A guide to ski and snowboard sizing

Choosing the right equipment

An important part of getting the most out of your ski holiday is choosing the right equipment. And an essential part of that is making sure you have right size skis, snowboard and boots. Follow our sizing guide to help you make the right choices and maximise your fun on the slopes.

What type of skis and ski boots do I need?

Type of skis

As well as length, skis vary in width and flexibility. If you’re planning on sticking to designated pistes, your skis will be shorter and have a narrow blade. If you’re a beginner, you should opt for skis that are flexible and light, making them more forgiving if you make a mistake and less physically demanding to use. The better your ability, the more rigid a ski you’ll need. If you’re more advanced as a skier and heading off piste, your skis will be longer and have a wider blade to give you better lift in powder.

Ski bindings

Ski bindings are specially designed to release your foot if enough force is applied. This safety feature will save you from twisting your foot into awkward positions if you fall over. The setting is called the DIN, ISO or EN setting, depending upon where you are. When you look at your bindings you will see a scale, generally from 1-10 but advanced skis may go much higher. The higher the number on this scale the more force will be required to release the boot from the binding.

The DIN setting takes into account the ability level, height, weight, boot size and age of the skier. Every Club Med ski resort has rental technicians who will ensure that your DIN setting is correctly applied to both skis, so don’t worry if you’re unsure about what’s right for you. We have Rossignol and Solomon skis to hire at all resorts and the equipment is replaced every season to ensure you have the most state-of-the-art gear at your disposal.

If you keep popping out of your skis through no fault of your own then it will simply be that the DIN setting is too low for you. If this is the case then simply revisit the rental technician and ask him to increase it slightly.

Ski boots

Correctly sized boots are very important if you want to enjoy your skiing. Boots that are too big will not allow you sufficient control over the ski and this will make learning to ski a particularly hard process. Boots that are too small will be very painful and you won’t want to maximise your time on the slopes.

When you come to be fitted for boots it is best to follow the advice of the rental technician in resort. They will be using a different sizing method to normal shoe sizes, called Mondopoint, this essentially means the length of your foot in centimetres. So don’t be surprised if your ski boot size and your shoe size are completely different.

What size skis do I need?

Ski sizes

There isn’t one golden rule to picking your ski size. It depends on many factors, such as your height, weight and ability. It can also just come down to personal preference. In general, when you stand your skis upright, the tip should be somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. If you’re a complete beginner, you need shorter skis than someone who is vastly experienced. Short skis are slower in a straight line, easier to control at lower speeds and better for sharp turns – you’ll notice slalom skiers have much shorter skis than cross country skiers.

As a beginner, you’ll start off at the shorter end of the range for your height, while more advanced skiers will generally opt for longer skis, which are better for longer turns and offer more stability at higher speeds. If you weigh less than average for your height, you’ll want a shorter ski, while heavier skiers will need a longer ski usually.

What size snowboard do I need?

Snowboard size

Your body weight is extremely important in choosing the right snowboard, as is the type of riding you’re planning on doing. As with skis, the heavier and taller you are, the longer your snowboard will be. A good starting point is to get a board that comes up to your chin and then size up or down depending on weight.

If you’re planning on doing most of your riding on the mountain, whether on or off piste, choose a board towards the longer end of your size range, while freestyling in terrain parks will be more fun with a shorter, more manoeuvrable board.

The width of the board you choose is measured at the narrowest point of the board and will correspond directly to your boot size. Your toes should hang slightly over the edge of the board.

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