This section of the choosing ski length discussion is not about proposing a “one size fits all” approach to choosing ski length. It is specific to our audience. Given our target demographics (Baby Boomer and older skiers) and their skiing goal (moguls and powder inside a ski area boundary) the following ski length selection guidelines apply:
7 Ski Length Guidelines for Baby Boomers
- How you choose the length of your ski should be based primarily upon your age, skiing style, terrain preference, fitness level and how frequently you ski.
- The older you are the shorter your skis should be. Not because you are older but because there is a correlation between age and a general decline in strength, fitness level, durability and reflex speed.
- If you are more interested in balance and speed control than you are in speed you want to consider a shorter ski. If you prefer to ski slower, select a shorter ski with a smaller turning radius. If you prefer to ski fast, select a longer ski with a larger turning radius.
- The more conservative (less aggressive) you are the shorter your skis should be
- The higher your level of anxiety the shorter your skis should be
- If your terrain preference is moguls (versus groomed runs) the shorter you skis should be.
- The fewer number of days you ski per year the shorter your skis should be
Note: don’t base your ski length decision entirely on ski length. The turning radius of a ski is equally as important as ski length. Longer skis usually have a larger turning radius and shorter skis usually have a smaller turning radius. But two skis of equal length can each have a different turn radius. The words “the shorter your skis should be” can be substituted with the words “the smaller your turn radius should be”
So what is short or shorter when it comes to skis? Several years of experience has shown us that when our mogul and powder clinic participants ski on shorter skis (150cm – 160cm for men and 146cm – 156cm for women) – irrespective of their height and weight – that they have substantially better results (better balance, better speed control, less fatigue, more confidence, lower anxiety, and ability to ski more challenging off-piste terrain). And, with no apparent downside for stability from the shorter ski length.
The bottom line: There is no simple formula to give you a precise answer for choosing the right ski length. Rather, it is a judgement call given the above rules-of-thumb.
Continue reading the last segment choosing ski length: Choosing Ski Length – Final Thoughts