Water Ski Size Chart

The length of a slalom ski is mostly based on the weight of the skier and boat speed. This Water Ski Size Chart is a guide for the water ski length. The most common mistake is to buy a length that is too short for your weight, thus making it difficult for that rider to get up on that slalom ski.

Skier Weight Boat Speed
26-30 mph
Boat Speed
30-34 mph
Boat Speed
34-36 mph
60-100 lbs. 59"-63" 59"-63" 59"-63"
95-125 lbs. 62"-64" 62"-63" 62"-63"
115-140 lbs. 64"-66" 63"-66" 63"-65"
135-160 lbs. 66"-67" 65"-66" 64"-66"
150-180 lbs. 67"-68" 66"-67" 65"-67"
170-200 lbs. 68"-72" 67"-68" 66"-68"
190-215 lbs. 72" 68"-72" 67"-68"
210 lbs & up 72" 68"-72" 68"-72"

After using this guide to decide the the right length slalom water ski, you are not done. There are other factors that may affect the correct length waterski that you need to buy, and it depends on the type of waterskiing that you will be doing. 2017 waterski choices include various types of waterskis such as wide body, shaped, traditional, and world class. For example, the Connelly big daddy is a very wide slalom waterski for heavy riders and slower boat speeds. The HO Freeride is a more universal type of wide waterski that can go behind any boat, any speed, and any type of water condition. The HO Syndicate V-Type R, for example, is a competition waterski designed for advanced slalom water ski riders who want fast boat speeds in ideal water conditions.

How to Buy the Right Type of Water Ski and the Right Waterski Boots

Buying the right waterski depends on your skill level, age, weight, boat speed, and type of waterskiing you plan to do. Beginners need to start with a combo pair and children may need trainer skis. Beginning slalom water ski riders need to start with a larger ski than normal. As you become more advanced you can choose a more advanced waterski.

The Combo Pair or Trainer is the place for to start for beginning water skiers

If you are a beginner, learn how to get up on a combo pair (Double Skis) because they are wider and offer more surface area to provide easier starts out of the water. Combo pairs can be used by almost any foot size to allow your family to share this set of waterskis. Kids have many beginner options such as platform trainers, EZ Ski trainers, and combo skis with a trainer bars to lock the two skis together for easier starts. Adult combo waterskis are built for a size range for 100 lbs and over. They are not as weight specific as advanced slalom skis. After getting up on two skis, you can practice on one ski to get the feel of slalom waterskiing. If slalom waterskiing on one of the waterskis in a combo pair becomes too easy, it is time to start looking for a good slalom ski for your new skill level.

Intermediates Graduate to a Slalom Water Ski

How to select the right slalom water ski seems to be a challenge for all levels of water skiers. Buyers must consider their weight , boat speed, and ability. For quick reference, please use the slalom ski size chart in this guide to decide the right slalom ski length. (Remember that as the skier weight increases, the boat speed usually increases also.)

First and foremost one should consider their weight. Keep in mind that 100 lbs and over is considered an adult weight. The skier should decide if he is on the more aggressive side, looking to improve, and skiing more than 2 times per month. If so, then that type of skier, would use an intermediate to advanced slalom ski. A skier who skis less often than 2 times per month, or who is somewhat reserved, would either stay on the single from the 'Combination Pair', or find a beginner/intermediate slalom ski. The skier who is already accomplished and wants to cut and carve through the wake can handle a more responsive, advanced slalom ski.

The next factor to consider is the frequency skiers will be on the water! With that in mind, there are some water ski design elements that will match each skier.

Beginner to Intermediate slalom skiers may choose a wider series or shaped slalom ski to provide more ease out of the water on starts and allow a slower boat speed. However, while the wider skis are easier initially, they do not cut or turn as well as traditional slalom skis and can easily be outskied by a more aggressive skier, in a relatively short period of time. In a traditional slalom ski design, a beginner/intermediate skier would look for a standard tunnel or narrow center tunnel concave with a soft flex pattern. (Non graphite core.) This type of tunnel will track better and offer stability for the novice skier. The softer flex pattern will act like a shock absorber in waves or water that is not smooth. The only difficulty in the traditional slalom ski is that it is sometimes more difficult to get out of the water, but that is usually overcome, unless the boat is under powered. Generally it is NOT advisable to buy a ski just for the ease of getting up out of the water. The only time it is recommended to buy a ski solely based on the ease out the water, is for BIG GUYS, BAD BACKS, UNDER POWERED BOATS, OR BEGINNERS NOT LOOKING TO ADVANCE.

