Size Guide: Skis
Not sure what size of skis you need? Curated Experts know how important finding your perfect fit is. Find sizing information for skis here.
Here on Curated, your Ski Expert wants to find the best products for you. That starts with finding the perfect fit. But with so many skis options, finding the right pair can be daunting. This guide is designed to help users compare the sizing of different products.
Don’t forget to chat with a Curated Expert for free advice and recommendations on the best skis for your needs.
What Is My Ideal Ski Length?
A good rule of thumb for the recommended range for skis is that the tips should line up somewhere between your chin and the top of your head when holding the skis upright in front of you. Shorter skis are better for less skilled skiers and taller height skis are best for more advanced skiers. This can be checked easily when trying skis in ski shops, but when buying online, this isn’t possible. Instead, it is best to locate your height off of a standardized chart and determine what size skis are best for your skill level.
The ski sizing chart below is intended to give you a good sense of how a ski will fit in regard to your height and skill level. Narrowing down your correct ski size range based on your height and ability level and identifying the corresponding ski length is a great way to start with ski sizing.
Ski Sizing Chart
|Skier Height (ft/in)||Skier Height (cm)||Advanced (cm)||Intermediate (cm)||Beginner (cm)|
It is worth mentioning that ski manufacturers typically make models in 7-10 centimeter increments, on average. It is best to choose a ski in the middle of your ski size range, but the recommended sizes are listed as a 10cm span because finding a ski that is the exact length to the centimeter is usually not possible. Also, some ski manufacturers measure ski material before pressing, and some measure their final shape—so the measurements are not always consistent! Instead, aim to start within the middle of the corresponding range on this chart, and consider sizing up if you are a more experienced or confident skier and sizing down if you are less experienced or a cautious skier. Making these minor changes within your skill level can help you fine-tune your skis’ feel.
How Do I Determine My Ability Level?
As a general guideline mentioned above, beginner skis should be shorter and stand closer to your chin when held upright. This is because shorter skis are more maneuverable and easier to control at slower speeds. Expert-level skis should be longer and stand closer to the top of your head. Longer skis are better for higher speeds and offer stability through more advanced terrain. To put it another way: beginner skiers should choose skis around 20 cm less than their height; more confident beginners can choose skis that are closer to 15 cm below their height; intermediate skiers should have skis around 10 cm less than their height; advanced skiers should be 5cm less; and expert skis can be the same height as the skier, or taller.
Am I a Beginner Skier?
To be labeled as a "beginner" means that you are in one of the widest ranges of users on the ski hill—congrats! A beginner skier can be someone who is learning how to step into their ski bindings for the very first time, all the way up to someone who is able to make higher-speed parallel turns down some of the steepest green runs on the mountain. If you are brand new to skiing or are most comfortable on green runs, then you are likely a beginner skier. Generally speaking, you should choose beginner-length skis if you...
- Are newer to skiing
- Ski 1-4 days per year
- Are getting back into skiing after many years
- Like skiing more cautiously
For some, the progression through the stages of being a beginner skier is quick and natural while for others is long, arduous, and takes years. There is no shame in being labeled as a beginner, and in fact, choosing skis that align with your ability level usually equates to even more skillful skiing. Shorter skis for beginners equate to more confidence because they are more maneuverable and easier to control.
Am I an Intermediate Skier?
Intermediate skiers are generally comfortable keeping their skis in parallel to control their speed. Intermediates can be found on slopes of various degrees of difficulty, but generally are most comfortable on blue runs. Intermediates are able to keep their speed in control and employ the proper techniques when challenged. They also can comfortably hockey stop in more difficult terrain. Typically, you are an intermediate skier if you...
- Ski mostly on vacations
- Find black diamond terrain to be challenging or intimidating
- Are newly experimenting with off-piste or tree skiing
- Feel most relaxed on blue runs.
Mid-length skis for intermediates help aid in progression as they maintain stability while still being maneuverable enough for the skier to keep in control.
Am I an Advanced Skier?
Advanced skiers are comfortable on most marked terrain on the ski hill. Advanced skiers can ski in parallel on most terrain and are happy to get on edge and carve when skiing black diamonds. Some advanced skiers also can comfortably ski off-piste and navigate through variable snow conditions and terrain. Advanced skiers are typically challenged only on harder black diamond or double black diamond runs. You might be an advanced skier if you...
- Frequent your local ski hill
- Are comfortable and controlled in black diamond terrain
- Rarely need to look at run grades when choosing a way down the mountain
- Often ski at high speeds
Advanced skiers choose longer skis because they are more stable at high speeds and in steeper terrain.
Please refer to our Ski Size Chart: How to Size Skis for a more detailed look at what to consider while choosing skis.
With so many Skis options to sort through, it can be really helpful to chat with someone who understands your needs and provides guidance. If you have any questions about finding the right skis, chat with a Ski Expert here on Curated for free, personalized recommendations.