Downhill Ski Fitting Guide

Downhill Ski Fitting Guide
Skiing comes in a variety of different types, including backcountry, downhill and cross-country. Each one has its own type of equipment and its own type of skis. Nearly every type of skiing involves a different formula for picking and fitting skis. To fit downhill skis you need not only your weight, but also your experience level.


Difficulty: Moderate

Step 1
Determine your experience when it comes to downhill skiing. Professional fitters recommend that beginners use shorter downhill skis, which provide more stability. Beginners may have problems handling the skis, especially on longer runs, but the shorter skis help keep you standing up and prevent you from falling or losing control of the skis.
Step 2
Take into account your weight, which helps determine the length of your skis. In general, the less you weigh, the shorter the skis you pick. Those who weigh less than 100 pounds should opt for skis of around 140 cm, while those who weigh 200 pounds or more should look for downhill skis of 160 to 170 cm or longer.
Step 3
Decide if you prefer moving faster or slower downhill. Longer skis typically move faster, but give the skier less control, while shorter skis move slower and let the skier have more control. Advanced skiers often prefer shorter skis because they want to move faster and know how to move their body in different ways to control themselves.
Step 4
Choose downhill skis based on your gender. Females typically use shorter skis because of the weight factor, in that female skiers weigh less and need shorter skis that are lightweight. Longer skis are better suited for male skiers, who have a larger body shape and frame.
Step 5
Try on different downhill skis and feel how the bindings work with your boots. To find the best fit with downhill skis, you actually need to try the skis on and see how they work with your body. Most ski shops have trained experts to help you determine the right type of skis and the right size. You'll also discover the right type of material and find accessories that work with your choice.

Tips & Warnings

Downhill skis come in three primary styles: all mountain, wide and powder. Powder skis are best for packed snow like that found on trails and in the backcountry because the skis have more surface area and provide more stability. All mountain skis are better suited for light snow conditions because of the hourglass shape, which lets you turn faster and easier. Wide skis work for all situations including backcountry and trails and are best for those who want a ski that can handle all situations.

Article Written By Jennifer Eblin

Jennifer Eblin has been a full-time freelance writer since 2006. Her work has appeared on several websites, including Tool Box Tales and Zonder. Eblin received a master's degree in historic preservation from the Savannah College of Art and Design.

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