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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.
Adult Race Skis – (Over 130 lbs.) If you are NOT following FIS regulations please use the following guidelines to help you select the correct size skis. If you have a coach you can consult to help you determine which size is best for you as an athlete that is always best; as they know your racing skills, style, and terrain best.
Women - All aggressive, confident, experienced female racers weighing more than 135 pounds can use the Women’s Length of the FIS Approved Race Skis.
Women - Less experienced / aggressive female racers, lighter weight athletes, or those skiing at small resorts with flat terrain should consider cheater skis which will be easier to flex and initiate turns.
Men - All aggressive, confident, experienced male racers weighing more than 165 pounds can use the Men’s Length of the FIS Approved Race Skis.
Men - Aggressive, confident, and experienced male racers who are lighter weight (130-155 lbs.) , still developing to physical maturity, or skiing smaller resorts with flatter terrain should consider using the women’s length of the FIS Approved Race Skis.
Men - Less experienced / aggressive male racers, lighter weight athletes (120-150 lbs.) , or those skiing at small resorts with flat terrain should consider cheater skis which will be easier to flex and initiate turns.
* For women shorter than 5’2 who weigh more than 150 pounds, start at 150 pounds or a base ski size of 151cm.
** If your child is taller than average for their weight it is acceptable to go up one ski size.
Tween Twin Tips - Designed for advanced kids and tweens weighing no more than 125 lbs. These Skis are available in larger sizes typically starting at 140cm.
Tween Twin Tip Skis
** Remember the design of twin tip skis reduces the length of the effective edge and there for will ski slightly shorter than traditional skis of the same length. If your child is between sizes it is ok to get the longer pair.
Race Skis - Designed for racers weighing no more than 145 lbs. competing in slalom and giant slalom. If your junior racer is competing in USSA events please check the FIS and USSA Equipment Regulations to ensure that equipment regulations are being met.
Junior Race Skis
Race Ski Sizing
Ski Racing is all about being as precise as possible at every turn in the course to get to the bottom faster than the competition. That being said sizing Race Skis can be a little tricky as every racer wants to have the skis which give them the best advantage to win.
If you or your athlete will be racing in USSA or FIS competitions, depending on age group there may be strict rules about Race Skis. Please check the FIS and USSA Equipment Rules to ensure that the equipment you are selecting complies with the requirements for you or your racer’s age group.
Athletes opting not to compete in FIS or USSA sanctioned events will have the liberty to choose skis based on their height, weight, and ability… not just their age.
Below are guidelines on which sizes of equipment to pick based on a skiers weight. If a racer is confident in their abilities and utilizes proper racing techniques to initiate each turn easily they may want to consider skis which are a bit longer. Longer skis are more stable at higher speeds and have more surface area which makes them glide faster. Shorter skis are easier to turn.
For kids under age 15 and weighing less than 145 pounds this chart makes selecting the right size simple.
Junior Race Skis Sizing Chart
For teenagers and adults the sizing gets a bit more complicated. Use the guidelines below for selecting the right size skis based on weight, ability, and terrain.
If you are in the market for new ski boots you have come to the right place; Skis.com is proud to offer a vast selection of boots for all types of skiers. From the beginner just starting out skiing to the advanced skiers slashing powder lines in the backcountry we are s