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Proper Length for Cross Country Skis

Cross country skiing is an excellent way to get outside for some exercise and sight-seeing in the winter months. Unlike most downhill ski runs, cross country ski routes last for miles. From well-groomed trails to creeks running through patches of ice and rocks and gently falling snow, cross country skiing can bring you to a variety of locations.

Wearing the proper length skis will maximize a skier’s enjoyment.


Proper Length for Cross Country Skis


Choose a Style

Cross country skiing is a versatile sport. You can choose to race, seek adventure or simply explore wintry back country. Skiing can be done in a “traditional” way or by “skating.” The traditional form of cross country skiing involves moving your arms and legs in a synchronized motions.

Skating skis operate in a similar fashion as ice skates or roller blades. In cross country skating, you push laterally with your legs to move yourself forward; your arms aid in keeping your balance.

Determine which style best suits you. If you are good at ice skating or roller blading, consider using skate skis. If you are more of a traditionalist, go with the classic form of cross country skiing. Whichever style you choose, however, determines which type and length of cross country skis you’ll need.


Sizing Your Skis

Skis that are too short or too long will affect how you ski; if you do not have the proper ski length, your overall enjoyment could be diminished.

To determine the proper length of your cross country skis, use either a formula or a look your height up in a ski sizing chart. Simply measure your height with a tape measure. Next, use a ski chart and find your height. Next to your height is the proper ski length your need. For instance, if you are 5 foot, 8 inches, according to snowboardfusion.com’s cross country ski chart, you need skis that are 200 centimeters in length.

You can also find the proper length by using a formula. The formula is helpful in instances where you do not have access to a sizing chart. Use the following formula to determine the length you need for traditional skis: your height in inches multiplied by 2.6; take that amount and add 25 inches to find your skis’ length. For skate skis, use this formula: your height in inches multiplied by 2.6 and add 15 inches.


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