Slalom Waterski Bindings

Womens Binding Sizes: Many bindings are sized in mens foot size but the binding can be used by women as well.
To convert to a womens foot size, please click on the foot to see a conversion chart:

There is not really a right or wrong decision in type of waterski binding. It is really matter a personal preference. Beginner and intermediate skiers will do fine in a standard adjustable front universal binding with a rear slip-in toe. This is usually easier and more comfortable for this level of skier.

The most common mistake is buying a size S/M (5-10) intermediate slalom waterski binding for a size 10 foot. "My wife with her size 6 foot can also use this ski, right?". The problem is that size S/M 5-10 almost never fits a mans size 10 foot. Men with a size 10 foot absolutely need the size L/XL (9-14). If you are looking for a waterski you and your wife or other family members can share, you can buy a waterski with universal bindings that will adjust to fit entire range of sizes from youth to adult. The only problem with universal is that it is not very challenging for advanced riders. After a few trips to the lake, you will probably get board with it and start thinking about buying an advanced slalom waterski with bindings that have a narrower binding size range.

More advanced skiers may prefer a non adjustable, fixed binding, sized to their foot to provide ankle support and maximum control of the ski. Some skiers choose the front fixed binding with a slip in rear toe, while others prefer the fixed front and rear boot. The rear fixed boot keeps the heel in place and gives additional ankle support to give ultimate control of the ski for turning and carving through the wake! This is not for everyone though, because it usually requires more effort and some technique and usually binding lube, for entry and exit of the bindings. However, the double binding set up allows the skier to ultimately use the ski to its maximum potential. Many will argue that it is the only way to go!! Again, just remember, there is no right or wrong. (Also it does not matter which foot is forward. Left or right foot forward is a comfort choice!) The forward foot is strictly a matter of personal preference. One thing to know is that by choosing a double binding set up, it usually means that a skier is serious about his sport, and should know that this adds a significant cost to any ski. Bindings are a major part of the price of a ski.

What is the difference between a front boot and a rear boot on a slalom waterski? The difference is the plate which has a different hole pattern on the front vs rear boot. If the boot mounts without a plate, the hole pattern will be different.

What is the difference between the right boot and left foot boot on a slalom waterski? Most beginner and intermediate boots and bindings are generic enough to fit either right or left foot. More advanced boots are shaped specifically for a right foot or a left foot, and for that reason, you should always specify which foot forward when ordering an advanced slalom waterski.

Watch out for this mistake regarding the purchase of a 2015 HO boot for a 2014 HO ski, or other older ski, and the 2015 HO RTP. The 2015 HO RTP only mounts on a 2015 HO waterski. If you are looking to buy 2015 HO boots for an older HO waterski, and color match it to a new 2015 HO RTP, you are in for a surprise. HO makes an adapter plate to mount your boot on a 2014 or older ski, but they did not make an adapter plate for 2015 RTP. You will have to buy the Classic Black RTP (part of the HO Animal Binding line), or find an older 2014 RTP binding in stock, but a 2014 Rear Toe Plate bindings are becoming scarce because they dont make them anymore. Please see the HO Rear Toe Plate Water Ski Binding Classic Black which will mount on any HO ski 2014 or 2015.

Advanced Slalom Waterskis

As a rule, a more advanced slalom ski will have an edge to edge concave and a somewhat narrow tail. This type of concave creates more suction across the entire bottom surface of the ski, allowing the ski to hold the edge through the wake more efficiently and with more ease for this level of skier. The graphite core is stiffer, more responsive, and quick to accommodate the more intense or aggressive riding style.

As mentioned earlier, the frequency of time spent on the water will also determine how fast a skier will progress in ability. Obviously the more often you ski the faster you progress. If this is the case, then it is advisable to select a ski above your current ability so that you will be skiing INTO the ski rather than OUT of the ski. Again, keep in mind, this would apply to a skier than has mastered deep water starts and is comfortable and confident crossing the wakes.

The same general weight category applies to the Intermediate/Advanced slalom skier as above with one exception. Sometimes, more advanced skiers will ski faster than the speeds noted for the different weight categories. In such instances, skiers may choose a smaller ski due to the increased speed which will keep the ski riding on top the water for a heavier skier. However, this will definitely work the skier much harder and be more of a challenge. This is okay to a point, but if the skier is at a speed that is too fast for his ability, the focus will more about just hanging on rather than working on technique, and the skier may become too fatigued to enjoy the ride or dramatically cut the skiing time in half.

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