Ski sizing: How to choose the right ski length

If you want to understand ski sizing, the ski size chart below will give you a basic guide to finding the right ski length based on your height and ability. In essence though, beginners should choose 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.

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.

Speed

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 manoeuvre, a shorter ski will give you more control.

Freestyle

If you’re more freestyle-focussed and you want a ski that’s going to be more nimble for rails or indoor slopes then 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 a longer ski with more edge and base for a stable platform in take-offs and landings.

Off-piste and powder

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 up front - essentially a proportion of the ski sticking up in the air - meaning that if you take them onto the piste you'll have less effective edge in contact with the snow at any one time. A longer ski will give you more effective edge and control on the piste.

Check out our ski buyer's guide, for more about the different types of ski available and a jargon-busting tech guide, but if there's more that you don't understand, feel free to get in touch and we'll be happy to help.

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Ski size chart

Men's

       

Skier Height (cm) 

Skier Height (ft & in) 

Suggested Length for Advanced Skier (cm)

Suggested Length for Intermediate Skier (cm)

Suggested Length for Beginner Skier (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

         

Women's

       

Skier Height (cm) 

Skier Height (ft & in) 

Suggested Length for Advanced Skier (cm)

Suggested Length for Intermediate Skier (cm)

Suggested Length for Beginner Skier (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