How to choose the right size for your pair of skis? the advice of Hawaii Surf specialist in Skiing and winter sports

Choosing the size of your pair of skis is not easy. We are going to dissect with you the essential steps in this ski tutorial in order to guide you as best as possible in choosing the most perfect size according to your needs. After having defined your level of skiing, program and style of discipline, it will be much easier for you to choose your new pair of slats in the right size.

How to define my size of ski according to my program of practitioner?

Before even embarking on the choice of a pair of skis by size, it is important to define what type of skier we are with respect to the types of ski available on the market. This choice is important because depending on the discipline that appeals to you the most, you will have to opt for a range of skis shorter or shorter than your usual size.

We have dedicated an article to you in our ski buying guide with the "How to choose your ski program" page, as well as a video with one of our technicians. You can view the latter and read our article to help you choose your ski program. Defining your skiing style and knowing your level of practitioner is very useful for choosing your ski size.

Below is a quick diagram to help you choose your ski size according to the practices we offer on our website and Hawaiisurf skishop.

how to choose the size of my skis

How do I choose the size of piste skis according to my desires and the programme?

When your practice is intended to descend only on marked slopes, you will ski pairs of skis with a waist width between 70 and 85 MM maximum. We talk in the ski industry about fairly short and narrow skis. These are skis with a "unidirectional" shape, therefore with a front spatula intended for exclusive practice in forward motion, therefore impossible to descend in "switch" as on skis with a double spatula (Freestyle). This type of ski is effective especially on hard snow, such as on the piste after a passage of the snow groomer in the morning.

We could classify and offer several major categories of skiing intended for on-piste practice, depending on your level and desires:

Versatile-Piste skis:

We class here skis intended more for a "versatile-piste" practice for practitioners with a technical background from beginner to intermediate, making their first descents or practicing skiing to relax with 2/3 hours maximum in a day at a slow pace. Skiing gently while progressing slowly is how this program should be seen. For this type of ski we advise to take a length between -5 CM and + 5 CM maximum compared to your height.

Taking a ski shorter than your usual size will allow you to turn more easily, giving you much more stability even at high speeds and thus gaining control and confidence in your progress as a skier. If you want to take them a bit larger than your height, make sure you take a pair of skis with a long enough Rocker in the front tip, so it won't affect your curves and turns, since the front tip has a greater angle will not come into direct contact with the track.

Versatile-Freeride (or All mountain) skis

This type of ski offers practice conditions both for the piste and off-piste for freer practice (freeride) in order to enjoy better snow conditions and to be able to ski away from the crowds while ensuring that you are equipped in case of avalanche risk. These are kis that are also found in Freerando programs. Often with a unidirectional shape, flat tail, rocker in the front tip and a width size at the waist that is between 85-95 MM and 90-100 MM for skis at 50/50 between piste and freeride or you can choose for bipatulated shapes and different cambers and rockers.

You can opt for skis in your size on this kind of program or even shorter by 10 CM maximum if you consider your practice more important on piste than off piste, but you still want a more punchy and versatile ski than classic downhill skiing.

Freeride skis

Here we are talking about really wide pairs of skis with a waist width of more than 105 MM, intended to seek the most curved in deep snow, just to make the first tracks on a very steep slope. This type of ski exists in both unidirectional and double-sided shapes, with +/- rocker and especially long tips and with more substantial angles that will allow you to plane and float with ease in deep snow.

With this kind of ski it is recommended a hair shorter than your 5 CM if you still want to keep a little versatility and your level is not yet that of Candide Thovex, or conversely to take up to + 10 CM to practice the discipline with excellence.

Versatile-Freestyle skis

It is the ideal program for those who want to make each track a playground with great tricks, jumping over bumps, fir trees, rocks and all the other natural modules or reserve a practice in a snowpark demonstrating your creativity both in slope-style and in Park. We consider skis of this classification with a waist width between 85 and 95 MM. All Bi-spatulate (front and rear tip) to allow practice both in front and in switch.

Opt for skis that are a few centimeters shorter than your height by - 5 CM to - 10 CM maximum, in order to gain playability and maneuverability.

Freestyle-Backcountry skis

The ski program for Freestyle technicians who want to perform off-piste tricks in heavy conditions, using nature as furniture for jumping and taking off. This kind of ski offers front and rear spatula rocker, and a bidirectional shape, with a waist width that easily exceeds 100 MM. In short, it's the perfect combo between Freerstyle and Freeride skis.

Opt for skis with a size between + 5 and + 10 CM maximum above your height depending on your level.

Should I take my weight into account when choosing the size of my skis?

Indeed, the weight of the skier or skier will have an impact on the quality of the glide and the lift of the skis. The heavier the skier, the more he will have to opt for longer skis to optimize lift, while a lighter skier will tend to choose skis that are shorter in length to ensure excellent maneuverability and reduce the radius of the turn.

Thus the strongest sizes will tend to choose skis in the high range of sizes, while it will be the opposite for the smallest sizes, and this regardless of the ski program and your level.

Should women choose their skis the same way as men?

No difference in the choice of ski gear whether you are a woman or a man. The only fact is that the sizes offered are smaller, because on average you have smaller frames than men (height and weight), and your ski builds are sometimes better suited to your fitness level. We find skis identical to the men's versions but with a little more flexibility, therefore ride comfort.