Find the Right Ski Size

Edited by Melvin Magadia, Robbi, Eng, VC

2 Parts:

Skiing is considered by many one of the best sports in which to indulge during the Winter and in cold climates. Finding the right ski for you is an important consideration. Bear in mind that just because one particular brand or model of ski works for one person that you will like it too. There is always an exception to the rule and choosing the right ski size is one of them. Here is a short guide on finding the right ski size.

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When looking for the right ski for you, take into consideration your gender. This will help ensure that the ski will be at its optimum performance. So if you are a woman, pick a ski that works best for your gender. If you are a man, go for skis designed for male skiers.

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Skill Level

After considering your gender, the next factor that will come into play when choosing the right ski is your skill level. There is no such thing as a "ski for all." Thus, you need to find a ski based on your ski ability. Choosing one that is below or above your ski level can hurt your ability to improve.

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Let us first identify the different skill levels. Skiers may be classified as beginner, advanced beginner, intermediate, advanced intermediate, advanced, and expert. The key in determining your skill level is to find a level that you are comfortable in and at the same time gives you room for improvement.

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A beginner level is a skier who has never or only skied a few times. They are just starting out with skiing. They are characterized as making pizza on smooth terrain.

An advanced beginner is one who is in the boundary of beginner and intermediate level. They are slowly integrating parallel positioning to complete their run. They may still make wedge turns and navigate the fall line with parallel skis.

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In intermediate level, the skier makes groomed blue runs with comfort and relative ease. They are starting to work their way towards completing parallel turns. They tend to use small wedge turns for speed control while the completion and traverse to the next turn is completed in a parallel position.

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The advanced intermediate skier finds comfort on all blues and can ski some black diamonds and on different terrains. They can make skidded parallel turns on many terrains at a moderate to high speed. They also rely on pole plants for proper timing and body positioning.

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The advanced level skier finds comfort in black diamonds and varied terrain. At high speed, they can make large and small radius carved runs on advanced terrain. Likewise, they use pole plants for the maintenance of proper timing and body positioning.

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Finally, an expert skier skis at high speed on all kinds of terrain. They can make large and small radius carved turns at high speed on advanced terrain in any condition,

So when choosing the right ski, pair your ability with the next higher level. So if you are a beginner skier, find a ski that will allow you to improve to the advanced beginner level.

Type of Ski

Aside from the gender and skill level, you should also consider the type of ski. There are only a few categories you need to understand. Downhill or Alpine skis are made up of a fixed boot, binding, and the ski. Nordic skis, on the other hand, are those where the heel is released from the binding. The following are the different categories of Alpine skis:

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All-Mountain Skis are designed for all kinds of snow conditions and works at all kinds of speed. The narrower variety works best at groomed runs while the wider ones are excellent for powdery and cruddy terrain.

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Powder Skis are perfect for skiing in areas frequented by major storms. They have a wide waist that prevents them from sinking deep into fresh snow. However, controlling them on groomed runs can be challenging and sluggish. These skis are also called Backcountry or Big Mountain skis.

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Twin Tip Skis are called as such because they have a curved-up tail as well as the standard curved-up tip. They were preferred by freestyle skiers and were designed for taking off or land jumps backward.

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Race Skis are more rigid, wider, and thinner than the regular All-Mountain Ski.

Turning Radius

Another factor to consider when choosing a ski is the turning radius. This may range from a minimum of 10 meters to a maximum of 25 meters or higher. In most cases, this is indicated on the skis.

If you like to make quick and snappy turns, look for skis with a turning radius of 12 - 16 meters. On the other hand, if you like bigger wide-open turns, choose skis with a turning radius of 16 to 22 meters. If the turning radius is not indicated, check the dimensions. The higher is the difference between the waist and tip and tail, the tighter the turning radius.

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Next, choose the binding that will be integrated with your ski. This is quite noticeable when you look for skis. Integrated bindings are highly suggested if you are not an experienced skier or is into freestyle skiing. With flex now being integral to the efficiency of shaped skis, integrated bindings have become a necessity. They have taken the place of shaped skis which did not perform according to their capability. Bindings are designed to hold your boots in. Thus, you can make the most out of what your ski can do.

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With the introduction of shaped skis, the length of skis have become varied. In most model of men's skis, the length may range from 165 - 185 centimeters while most women's skis range between 140 - 160 centimeters. These types of skis are usually shorter but have a wider surface area. However, they are designed to make fast and better turns and offers more stability because of its shape and flex patterns.

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A beginner should look for skis that reach up to their chin. For intermediates, it should extend to their nose while for the advanced, it should reach up to their forehead. The weight of the skier will also have an impact on the length of the skis. Heavier skiers require longer skis while lighter ones can opt for a shorter ski.

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The skiing style will also affect the length. For those who prefer faster and wider turns, a longer ski is best while a shorter type is ideal for the mellow skiers.

Bear these factors in mind and you can look forward to finding the right ski type for you.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Article Info

Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Eng, Robbi, Melvin Magadia

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