What Numbers Mean on Skis?

What Numbers Mean on Skis?

Choosing the right pair of skis can be a difficult matter, especially when you a winter sports rookie. Numbers printed on the skis directly can be a great guide. Let's uncover their mystery in today's article. 

You can choose either by number or by heart. For the later option, check our guide:


Skiing is a sport that requires a lot of specialized equipment, and one of the most important pieces of equipment is your skis. Skis come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and understanding the numbers and terminology that go along with them can be confusing. 

Skiboards snowblade skiblades short skis little skis by Snowfeet

Length

The first number you'll see on a pair of skis is the length. This is the distance from the tip of the ski to the tail, and is usually measured in centimeters. Skis come in a range of lengths, from mini skis that are around 40 cm, to longer skiboards with length usually between 65 to 120 cm, to long skis that can be over 200 cm for advanced skiers. However, skis this long are usually only for Olympic skiers - you would find them terribly clunky. 

 

Choosing length based on your height - the myth debunked

The traditional ski industry claims that the length of your skis should be based on your height. Though it maybe true in some cases, this opinion provides only a limited number of possibilities to choose from. 

The truth is that you don't need to choose skis based on how tall you are: you can choose your skis based on what feels the best. 

Skiboards do not actually correspond with anybody's height but they bring many benefits to skiers of all proficiency levels, plus you can choose exactly the length that fits you, regardless how tall you are. 

Choosing the right skiboard length 

Snowblades come in various lengths ranging from 65cm to 120cm, offering a wide array of options to suit different preferences. Whether you’re a beginner seeking easier maneuverability or an experienced skier looking for high-speed stability and peak performance in deep snow, there’s a size for every style!

Starting with the shortest, the 65 cm skiboards offer a sensation akin to skating on snow. These are highly maneuverable, though they require a keen sense of balance between the front and back.

Skiboards snowblades skiblades

On the other end of the spectrum, 120 cm skiboards provide a feel similar to traditional long skis but are easier to handle when it comes to turns, stops, and even transportation to the slopes. If you're venturing into the realm of short skis but hesitant about going too short, the 120 cm skiboards are an excellent choice.

For those who find both the 65 cm and 120 cm skiboards not quite fitting, the 99 cm skiboards strike a perfect balance. They allow for free skiing yet offer sufficient support for tackling moguls, teaching skiing, or enjoying time in snow parks. They represent the ideal middle ground for versatile skiing experiences.

Feeling adventurous? You can try skis as short as 44 cm

Width

The second number you'll see on a pair of skis is the width. This is the measurement of the ski at its widest point, which is usually in the middle or waist of the ski. The width of the ski is important because it affects how the ski performs in different conditions. More about that later.

Snowfeet skiboards mention 3 numbers: width of tip, waist, and tail. At the picture you can see the numbers as follows: tip of 115 mm, waist of 85 mm, and finally tail of 100 mm. 

Skiboards snowblades skiblades by Snowfeet

Narrower skiboards, around 70-85 mm at waist, are better for groomed runs and hard-packed snow, as they are more maneuverable and easier to control. If you spend the majority of your winter time on the slopes, go for narrower skiboards. 

Wider skiboards, around 90-110 mm at waist, are better for deep powder and off-piste terrain, as they provide more float and stability. Some skiers claim that skiboards tend to sink in deep powder, which is of course not true. In case you are a big powder fan, you can opt for powder skiboards that are wider at their waist than regular skiboards. 

Skiboards POWDER by Snowfeet*

Sidecut  

The third number you'll see on a pair of skis is the sidecut. This is the measurement of the difference between the width of the ski at the tip and the width of the ski at the waist.

A ski with a larger sidecut will have a shorter turning radius and be more maneuverable, while a ski with a smaller sidecut will have a longer turning radius and be more stable at high speeds.

Skiboards snowblades skiblades by Snowfeet

At Snowfeet skis you can find width of tip, waist and tail written in one line at the bottom of your ski. 

Flex

The final number you'll see on a pair of skis is the flex rating. This is a measurement of how stiff the ski is, and is usually rated on a scale from 1-10. Skis with a lower flex rating are softer and more forgiving, making them easier for beginners to control. Skis with a higher flex rating are stiffer and more responsive, making them better for advanced skiers who like to ski at high speeds and tackle difficult terrain.

Skiboards snowblades skiblades by Snowfeet short skis mini skis

In addition to these numbers, there are a few other terms you may see when shopping for skis.

"Camber" refers to the curve of the ski, with traditional camber skis having a slight arch underfoot.

"Rocker" refers to a ski with an upturned tip or tail, which helps with float in deep powder.

And "bindings" are the part of the ski that attaches your boot to the ski. Bindings are equally important feature to consider before buying skis because they will affect your skiing experience immensely. 

Bindings

Though many skiers know only the standard release ski bindings, skiboards offer wider variety of bindings to choose from. 

Basic Ski Bindings

Basic ski bindings, inspired by the earliest models of ski bindings, are ideal for shorter skiboards (65 or 99 cm). The best footwear to use with these are definitely ski boots.

Why Choose Basic Ski Bindings?

Basic ski bindings are perfect if you’re looking for adjustable bindings that are easy to size at home, avoiding the need for fitting at a store. Both the skiboards and the bindings are versatile! Additionally, their simplicity allows us to offer them at very competitive prices.

Snowboard Boot Bindings

Introducing snowboard boot bindings for skiboards, a fantastic innovation that combines the comfort of snowboarding with skiing. Whether you’re a snowboarder eager to explore new horizons, or a skier who prefers the less restrictive feel of snowboard boots, these bindings are for you. Just like snowboard bindings, they don’t release easily and are therefore only available for skiboards up to 100 cm long.

Skiboards snowblades skibaldes by Snowfeet

Pro Ski Bindings

When using longer skiboards (100 cm and above), it's crucial to have the right safety features. Long skiboards are equipped exclusively with pro ski bindings that detach in the event of a fall, ensuring maximum safety. These bindings are not only safe but also straightforward to use, making them the top choice for longer skiboards.

Conclusion

Understanding the numbers and terminology on skis can help you choose the right ski for your skill level and the type of skiing you plan to do. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, knowing what these numbers mean can make a big difference in your skiing experience.

When choosing your skis, don't forget to follow the numbers and, most importantly your heart! 

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