How to Select the Right Size Skis

A generic ski size chart utilizes the height of the skier to determine the right size of skis needed. It is the standard by which most people select skis, but it does not consider other essential components that directly affect the ski performance.

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  1. A generic ski size chart utilizes the height of the skier to determine the right size of skis needed. It is the standard by which most people select skis, but it does not consider other essential components that directly affect the ski performance. A regular Ski size chart can provide a basis for ski size, but other variables can help narrow down the search for the perfect pair of skis. Every skier is different and a new interactive ski size calculator employs a complex system to reflect that fact. Variables include skiing style, level of experience, aggressiveness, preferred terrain, and geographic location.

    A cross country skier, for example, will not have a goal of excessive speed. Stability is required for long distance skiing so a longer than average ski may be most beneficial. Advanced skiers can utilize longer skis as well, as can skiers who are heavier than average for their height. A ski length calculator typically recommends finding skis that fall somewhere between the chin and the top of the head. Beginners will do better with shorter skis because they are easier to turn. Skis for women tend to be lighter and shorter than skis for men, but many intermediate of advanced women skiers prefer longer skis for speed.

    The length of skis for children are still based on height and weight, but other considerations have been added to the interactive online guide. Shorter skis, for example, are recommended for beginners who make short turns, are lighter than average for their height, and do not prefer to ski aggressively. Longer skis can be purchased for children if they are heavier than average for their height, like to ski fast, or need room to grow into the skis. Purchasing a longer pair for children will ensure they will last for at least two seasons, maybe three depending on the growth rate.

    Other considerations include turning radius, referred rocker type, and waist length. The rocker type refers to how the skis meet the snow. Traditional camber skis have a slight upward curve in the middle, which is preferable for racers and park riders. Rocker skis are flat in the middle so most of the ski makes contact with the snow. The ends are turned up slightly making the ski a bit wider and easier to turn. There are also variations that have a combination of camber and rocker styles. Finding a company with knowledgeable staff, an interactive sizing chart, and a wide selection of skis will make selecting the perfect skis easy and convenient.
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