Skiing is one of the most exciting and rewarding sports of all. While some people might see cold weather as a reason to head inside, skiers know better. When the air becomes chilly and the snow starts to fall, skiers have more fun than just about anyone else.

One key to satisfying skiing sometimes goes overlooked, though. Having the right equipment can make every bit as much of a difference as the snow conditions that so many focus on. An improperly fitted pair of skis can drag down the experience just as icy snow or a lack of cover might. Making good use of an online ski size calculator, though, is typically all that it takes to make sure this cannot happen.

Illustration for article titled Finding the Perfect Ski Length for a Given Skierem/em

Ski size chart styles vary quite a bit, but some basics tend to crop up again and again. For one, skis will generally need to grow longer as the person meant for them becomes taller. The same basic idea holds with regard to weight, where a heavier skier will normally want longer skis than a lighter one.

If this is all there were to the matter, then any old ski size chart would be able to give an answer quickly and without fail. In fact, though, other considerations mean that these static figures can only provide a baseline, with skier preferences and other factors also figuring in to the equation.

For skiers who prefer to make quick, snappy turns all day long, for example, a ski length calculator will typically suggest some shorter skis than might otherwise be recommended. For those who would rather cruise at higher speeds carving longer arcs in the snow, on the other hand, going with a somewhat longer ski will often make more sense.

The reason for this is simple and easy enough to understand. A longer ski will tend to offer more stability, a feature that can make it easier to stay in control at higher speeds. Likewise will increased length also lend a ski more to making turns of similarly expanded radius.

The opposite tends to hold for shorter skis, too. Skis that are short relative to what might normally be recommended for a skier of a particular height and weight will be easier to turn quickly, making them more appropriate for slalom-style carving than for high-speed downhill bombing. While it can take a bit of effort to figure out exactly what length of ski will best suit a given skier, doing so often turns out to be part of the fun.

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