Check out our great deals on shared transfers all over the alps!

Val Thorens
From Geneva – €49.50
Tignes
From Geneva – €49.50
Morzine
From Geneva – €24.50
Les Gets
From Geneva – €24.50
Meribel
From Geneva – €44.50
Courchevel
From Geneva – €49.50
Val d’Isere
From Geneva – €49.50
Avoriaz
From Geneva – €24.50
La Plagne
From Geneva – €49.50
Les Arcs
From Geneva – €49.50
Chamonix
From Geneva – €24.50
Verbier
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
La Rosiere
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
Les Menuires
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
Les Deux Alpes
From Geneva – €54.50
Alpe D’Huez
From Geneva – €54.50
Val Thorens
From Geneva – €49.50
Tignes
From Geneva – €49.50
Morzine
From Geneva – €24.50
Les Gets
From Geneva – €24.50
Meribel
From Geneva – €44.50
Courchevel
From Geneva – €49.50
Val d’Isere
From Geneva – €49.50
Avoriaz
From Geneva – €24.50
La Plagne
From Geneva – €49.50
Les Arcs
From Geneva – €49.50
Chamonix
From Geneva – €24.50
Verbier
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
La Rosiere
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
Les Menuires
From Geneva – 49.50 CHF
Les Deux Alpes
From Geneva – €54.50
Alpe D’Huez
From Geneva – €54.50

What Size Skis Do I Need?

What Size Skis Do I Need?

As a beginner or even a seasoned skier, you might wonder, “What size skis do I need?”. The correct equipment will dramatically influence your enjoyment on the slopes, so it is worth ensuring your skis are the correct length for your height, weight, ability, and skiing style.

 

Whether you are travelling with all your equipment, or planning to purchase new skis when you arrive at your resort, our shared transfers and private transfers will get you closer to your accommodation so you can just relax and enjoy the journey.

 

For more top tips, check out our guide to skiing for beginners, or you can find more advice on what to wear skiing in our dedicated articles.

What-Size-Skis-Do-I-Need

What length skis do I need?

As a rough guide to finding the right ski length, if holding your skis upright next to you they should stand somewhere between the top of your head and your chin. This will give you an approximate range to work within, then other factors can be considered to refine the measurements further. For example, beginners will usually benefit from shorter skis in their height range, whereas more experienced skiers may prefer a longer ski.

Ski length chart (Adults)

This ski length chart should give you a starting point for selecting the appropriate ski length for your height and ability.

 

Shorter skis are helpful when you are trying to master turning and learning the basics, whereas longer skis provide more stability which can make turning more challenging.

Ski length chart (Children)

Skis for children should be somewhere between their chest and nose in length. If they are lighter or heavier for their height you can opt for a shorter or longer ski to help with stability. Unlike clothing, it’s best not to buy skis that are intentionally too big for a growing child. Parents often choose to hire rather than buy equipment for their children for this reason.

When to choose a longer or shorter ski

In basic terms, there are a few reasons you might opt for a shorter or longer ski for your height range.

Shorter skis (closer to your chin)

  •  If your weight is below average for your height a shorter ski may be more suitable for you.
  • Beginner and intermediate skiers will usually benefit from skis at the lower end of their height range.
  • If you enjoy carving, making short sudden turns across the piste you could choose a shorter ‘carving ski’. These skis also tend to have a slimmer waist section which creates a smaller turning radius.

Longer skis (closer to the top of your head)

  •   If your main goal is to travel fast and make longer turns a longer ski will provide more stability.
  • If your weight is above average for your height it might be worth trying a slightly longer ski.
  • Skiing aggressively and skiing off the trail will be enhanced by a longer ski.

Ski dimensions

Once you have found the correct ski length, you can also consider the ski dimensions. Ski dimensions are usually specified using three measurements. These measurements are for the tip, waist and tail of the ski.

 

As well as dimensions and ski length, there are lots of different elements and features of a ski that can change how it performs. We’ve included a short explanation of some of the most common features below.

Camber

Traditional skis and snowboards usually have a slight upward curve in the middle, this means that when your weight is on the ski an even amount of pressure is applied to the snow from the tip to the tail. This shape offers precision and power on harder, more compact snow and well-groomed slopes.

