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Ski length for indoors

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Last night I went to the local fridge taking advantage of a cheap summer evening deal and they handed me 142 length skis. On my last trip to the Alps I got given something over 150 (I thought 157 but , I'm 158cm tall so I might be wrong there). I remember reading somewhere here about how people tend to use shorter skis on plastic. Is there any such tendency in domes? Given I really enjoyed the 142s, should I be looking at getting shorter skis in the mountains?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@Rcav, yes and no ... sorry, that’s a very irritating response...here’s the detail:

Longer skis are less forgiving of any errors in technique, particularly being in the back seat. Shorter skis can be much easier to turn and forgive bad technique a lot more - which is good for getting the miles in (important and good) but can be bad for technique-building. Shorter tails means they steer you less, so leaning back is less fatal. So shorter skis can be easier to turn, and on the hill can be a help in bump fields. We often use quite short skis with beginners (eg 131 Lines with adult bindings) and then move to 140 ish skis, but this only makes sense if the skier is committed to deliberately improving their technique - ie getting forward and driving the skis.

Without this commitment, a shorter ski can build up bad habits. Get used to driving them and positioning well, and then you can go to the right length - which for you in a normal cambered ski would be 145-155 and in a rockered ski 150-165 and possibly more in a fully rockered off piste plank.

If your skis are too short, you can’t drive them hard enough; also a little-discussed issue is that you can’t see the ski tips in your peripheral vision, which encourages you to look down to see what the skis are doing, and that, in some people, puts the hips back a little bit, which is bad for correct weighting of the skis - putting you in the back seat a bit.

I am 170 cms tall (5’ 7”) and have skied 145s when injured, have 150 slalom skis, 154 piste skis which are feeling too short, have 167 front rockered skis, and ski longer planks for powder.

Throughout my kids’ learning (they started at 2.5 and are now 12 and 14) I always put them on skis which were slightly undersized. This was noticed and criticised by some coaches. But there was method to it, their confidence was supreme, and they avoided injury. Now, my son rails carves turns on skis and surfaces which people think unfeasible to carve on. Seeing him - at 12 - carve off piste skis on ice has had some instructors drop their jaws. The short skis played a role in getting him there.

I can entirely understand why you enjoyed skiing the 142s - and you can stick with them if you really like them, but beware the trap of getting into bad habits. If you really push your technique, and get good coaching, they may be OK for a while but then become too short. If you just want to pottle about and don’t give a rat’s ar+e about technique, then they’re fine.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Thanks valais2.

Given I'm generally a very nervous skier anything which gives me more confidence is a good thing. Fear holds me back more than my lack of technique. Think I should try and go shorter in the mountains next year, depending on how much practice and lessons I manage to get in in the fridge in the meantime.
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You need to Login to know who's really who.
@Rcav, ...some will argue strongly that short is bad, but I think you will be fine being 158cm tall with 142cm skis. With a leg injury, I skied 145cm for about four years on the hill, and as I mentioned I am 170cm tall. Do get some lessons on the skis, with a sound and understanding instructor, and the shorter skis can be used to enable you to really consolidate technique.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've read this thread with interest as I'm also considering a shorter ski. I'm no expert but I think the question needs to be broken down into 2 parts...

1) Will I benefit from a short ski?
2) What does 'short' mean for me?

In my case, I've been skiing a week per year for the past 7 or so years. I'd describe myself as a slightly nervous skier who doesn't particularly enjoy steeper reds and the sensation of going fast. I do have lessons and will be the first to admit that my technique isn't great. I believe that a shorter ski will make it easier for me to turn, the trade off being a lack of stability that I'm not too concerned about. Hopefully a shorter ski will help me build confidence, go faster, and enjoy myself more and then I can start working on technique again and perhaps increase the length of my skis.

So accepting that I want a short ski, what does this mean? This website seems to be a useful calculator - http://www.powder7.com/downhill-ski-size-chart/sizing-guide. In my case I am:

Male
5'4" (so short like you)
160lbs
Intermediate
Easy-going
(Prefers) really short skis
Hard snow

The calculator doesn't ask for age or fitness but I am a little over 50 and have reasonable / sufficient fitness!

This gives a recommended ski length for me of 141-147cm (if I replace Intermediate with Amateur the calc gives an even shorter ski).

Amending the height to yours of 5'2" gives a range of 135-141cm.

When I was skiing this year I asked for a shorter ski than the previous year and was given a 149cm ski (I assume the previous year was a longer ski, 155cm perhaps). So next time I ski I will try a 140cm ski and see how I get on.

In your case, 142cm as per the fridge would appear to me to be perfectly fine and I think you could probably even go a little shorter.

I hope this helps!
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