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Thread: How to tell correct equiptment sizes?

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    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Default How to tell correct equiptment sizes?

    I'm 6' tall, 204 lbs and wear a size 10 shoe (if that matters). How do you tell what size downhill skis I would need? I guess the poles are pretty much a one size fits all. Also, what about a snowboard? Advice very much appreciated.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    First of all, poles are not one size fits all. While holding the pole touching the ground, you want your elbow to make close to a 90 degree angle. Shorter is probably better, if anything.

    With regards to ski size, that depends to a large degree on how agressive you are. Skis have changed a lot over the past 10 years. Whereas someone 6' tall used to use skis that were 200-210cm, today's skis are much shorter. I'm also 6'0", and my longest set of skis is 188cm. For a occasional skier of your weight, something in the range of 175-180cm would probably be ideal. Ultimately, shorter is easier to turn. Some folks have an ego issue with shorter skis as a carry over from the way skis used to be designed, but really...shorter is usually better.

    For a snowboard, you're generally looking at something that comes up to your chin.

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    Moderator hunt_ak's Avatar
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    And I've also found from riding different equipment that shorter boards tend to be more fun as well. I usually ride a 152 but I rented a 146 down at Mt. Hood and had a BLAST!

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    Skis and snowboards are so much different for different folks. I don't do a lot of spinning and half pipe stuff. I like long skis and long snowboards. My shortest skis are 188's. I'm 6'1 2something. Snowboards are also different for different folks. I've got quite a few. I only have 1 less than 168 and it's solely for spinning and doing quick hits. For most riding, I prefer a 170+. I'm a pow hound!

    For poles, I love the Black Diamond flick lock poles


    This question would be easier to answer if you told us what kind of skiing you wanted to do. Are you wanting to go to Alyeska? Backcountry?
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    Lightbulb Rentals & Demos -

    Quote Originally Posted by trapperrick View Post
    I'm 6' tall, 204 lbs and wear a size 10 shoe (if that matters). How do you tell what size downhill skis I would need? I guess the poles are pretty much a one size fits all. Also, what about a snowboard? Advice very much appreciated.
    You are much better off to rent and when possible DEMO your ski or snowboard equipment first. In terms of local storefront expertise, info & support... I'd look no further than World Cup Sports.

    There is too much involved with regards to all the specifics and highly variable needs of an individual. Mix that up with terrain, snow conditions and ability... there is possibly not enough bandwidth on the forum to thoroughly cover the info for everyone's everyday applications.

    You indicated your height, weight, and shoe size... Believe me, these are important factors that add up to decision making.

    As you might tell from myself Alpine skiing in my little avatar pic... I could say quite a spiel of this and that based on background in Alpine sport... yet that is likely not what will seem perfectly suiting to any one else's insights or requirements. That's where trying several of the new demos and talking with up-to-date experts is so valuable.

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    As mentioned there is alot more to skis than how long they are. It depends on the type of snow you are skiing, how tight you want your turns, your skill level, how agressively you ski, how the ski is designed.

    With all that said, skis have gotten shorter and wider. Technology has taken a tremendous jump, I took a 10 year hiatus and jumped from old school parallel 205 skis to 187 parabolics, and it's like I was never off skis, alsmost like cheating. I can tell my legs need some indurance training, but I can ski pretty much any terrain and the skis seem to turn on their own.

    If you're a beginner or haven't skied much, stick with the shorter skis. The main advantage of the longer skis are high speed stability. If you need flotation in deep powder, you can get that with a fat ski.

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    Member trapperrick's Avatar
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    Thanks guys! I'm not very experienced at all; only been one trip to Vail and had 3 days of lessons and the instructor had me at level 6 I think. I don't care to ski aggressively, just enjoy the ride. I've never snowboarded before but since I do much better on a slalom water ski than two, I thought I might be a lot better riding a board than with two skis.

    On another note, I'm planning a trip to Alyeska. I don't want to get there just to find out they only have black and double black slopes. Like I said, I just enjoy the ride, not seeing how fast I can get to the bottom. Green or blue is fine with me. Do they have intermediate slopes there?

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    Member Phish Finder's Avatar
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    There are intermediate slopes. I could probably show you around if you wanted to see the mountain. Shoot me a PM. I've spent the better part of the last three years on that hill. Cutting trees, trimming brush, moving earth, setting grades, setting H20 pipes, cleaning up avy debris, sharing the hill again, and again, and again, and again... I would do it for free. Unfortunately, that's not an option.

    If you want to make some turns, I have a few pair of skis. You are welcome to a pair or two to try out. I only head down during the week.
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