At what line length does height become a factor?

38? 39.5? 41? 35?? (If skiing a technically sound pass) when do you guys think height, or wingspan becomes a critical part of rounding buoys?


  • It seems crucial to me at 38 off, but that's cause I'm always scrapping!!
  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,322 Mega Baller
    -41 maybe, but certainly comes into play at -43
  • Than_BoganThan_Bogan Posts: 6,211 Mega Baller
    I think it can be at play at every line length. Using my above-average wing span advantageously is just about the only advantage I have! I'm pretty darn sure it's useful at -28 and may even be useful at -15. Of course, height is a disadvantage when trying to remain compact against torque, as is typical behind the boat and coming off the wake.

    If you mean at what point does height become a hard limit to what you can achieve, then it's pretty far along. Even someone who is 4'11" with relatively short arms should have a reach of about 6'2" or about 190cm. So the ski can theoretically go around the ball as long as the rope is at least 11.5 - 1.9 = 9.6m, meaning that even -43 (9.75m) is theoretically still possible for a short skier.
    Nathaniel Bogan -- GUT Padawan
  • @RazorRoss3 I would say 39.5. I haven't came close to running 39, but for fun I have tried 41 a bunch, at 41 I could use about two more feet in wingspan
  • @Than_Bogan I think what you just explained is one of the biggest reasons why this sport is so appealing, any yahoo with some strength, and athletic ability feels like they have a shot.
    Keith Menard
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,530 Administrator
    I think the dynamics really change around 35 off and that's probably where it starts coming into play. It's not just additional reach it's also additional leverage.

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  • RazorRoss3RazorRoss3 Posts: 1,322 Mega Baller
    I think I was more speaking to the hard limit that @Than_Bogan mentioned. I can technically get my ski around a buoy at -43 if we are strictly speaking mathematically. -35 I think there is still plenty of room however the slightly taller skier with more leverage may have an advantage in that respect. At -38, I haven't had a serviceable 1 ball yet however I think that is skill related not height related.
    Pat M
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,099 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    edited September 2016
    Whitney recently posted on FB about the heights of many of the top female slalom skiers..some of them are getting into 41...

    from her post:

    The pro ladies were talking about it last weekend in California. I have long arms and I'm also one of the tallest women on the tour. Manon & I are around 5'8" ; while Regina, Breanne, Karen, and Kate are all closer to 5'4"; and Clem is around 5'1 I believe.

    When it comes to "wing span" I think mine may be the longest (just under 6' fingertip to fingertip) and Breanne probably has the shortest reach - tho I didn't get my tape measure out at the tournament last weekend!
  • GlockGlock Posts: 192 Baller
    It depends on the ratio of height to circumference about the mid section. The higher this ratio, the great the coefficient of drag, and thus the harder it is to get around the bouys. The only way I see you getting around this handicap is to shave your beard and your hair to reduce the wind resistance, along with wearing a speed suit perhaps. Maybe you could put 6" spacers between your bindings and ski. That would get you some extra reach. But then I'm worried that could affect your stack and the outward cast of the ski, especially with your wing upside down.

    This is what happens when replying to a buddies ski question while laid up with a season ending shoulder injury.
    Ralph Lee
  • ToddLToddL Posts: 2,744 Mega Baller
    Standing Vertical Reach (SVR) seems to be the measurement to compare skiers. It combines the elements of height and wingspan. It would be an interesting study to capture skier's Ranking Average Score and their SVR to see if at some line length the average SVR start to rise. If so, that would indicate the line length where it becomes a factor.
    -- The future of skiing depends upon welcoming novice skiers regardless of age to our sport.
  • Razorskier1Razorskier1 Posts: 3,425 Mega Baller
    I think I'd rather be short with orangutan arms. All the benefits of reach with the compactness of being shorter.
    Jim Ross
  • WaternutWaternut Posts: 1,511 Crazy Baller
    I think it's much less of an issue than we make it out to be. I've come close a few times but I haven't touched 38off in the course yet so hard for me to speak from experience. I do feel we all want to blame things on aspects of our lives we can't control. Rock climbers always say being tall gives a huge advantage but when I ask a short climber to hang on to lower holds that are awkward for me because I'm taller, they can't do that either. Yet I know a couple skinny 5' tall girls who can climb stuff that I haven't even dreamed of attempting.
  • Pat MPat M Posts: 624 Crazy Baller
    @Razorskier1 All I can picture is someone in a stacked position with their hands down by their feet.
  • JackQJackQ Posts: 208 Open or 55K Rated Skier
    I don't think height matter much from my perspective until at least 38 if not 39.

