How to choose the right downhill skis

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 length 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.

LENGTH, DIMENSION AND SIZE OF SKIS ACCORDING TO THE LEVEL YOU'RE AT: HOW TO CHOOSE?

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.

To first, it is best to choose skis that are 10 - 15 cm shorter than their height. Body weight is also a factor to consider. Avid skiers who have a higher body weight should opt for slightly longer skis.

More experienced skiers may prefer to go for longer skis that offer greater glide 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: WHAT HEIGHT AND SIZE TO CHOOSE?

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 right angle (90°)?
- 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.

THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF DOWNHILL SKIS FOR BEGINNERS AND EXPERTS?

There are several types and pairs of downhill skis to suit every skier's needs and preferences. On-piste skis are the most common and are suitable for intermediate to advanced skiers looking to improve their technique and speed on groomed runs. Off-piste skis are wider and more flexible, making them ideal for skiing off-piste and in deep snow conditions.

Freestyle skis have an even wider and more flexible shape, which allows them to perform jumps and tricks in the snow park. Finally, touring skis are equipped with skins under the sole, which allows them to climb snowy slopes outside the ski lifts. Each of these types of skis has its own advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the one that best suits your skiing style and personal preferences.

How to pick the right size skis and poles
How to pick the right size skis and poles

WHERE TO DOWNHILL SKI IN CANADA? THE BEST SLOPES

Canada is a great place for downhill skiing, with many ski resorts spread across different regions of the country. Explore the Canadian Rockies, and choose one of the most popular ski resorts like Banff, Lake Louise and Sunshine, which offer slopes for all levels and breathtaking views of the snow-capped mountains.

In Western Canada, Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most famous ski resorts in the country, with a wide variety of runs and modern facilities to welcome skiers from all over the world.

Visit the Laurentians and give Mont-Tremblant a try. Another very popular resort located in Quebec, with a variety of runs for skiers of all levels and activities for the whole family. Needless to say, Canada offers a wide range of options for downhill ski enthusiasts, whatever their level of skiing.

PROFESSIONAL DOWNHILL SKIING

Downhill ski professionals are top athletes who compete in downhill ski competitions around the world. These competitions can include events such as slalom, giant slalom, super-G and downhill, which showcase different skiing skills and techniques.

Downhill ski professionals train hard all year round to achieve exceptional physical condition and refine their skiing techniques. They are often sponsored by ski and sportswear brands, allowing them to focus on their athletic performance.

How to pick the right size skis and poles

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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