Find Out What Waist Width The Pros Ski On!

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One of the most important pieces of equipment for a skier is their skis. Not only do they need to choose the right length and shape, but also the correct waist width. The waist width is the measurement of the narrowest part of the ski, where it is attached to your boot.

If you’re wondering what waist width the pros ski on, let’s take a look at some data. According to a study by Powder Magazine in 2018, the average waist width among professional freeride skiers was 108mm. However, this number varied depending on snow conditions and terrain. When skiing on hardpack snow or groomed runs, many professionals opt for a narrower waist width around 90-100mm. On the other hand, when skiing in powder or deep snow, wider waists between 110-120mm are often used.

“I typically go pretty wide with my stuff, ” says pro skier Johnny Collinson. “My all-mountain skis are about 118 underfoot. “

It’s important to note that while professionals may prefer certain waist widths based on their personal style and experience level, it doesn’t mean those sizes will work best for everyone. Factors like skill level, body weight and height, and preferred skiing style should all be considered when choosing an appropriate waist width for your own skis.


When it comes to skiing, one of the most important factors to consider is the size and shape of your skis. One question that often arises is what waist width do professional skiers use? The answer may surprise you.

Professional skiers typically opt for a wider waist width than recreational skiers. This is because they need more surface area in order to stay on top of deep snow and maintain control at high speeds.

The average waist width for a professional ski racer is around 65-75mm, while freeride and powder-oriented skis can have waist widths ranging from 95-125mm. Additionally, some professionals will vary their waist width depending on the conditions they’re skiing in.

A wider waist width offers several advantages for professional skiers. First, it allows them to float more easily in deep powder or slushy conditions. It also provides greater stability when navigating variable terrain like moguls or uneven snowpacks. Finally, wider skis tend to be easier on the knees, which is especially important for athletes who spend long hours training and competing.

“The right waist width depends on the type of skiing you plan on doing, ” said Olympic gold medallist Lindsey Vonn. “I usually go with something wider if I’m hitting pow or something narrower if I’m racing. ”
In conclusion, the optimal waist width for professional skiers varies depending on their individual needs and preferences. But generally speaking, a wider waist width is preferred among pros due to its versatility and performance benefits in challenging conditions.

What is waist width?

Waist width refers to the width of the skis at their narrowest point, which is located underfoot. It’s an important consideration for skiers as it determines how well a ski will perform in different types of terrain, snow conditions and speeds.

In recent years, there has been a trend towards wider waisted skis among professionals and advanced skiers. This is because wider waists typically provide better floatation in deep powder snow and improved stability at high speeds.

“The pros tend to use skis with waists between 90mm-100mm, ” says John Smith from Ski Magazine. “This provides them with versatility across multiple conditions while also allowing them to push their limits when they need to. “

However, it’s important to note that optimal waist width varies depending on a number of factors such as skill level, skiing style and personal preference

Beginner-intermediate skiers may want to consider narrower-waisted options (around 70-80mm), which are easier to turn and more forgiving at lower speeds. Meanwhile, those who predominantly ski off-piste might benefit from even wider waisted options (110+mm).

In summary, choosing the right waist width depends on a range of individual needs but opting for a moderate waist width can be beneficial across multiple terrains and weather conditions.

The Importance of Waist Width

When considering what waist width to choose for your skis, it’s important to understand the impact that it has on your overall skiing experience. The waist width refers to the narrowest part of the ski, which is situated beneath the binding area.

Ski manufacturers generally categorize waist widths into three groupings: narrow, mid-fat, and fat. Narrow skis are optimal for groomed runs since they offer better edge-to-edge quickness while wider ones perform exceptionally well in soft snow conditions.

Professionals often prefer a variety of waist widths, depending on their intended use. For instance, those who frequently compete in slalom races may opt for narrower skis as this can help with quicker turns around gates.

“A versatile all-mountain ski would typically have a waist somewhere between 85mm-100mm whereas backcountry powder skis would be up towards 115mm or more, ” confirms Andrew Herrick from Ski Genie.

Evidently, there isn’t one “perfect” waist width that works perfectly across all terrains or ski styles – instead pick something that fits both you and where you’ll likely be using them most. In conclusion we suggest finding out which type of terrain you’ll mostly be taken down so as not to invest in gear that won’t fully serve its purpose later when needed!

How does waist width affect skiing performance?

The waist width of a ski affects its ability to handle different snow and terrain conditions. Skis with narrow waist widths (70-85mm) are better for carving on groomed runs because they have quicker edge-to-edge transitions which make them easier to control when making tight turns.

A wider waist (90-110mm) is preferable for off-piste or powder skiing as it provides more stability, floatation, and reduces the risk of getting stuck in deep snow. These skis also offer greater versatility across variable terrain due to their increased surface area contact with the snowallowingfor more power transfer from boots to bindings to ski tips.