    Although I can not run 39 (I have only done twice), rarely it is because I can not get around the ball, but I try to get too wide and then don't set up properly for preturn and turn. Often I am 5 feet wide at 38 and that kills me, at 35 it is "OK" to be wide and back side the buoy but at 38 & 39 that is incorrect. I find it exceedingly difficult to change the desire to be wide and backside.
  • I'd be very interested to see the height, weight, and wingspan of the top skiers in the world. Then again, I see anyone who can ski 28 off as a top skier in the world so maybe narrow it down to the official ''pro skiers'' BTW Regina don't count, she is a freak of nature!!
  • MSMS Posts: 5,026 Mega Baller
    Check out @skidawgs wing span.
    Shut up and ski
  • I'm thinking 6 ft, 185 lbs, with a 7 ft wingspan would be about perfect for slalom
  • Texas6Texas6 Posts: 2,182
    Ask Regina what the height disadvantage does for her into 41:)
    Daryn Dean - Lakes of Katy, TX
    ***Robbed out of Hundreds of Panda Worthy Posts***
    Keith Menard
  • BeastmodeBeastmode Posts: 89 Baller
    I agree with @Bruce_Butterfield it's not the reach! I bet Regina runs more 39's then 90% of men 34mph skiers that have run 39' and are 6' or taller!!!
  • 6balls6balls Posts: 4,948 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    It's gotta matter. How good is Terry Winter technically? Exceptional. WR men...they have some height or some wing span advantages along with amazing technique.
    Height and span are not holding me back at 38 (technical difficulties), shorter maybe but still more about technique. At the WR limits, tho, reach/height/body type has to matter.
    Phelps is a bad ass swimmer...but he has the combo of all the training/technique but also a unique build well suited to his sport.
    Dave Ross--die cancer die
  • HortonHorton Posts: 26,530 Administrator
    edited September 2016
    @Bruce_Butterfield explain Neveu : )

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  • BeastmodeBeastmode Posts: 89 Baller
    @Horton Neveu has an extra line length!!! lol-- his 38 is like the same reach as most of us at 35 or 32.
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,401 Mega Baller
    @Horton, its been a while since I saw Neveu ski, but from what I remember he was very smooth, patient and stayed balanced on his ski. If you skied like that, you'd run a few more buoys too.

    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • Bruce_ButterfieldBruce_Butterfield Posts: 1,401 Mega Baller
    @MS compare Skidawg's wingspan to Regina's. Who runs more 39's?
    I'm Ancient. WTH do I know?
  • @DaveLemons That sounds like a fun tournament verses some ski buddies
  • bkreisbkreis Posts: 291 Baller
    it's all over on height..even dave miller Canada is average height
  • JJVDMZNJJVDMZN Posts: 128 Baller
    Slow the boat speed down and shorten?
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,280 Crazy Baller
    This takes a different track. Besides the apparent advantages, there are unique dynamics involved in tall skiers. They seem (to me) to be required to ski a bit differently. Some of the basics we average height people take for granted seem (again that word) to need minor adjustments for the real tall guys. Leverage, etc. Even the choice of skis are influenced by a taller skier that weighs the same as an average height skier. Just my .02.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • Stevie BoyStevie Boy Posts: 1,823 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Hell I am only 5'6", if I could do something @38 off I would be ecstatic and bouncing off the walls for days.

    "Just Give Me The Handle ! I Want To Ski !”

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