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Finding the correct ski size is initially based on your weight. However, various factors such as preferred terrain, skiing style, and ability level contribute to determining the proper ski size for each person.
* For men taller than 6’ who weigh less than 170 pounds, start at 170 pounds or a base ski size of 159cm.
A beginner is a first time skier or someone very new to skiing that will be cautious and is still learning basic control.
An intermediate skier has a little more experience learning the basics of controlling their skis. Intermediate skiers are still cautious on more challenging runs and are comfortable at moderate speeds. Athletic beginners will also benefit from skis designed for intermediate skiers.
An advanced intermediate skier is a more seasoned skier that has good basic technique and is either starting to explore off trail terrain, freestyle terrain, or wants to develop strong carving and technical skills. An advanced intermediate is comfortable skiing at moderate speeds on intermediate trails in most snow conditions or at moderate speeds on advanced trails in optimal snow conditions.
An advanced skier is capable of maintaining solid technique on advanced terrain in most snow conditions. These skiers are able to ski in control at higher speeds, but don’t always ski aggressively.
An expert skier is capable of skiing safely at high speeds on any terrain regardless of snow conditions. Expert skiers have strong technique and prefer to ski aggressively.
* Skiing style compares to others in your same ability level. Experts can be cautious, while beginners who like to ski fast would be considered aggressive.
Groomers are maintained trails, typically found on the front side of the mountain. Frontside Skis range from beginner to expert skill levels. These skis are narrower skis optimized for groomed and hard packed snow conditions.
All Mountain conditions include hard packed snow, tracked out crud, or hopefully a little fresh snow. All Mountain Skis are designed to be very consistent feeling, well rounded skis; performing best on trails and in the bumps or trees you find on the front side of the mountain.
Skis for the All Mountain/Powder skier fall into the All Mountain Wide skis category on Skis.com. Skis in this group are 91 - 110mm wide under the foot. They are best suited for the skier that likes to hit the back bowls early and finish up the day with a few laps under the lift before checking their skis and getting ready for après ski activities.
Skis suited for Backcountry terrain include skis in both our Alpine Touring and Powder Categories. Powder Skis are designed to be soft snow specialists. Usually shaped with larger amounts of rocker, powder skis will float no matter how deep the snow is. Alpine Touring Skis are designed to be lightweight for skinning and climbing while retaining high performance for skiing off the beaten trail.
Freestyle Skis are designed to fit the needs of ‘new school’ skiers. Built with the terrain park in mind, these skis are focused on being lightweight and durable for jumping and jibbing.
Once you have added or subtracted the factors for your ability level, skiing style, and terrain you now have a good idea of what size ski you should be using. Depending on which models of skis you are looking at purchasing the sizing might not come out exactly. It is ok to be off by a few centimeters. With our sizing refinements you can easily choose two different size ranges and see all skis in that range.
* For women shorter than 5’2 who weigh more than 150 pounds, start at 150 pounds or a base ski size of 151cm.