weight. However the height is a good way to gauge a persons weight in relation to what ski they might need.

Black diamond skis have weight recommendations, not height recommendations. This is different for each individual ski. My Semi fat touring skis are in between my eye and forehead say, yet by my weight they say i should have the next size up.

However im not disagreeing of the age old method of gauging tall vs length.
nw - on 07 Apr 2014
In reply to top cat:

Fair enough, this was my first full season skiing so no doubt you know more than me. I just assumed it must have some significance if every time you hire or buy skiis they ask for it. I bought mine from a French outfit, wouldn't have thought they were unduly influenced by Nordic stuff?
Carolyn - on 07 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:

I think the move to calculating ski length by weight is fairly recent (5-10 years?), and hasn't been universally adopted even now. But it's hard to argue with the logic of "how can the ski know how tall you are?".

I suppose there might possibly be a small influence because of where the centre of gavity is.....
galpinos - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to Jack_Lewin:
> The longer the ski the more stable it will be but the harder to turn/give you a wider turning radius. The shorter the ski the easier to turn it will be but you will sacrifice float and stability.

All of the above is true, but has nothing to do with your height.

As Top cat says, your weight is the factor you need to consider that will affect the ski. However, picking a ski length is more involved than just how much you way, the length affects the characteristics as Jack said above.
galpinos - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:
> (In reply to Jack_Lewin)
>
> Yeah, otherwise why would they ask for height *and* weight when you buy skiis?

Because the person selling you them has no idea what they're talking about?
nw - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to galpinos:

Is stability not affected by height and centre of gravity? ie a taller person with a higher COG will benefit from longer skiis and greater stability to compensate?
nw - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to galpinos:

> Because the person selling you them has no idea what they're talking about?

Possibly. On the other hand there is an outside chance that the three hire centres and half a dozen online retailers who all asked for this information could have at least *some* idea what they are on about and you could be just another guy gobbing off on the internet...
galpinos - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to nw:
> (In reply to galpinos)
>
> [...]
>
> Possibly. On the other hand there is an outside chance that the three hire centres and half a dozen online retailers who all asked for this information could have at least *some* idea what they are on about

It's an easy way for a rental place to guess a length for you (combined with your weight) and I've no issue with that. As for on-line retailers, I can see why they use height and weight as well as an easy "guide", but if you're buying from an on-line retailer you are shouldering some of the risk yourself.

If I worked in a shop and was selling someone some skis, I'd want a lot more info than just weight and height. Just using those to factors then handing someone a ski saying "this is the length for you" is somewhat lazy for a purchase that is expensive and something someone is going to hang onto for a long time. Once drilled, you can't exactly take them back, unlike an oversized t-shirt!

> and you could be just another guy gobbing off on the internet...

I'm afraid that is true! I've just seen a lot of miss-sold ski kit and get a bee in my bonnet about it.
nw - on 09 Apr 2014
In reply to galpinos:

I see your point. In fairness, I bought mine from Glisshop and they called me up to discuss what sort of stuff I was skiing and wanted to ski etc.
In reply to all:

Thanks for the info - an interesting debate.
ads.ukclimbing.com

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.