After you’ve read our guide dedicated to snowboarding beginners’ guide and skiing checklist, followed by our ski and snowboard gear guide, it is time to learn how to purchase the proper ski and snowboard length. So, if your questions are how long should my snowboard be and how long are skis, you’re at the right place. In this article, you’ll find all the answers to the questions regarding the ski and snowboard length.
Factors That Affect The Length Of Your Skis And Board
Many different factors will affect the length of your skis and your board. The first one is your body measurements, followed by your skill level, style, the terrain you’ll be skiing on, and many others.
Bodyweight and your height are the first things you’ll have to take into consideration when the time comes to get your skis or snowboard. The reason why the length of the skis or your snowboard is important lays in basic physics. If your skis are too short there won’t be much space to spread your weight and you’ll sink into the snow. The length of the skis provides enough surface area to spread the pressure more equally and therefore allows you to move faster. Although, in recent years many ski manufacturers have tried to make shorter skis with more width so they don’t lose the surface area but also be as maneuverable as possible.
How To Measure Perfect Length?
It is actually pretty simple to see if the length of your skis will work for you. First of all, remember, the higher you are the higher your center of gravity will be. Take the skis and place them beside you. If the skis are anywhere from half a foot shorter to a few inches taller than the person that will use them, they should be good for that person.
If you’re looking for a snowboard, the lowest point should be the shoulders and the highest point should be the nose. It is also important to know that snowboard is more affected by weight than height.
Size Of Feet
It may sound funny, but the size of a person’s feet is one of the most important aspects of the snowboard length. Bigger feet will require bigger ski boots and binding size will also increase. This means the board will need to be wider in its waist, which will affect the sidecut and the light of the board along with it.
This part is rather simple. First of all, one of the main aspects of skiing beginners is to have skis that are easy to carve. This means that beginners will go with shorter, more maneuverable skis. On the other hand, advanced and expert skiers will most likely opt for longer skis that will provide additional stability and be able to achieve high speed.
- The perfect length for skiing beginners is between chin and nose.
- For advanced and expert skiers, the best option is a ski that goes from their nose to a bit above their heads.
- Beginner snowboarders should look for boards that reach the height of their shoulders or chin
- Advanced snowboarders can go with snowboards that reach their nose, or even higher.
Whether you’re a boy or a girl is also really important. For instance, skis made for women are not only lighter and more flexible, but they are also shorter because of the overall difference in body mass and height. Most often, women will fit the best with skis or snowboards that are easier to maneuver with. On the other hand, men will most often need longer, heavier, and more stable skis.
Length For Kids
If your kid is a complete beginner, you won’t make a mistake if you decide to go with the length that reaches just under the shoulders. However, if the kid already has some experience, feel free to use the same pattern as with the grown-ups. Just don’t forget that kids tend to grow rapidly, so you may need to buy skis that are a bit bigger so they last for at least a year.
Skiing Or Snowboarding Style
Your skiing or riding style is in direct correlation with the length of your skis. If you don’t want to go as fast as possible and prefer to have the ability to turn easier, shorter skis, or snowboards with a smaller turn radius should be your go-to option. Shorter skis are recommended for those who don’t want to be too aggressive. However, if you want to feel the speed, the longer the skis the faster you’ll go.
Camber Or Rocker
Camber and rocker are terms used to describe the so-called effective edge of your board or the part of the ski or board that is actually in contact with the surface. If it is too short, you won’t be able to control your skis or your board, while too long of camber or rocker is extremely hard to maneuver.
Here you could read about the difference between rocker and camber.
This may be a bit complicated, but it is important to learn it. Turn radius is used to describe how big the natural ski turning tendency is. See the ski’s sidecut and the arc it forms. If you complete the arc you’ll get a full circle and that circle is known as the turn radius. Skis with a deeper sidecut will have a smaller turn radius and will allow you to make sharper turns. Longer skis will have a bit longer radius which means their turns will be bigger, but skis with the bigger surface area are easier to stay on the top of the snow without sinking, which is why they are more suitable for racing or any form of speed skiing in general, without much of turning included.
Skiing Terrain And Tracks
There is also a big difference between terrains and the length of skis or snowboards.
This kind of tracks the best for shorter skis, like normal slalom skis with a deep sidecut. If you don’t want to go too fast but would love to keep the turning ability at the maximum level, go with the short skis and you’ll enjoy groomers and easy tracks the most. Plus you’ll be able to practice many interesting ski turns. Also, you could go with frontside skis.
Groomed Tracks And Fresh Snow
If the track you’ll be riding has fresh snow, your options are all-mountain skis, all-mountain/powder skis, or twin-tip freestyle skis. If you chose twin-tip, make sure their effective edge is long enough by getting a bit longer ski than the two above mentioned.
Steep Slopes, Backcountry, Etc
Opting for big mountain skis or powder skis is the best choice for steep slopes or backcountry skiing because they will give you more stability and control of your skis.
These are the longest and narrowest and you should go with them only if you want to try racing. You’ll be able to carve with ease while remaining stable even at blazing speeds.
When it comes to snowboards and the question of how long should my snowboard be, it is important to know or to have a general idea at least, what kind of terrain will you be visiting the most.
Your all-around choice for all purposes, all-mountain snowboards are made to work anytime and anywhere, whether you try them on groomers, park runs, powders… This makes all-mountain snowboard the most popular choice.
A bit shorter but with a great turning radius, freestyle snowboards are a great choice for snowboarders who love to ride the terrain park. Another option for freestyle is the all-mountain freestyle.
A bit stiffer and longer, freeride snowboards are the best when used off-piste. Good for different terrains, freeride snowboard is the best when headed in one direction.
With a wider nose and narrower tail, the bindings are located back so the snowboarder can easily move through the deep snow.
Intended for backcountry snowboarding, these can be broken for easier touring and uphill skiing. They work best when combined with skiing skins, and it is necessary to have special bindings that will allow you to disconnect and later reconnect two halves and continue your ride.
Globo Surf Overview
Finding the proper ski and snowboard length is one of the most important tasks and it has to be done with extreme precaution to avoid any unwanted situations. With this article, you’ll know what you need, so when the time comes to visit your local shop, you won’t lose time aimlessly looking around for skis or the board that looks the coolest, but you’ll be getting the one that you’ll enjoy your time on the most. But before you go, check out our safety guide every skier should know.
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- Calories Burned Skiing
- HOW LONG SHOULD MY SKIS BE? freeride.com