How to get the right size skis and poles

If you’re just getting into downhill skiing, you want to get the right size skis and poles so you feel comfortable and can progress in the sport. There are quite a few factors to keep in mind when finding the right size. Follow our guide for the best tips! 

woman and man skiing

Finding the right size skis and poles is your first step to enjoying a successful introduction to downhill skiing. You’ll feel more comfortable and more confident on the slopes if you know you’ve got the right fit.


The first thing to consider when choosing your ski size is what level you are at in the sport. Beginners will have different sizing needs from those who have already been skiing for years. Shorter skis offer more maneuverability and can be preferable for those who are new to the sport.

Beginners can go for skis that are 10 - 15 cm shorter than their height. Body weight is also a factor to consider. Heavier skiers should opt for slightly longer skis.

More experienced skiers may prefer to go for longer skis that offer greater lift and stability.

The size of your skis will also depend on the type of skiing you are doing:
Downhill: -5 to -15 cm
Mixed: your height -10 cm
Freeride: -5 to +10 cm
Freestyle: your height up to -10cm

woman skiing
young girl skiing

ski poles

Finding the right size ski poles is easier because it simply depends on your height. Advanced skiers may play with the size according to their style of skiing (shorter poles allow for sharper turns); but this is not of great concern for beginners.

Here are the steps to follow to find the right size for you:
- Hold the pole vertically.
- Turn the pole upside down and hold it just under the basket with the other end touching the floor.
- Does your elbow form a 90° angle?
- If so, you’ve found the right size.
- If not, adjust accordingly.

Note: When you are testing the size of your ski poles it is best to wear ski boots if possible, and to stand with your knees slightly bent, as this replicates the position you will be in while skiing.

With the right size skis and ski poles, you will be ready to hit the slopes with confidence. Don’t forget to wear protective gear for your head and eyes; and have a great time out there! 

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