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Does a waterski care?


TheBigHead
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I have a question for all of you that has been on my mind ever since i took up this sport.

 

Does a waterski care how tall you are?

 

I have always been told that due to being 6'7" i should be on a larger ski than my weight of 180-190lbs would indicate. As such if my weight puts me on a 67" ski on a sizing chart I have always upped to the next size.

 

I cant really seem to grasp what the reasoning is.

 

Any Ideas?

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As a relatively tall skier (6'2"), I've usually ignored that and gotten the ski recommended for somebody at my weight of around 5'10". So my personal experience is that height doesn't really matter.

 

Also, I think I am actually starting to buy this N1 "one size fits most" idea, although I must always mention that the "one size" is the one I personally would be on even with "traditional" thinking about ski size.

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Funny I expected to get more of a taller=longer ski response.

 

I have even e-mailed a manufacturer and was told I should definately be on a longer ski because I am tall. No reasoning was given.

 

Guess I am going to have to demo a ski that is within my weight range and see how it feels.

 

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My practical mind tells me that weight is the only thing that's important. My engineering mind tells me that weight is critical but when stepping up your game, your height will play a large factor that may need to be addressed. See if you're a 190lbs person that's 5' tall, as you lean forward or backwards on the ski, it has an effect on how the ski rides in the water but not a large effect because your center of gravity is lower over the ski. As a shorter person, your head and shoulders can move more without affecting the way the ski rides. If you're 6'7" and 190lbs, your body position will be more critical because your center of gravity is further away from the ski. So smaller movements of your head and shoulders will produce the same rides changes of that ski. To minimize the effects of your body movement and give you more wiggle room, a taller person needs a slightly larger ski.

 

In case that didn't make any sense, I'll try to explain it a different way. We're all about leverage in skiing right? As a tall person, the boat has a greater leverage advantage with a tall person because the pull is coming from your shoulders which are further away from your ski. Think of it like pulling a small tree down by tying a rope at the top and tying a rope in the middle. It takes less effort to pull the tree down when pulling from the top. Well to help counter the boats additional leverage advantage, the skier can increase the size of ski which makes his base more stable. The bigger ski is like that same tree having larger roots which helps resist you trying to pull the tree down.

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I think it has more to do with the way the person applies leverage to the ski through their center of mass. if you think of the body as lever with the force to effect the ski applied through the bodies COM. A taller person can apply more force to the ski when shifting their weight around. @thebighead if like the way the smaller ski rides in water then I'm thinking you have to learn to be more subtle with your weight shifts to make it work for you.

 

Tgas is really tall. He rides on a wide ride Goode which is very short. Always kinda wondered the adjustments in technique he had to make for that ski.

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I'm with @jfw432 although the way I think about it is this: no matter your height, if you've skied on a ski a little too short for your weight, you know the story: somewhere in the preturn, you get a little forward, the tip digs a little too much and it's all you can do to keep yourself from going out-the-front. If you're 6'6", your center of gravity is that much higher, so it's that much harder to not go OTF. Thus the traditional taller rider = longer ski rule-of-thumb, which can apply more - or less - based on your core strength (or lack there of) and your consistency/ability to keep your body still & calm vs being a 'scrambler'.

 

So I think weight is more important, but height is still a factor.

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Thanks for all the comments! Looks like I am going to have to try some different size skis next season to see if a smaller ski works better for me. Currently on a 69 senate C 2012 which works well but I have always wondered.

 

what @jfw432 @gregy and @andjules are saying makes sense, the extra leverage from being tall could make a small ski dig too hard when shifting weight around.

 

@Razorskier1 I wish there was more skis in the 68" range, I have found a lot of skis are only made in a 67 and a 69, the 68 seems to be the ugly stepchild or something

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of course these days, in comparing skis, it seems like it is increasingly about surface area, not simply length - for example, your 69 Senate C already has more surface area than a 69 Strada; as you know, that's their marketing angle: it's a Strada that's .2" wider, rides a little higher and (theoretically) better for 34mph.
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The counterpoint for a scrawny skier (i.e. larger height:weight ratio than typical) is that it's tougher to hold good leverage, both from the height itself (increasing the length of things that the forces can use to break your position) and from the implied lack of big muscles (else your weight would be more).

 

What I've found is that on a longer ski I can't get anything more out of it behind the boat, just because I'm not strong enough. And that's really where the advantage of a longer ski would be, so that doesn't make sense for me.

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I've noticed that the intermediate level ski's and below usually come in the 65, 67, and 69 sizes while the pro level ski's add in the 66 and 68 sizes as well. I'm not a ski designer but I can certainly see where a ski with a wider body and wider tail can support someone on a 67" ski that would've required a 68" ski on a pro level ski. Additionally, if the ski company has to pay to make 2 additional molds for the 66 and 68 sizes, those costs of mold making and storage of additional ski's are going to get passed on to the customer making the intermediate guy unhappy who's just looking for a quality ski at a low price for open water.
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Some interesting stuff here. Im going to try and draw a few conclusions,

 

Ski length has almost no bearing on turning radius ( I draw this from information I read about the nano one, and due to shape not length dictating turn radius. Like a snow ski maybe?)

 

Ski length could allow you to exhert more force on the ski during the cut without sliding.

 

Ski length does contribute to forward/backwards stability or lack of. Might be easier to "dunk" the front of a short ski for a taller person.

 

Weight is probably the greatest factor in selection.

 

Sound about right?

 

Definately going to give a 67" a ride or two.

 

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even if you were 6' nothing at 190 you are at the end of the spectrum for most 67s. the HO syndicate S1 in a 67.5" are worth a try & that is as large as they make that ski. So, depending on the ski, I would highly suggest going bigger, esspecially with your height. is it the prime factor, no, should it be used to determine ski length? absolutely.
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