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What Size Skis Do I Need?

If you want to understand ski sizing, the ski size chart below will help you answer that ever-important question: ‘what length skis are right for me?’.

Personal preference plays a huge role when looking at ski length. In essence, though, the best ski for beginners should be a shorter ski and advanced skiers should choose a longer ski.

But whilst your height and skiing ability are two of the most important factors in choosing a ski, you should also consider your weight and the style of skiing you like to do most.

Shorter Skis


  • Best skis for beginners
  • Better for rails, boxes and jibbing
  • More nimble and agile
  • Easier for tricks


  • Less stable at speed
  • Less impact absorption

Longer Skis


  • Better for intermediate and advanced skiers
  • Better for bigger park jumps
  • More stable through choppy snow and at speed
  • Better impact absorption


  • Less nimble and agile
  • Harder to control at slow speeds

Rider Weight

If you’re a heavier build than the average for someone of your height, a longer ski will give you more edge to grip the snow during a turn, and more base area for flotation in powder and cruddy snow.

Conversely, if you’re a slimmer build, you may want to consider going for a shorter ski as you’ll need less edge or surface area to support your weight than someone of an average build.

Style of Skiing

It’s also important to think about the type of skiing you’ll be doing most because you might want to choose a longer or shorter ski to suit your style.

Piste Skis Sizing

If you like to ski faster than most, then a longer ski will inspire confidence and give you more stability. Alternatively, for slower speeds and tighter manoeuvres, a shorter ski will give you more control.

Freestyle Skis (or Park & Pipe Skis) Sizes

If you’re more freestyle-focussed (you like spinning and jumping) you’ll want a ski that’s more nimble. A slightly shorter ski will work better for you as there’ll be less ski to move around. For bigger park features and higher speeds, you’ll want to increase the length and look for a longer ski with more edge and base for a stable platform on take-offs and landings.

Off Piste Skis, Powder Skis and Freeride Skis Sizes

In basic terms, a longer ski will give you more surface area and float in powder, but it’s important to also consider the shape and profile of many powder-oriented skis. Quite often backcountry and freeride skis will have a lot of rocker upfront – essentially a proportion of the ski sticking up in the air – meaning that if you take them onto the piste you’ll have less of the effective edge in contact with the snow. A longer ski will give you more effective edge engagement and control on the piste.

Ski Length Calculator

Work out the right ski length for men with the ski sizing chart below:

Skier Height (cm/in) Advanced Skier Length (cm) Intermediate Skier Length (cm) Beginner Skier Length (cm)
137 4’6″ 140 135 125
142 4’8″ 145 140 130
152 5’0″ 155 145 135
158 5’2″ 165 155 145
168 5’6″ 175 165 155
173 5’8″ 180 170 160
178 5’10” 185 175 165
183 6’0″ 190 180 170
188 6’2″ 195 185 175
193 6’4″ 200 190 180

Check out the womens ski size chart for help sizing up female-specific skis:

Skier Height (cm/in) Advanced Skier Length (cm) Intermediate Skier Length (cm) Beginner Skier Length (cm)
142 4’8″ 149 139 136
152 5’0″ 152 142 139
158 5’2″ 153 146 143
163 5’4″ 163 153 150
168 5’6″ 166 156 153
173 5’8″ 170 160 157
178 5’10” 173 163 160
183 6’0″ 180 170 167

Check out our ski buying guide for more about the different types of ski available and a jargon-busting tech guide. If you’re still not sure what size skis to buy then get in touch and we’ll be happy to help.