Rocker

Rocker is the opposite of camber, and is sometimes called ‘reverse camber’. Rocker skis glide over powder snow more freely and make turning easier. Wider ski shapes are often rockered, as it helps to increase manoeuvrability across the wider profile.

Camber and rocker combinations

Ski technology has allowed for the development of ski shapes to suit a huge range of styles and terrains. The profile of a ski can be finely adjusted to ensure the appropriate level of snow contact for the conditions and style of skiing by combining camber, rocker and flat sections.

Waist

The narrowest point at the centre of a ski is called the waist. This section can be varied to produce different qualities on the snow, making skis hugely versatile. Narrower waist skis are beneficial for making speedy edge-to-edge turns, whereas wider waists help the skis to float over powder and off-piste terrain.

Sidecut (deep/subtle)

The relationship between the waist of a ski and its tip and tail is referred to as the sidecut.

 

Deep sidecut

The narrower the waist in relation to the tip and tail, the deeper the sidecut. Skis with a deep sidecut will have a shorter turn radius allowing the skier to make faster turns.

 

Subtle sidecut

A wider waist in relation to the tip and tail produces a more subtle sidecut. Skis with a subtle sidecut have a longer turn radius. Although they turn more slowly, they are more stable at high speeds.

Different skis by ability

As the technology used to make skis has advanced it has become possible for beginners to ski using a wider range of skis. However, some features might make certain skis more suitable for skiers of different abilities.

Beginner to intermediate skiers

Usually, beginner and intermediate skiers will be better suited to skis that are easy to turn and more forgiving of mistakes. Look for narrower widths and soft flex. Rocker in the tip and tail of the ski will also help with initiating turns.

Intermediate to advanced skiers

Skiers in this ability range will usually look for a versatile ski to take them from carving on groomed slopes to adventures across powder and off-piste terrain. Intermediate and advanced skiers will often favour wider skis than beginners, with a combination of rocker and camber depending on the ideal use and preferred skiing style.

Advanced to expert skiers

When skiers reach an advanced to expert level, they often enjoy a particular style of skiing or ideal terrain, meaning they can opt for highly specialised skis if desired. Stiffer skis made of advanced materials, combing rocker, camber and finely tuned sidecut variations can be chosen to suit your requirements. Ultimately, an increased level of skill will allow you to choose whatever feels comfortable and find a ski that provides the greatest experience on the slopes.

Ski style and feel - Terrain-specific skis

Another way to choose between skis is to look at terrain-specific varieties, which have common features depending on where you’ll spend most of your time on the slopes. From a versatile all-rounder to specific skis for powder, carving or ski park tricks, each ski style has a different strength and feel.

All mountain skis

If you are looking for a versatile ski that can handle most terrain and conditions then an all-mountain ski is likely to be most suitable. They won’t perform as well at individual disciplines but an all-mountain ski will give you the most range. All-mountain skis still come in a huge range of shapes and sizes to suit your requirements, and they’ll usually have a mid-fat waist of between 80-110mm.

Powder skis

If you like to ski in powder snow, or if your favourite resort is known for regular, fresh snowfall you’ll benefit from the features of a dedicated powder ski. This style of ski usually has a wide waist of over 115mm and features rocker across all or some of the ski length.

Carving skis

The narrow waist of a carving ski means they have a short turning radius and are often preferred by skiers who like to turn quickly on well-groomed slopes with hard-packed snow. This type of ski can also be suitable for beginners and intermediate skiers learning the basics of turning and stopping.

Park, pipe and jib skis

Also referred to as ‘freestyle skis’, park, pipe and jib skis have many variations depending on the tricks you are looking to master. They usually have a fairly narrow waist and can have lots of different patterns of camber and rocker. Freestyle skis usually take a fair amount of force so benefit from having thicker and more durable edges.

Are you planning your next skiing adventure?

We provide an excellent transfer service from the major airports to some of the most popular skiing destinations in Europe. Our customers enjoy the convenience of our private transfers and shared transfers to get them to their accommodation in style. To find out more, or to book your airport transfers for your next visit to the slopes, simply contact us today.

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