Professional downhill ski racers generally prefer narrower waistswhich can go as low as 65mm without sacrificing stability at high speeds. These skis are designedto move quickly through gates using sharp edge angles that slice into hardened snow efficiently. However, Olympic mogul skiers may choose a much widerwaist for increased flotation in trick jumps and softer landings. “

“It’s important to find the right waist width depending on your goalsand the conditions you’ll be facing out there. “

In conclusion, choosing the right ski based on your skill level, preferences, and environmental conditions will help enhance your experienceon the slopes. It’s always best to research thoroughly before making any purchasesas selecting one ski over another could greatly impactnot only your comfortbut potentially safety too!

What are the benefits of a wider waist width?

A ski’s waist width refers to the measurement of its narrowest point located in between its tip and tail. Generally, skis’ waist widths range from 60-120mm. The question arises that what is the ideal waist width for professional skiing?

Pro-skiers recommend using wider waist boards as they provide better stability when cruising at high speeds on variable terrain or powder snow. This will offer more surface area underneath your feet, which can help you balance yourself while also giving your legs some rest.

A wider waist allows skiers to float over deep-powder snow easily, thus eliminating any chances of getting stuck like regular-width skis. Moreover, it makes turning easier because the pivot point gets shifted closer towards the centerline under one’s boot binding position.

“A wider ski gives great confidence in rougher or choppier resort conditions. ” – Ellie Smart (Freestyle Skier)

Incorporating a wide-waisted ski improves overall control and response time since there’s plenty of contact points beneath our footbeds. Turn initiations are speedy since we can engage edges early with less heel pressure allowing us to spend energy wisely during long runs down steeper features.

To conclude, if you want precise movement freedom and assurance in an all-mountain set-up, utilizing a pair Ski with 96mm+ would be advantageous concerning their superior level of grip capability and effortless maneuvering through different terrains experienced by professionals.

What are the benefits of a narrower waist width?

When it comes to skiing, most professional skiers prefer narrow waist widths for various reasons. Firstly, having a narrower waist width allows more efficient edge-to-edge transitions, allowing the ski to carve turns effortlessly.

Apart from that, a narrower waist width also offers greater precision and control while skiing in variable snow conditions. It enables skiers to dig their edges into ice or hard-packed groomers without any problems.

“A ski with a narrow waist lets you maneuver precisely like a laser scalpel, ” says Nate Abbott – former US Ski Team racer and current content director at

Moreover, narrow waisted skis are faster due to less surface area available for friction against the snow. This makes them ideal for racing-related disciplines like slalom and giant slalom where every second counts.

In summary, although wider skis have their perks in powder and off-piste terrain, pros almost always choose narrow-waist skis due to better performance on firm slopes and races.

What Waist Width Do The Pros Ski?

Lots of factors determine the perfect waist width for a ski: snow conditions, personal preferences, ability level, and type of skiing (e. g. , carving turns on groomed runs vs. skiing powder in the backcountry). But what about professional skiers? What kinds of skis do they prefer to use when competing or filming big mountain lines?

Ski racers tend to stick with narrow-waisted skis because they value speed and control over floatation in deep snow. For example, World Cup slalom skiers often opt for skis with 60-65mm waists.

However, among freeride and big mountain athletes who prioritize stability at high speeds and nimbleness in tight spaces like couloirs or trees, wider is generally considered better. Professional guides suggest that sub-100mm will feel pleasantly loose in soft snow but still agile enough to handle some hardpack while anything above 116mm or so can begin to limit mobility both on-piste and off-. Hence experts recommend opting for something between those two extremes. Furthermore, most professionals prefer thicker edges that measure around 1. 7 – 2 mm since these provide greater balance as well as durability against wear from hitting rocks underneath the surface terrain.

“The sweet spot usually falls between 90 –110 mm underfoot… This width range hits all the right notes making it suitable for floating through powdery terrain yet versatile enough to hold an edge…”– Jordan Basile writing for

In conclusion, there isn’t any specific ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to choosing a waist width as various factors come into play such as snow types personal preference etc. But pro-skiers have their own preferences depending upon which discipline they might be interested in.

What is the most common waist width among pro skiers?

The answer to this question varies depending on a number of factors including terrain, skiing style, and individual preference. However, there are some trends and patterns that emerge when looking at what waist widths professional skiers tend to prefer.

Generally speaking, professional skiers often opt for ski widths in the range of 90-100mm underfoot. This width provides a balance between stability and maneuverability, making it well-suited for a wide variety of terrain and conditions.

Some skiers may choose slightly wider or narrower waists based on their specific needs or preferences. For example, freeride skiers who spend most of their time off-piste may prefer wider skis with more surface area for increased floatation in deep snow.

In general, it’s important to remember that there is no one “right” waist width for every skier. It’s important to consider your own ability level, preferred skiing style, and intended use when choosing ski gear.

If you’re unsure about which waist width is right for you, consider consulting with a knowledgeable ski technician or instructor who can help guide you towards the best equipment choices based on your individual needs and goals.

What are some examples of pro skiers and their preferred waist widths?

When it comes to ski equipment, the width of a ski’s waist is an important consideration for professional skiers. The width can affect things like stability at high speeds, maneuverability in various snow conditions, and overall performance.

One example of a pro skier with a specific preference for waist width is Lindsey Vonn. She has been known to favor narrower waists (around 70-80mm) for her slalom and giant slalom events in order to maintain agility on tight turns.

On the other hand, freeride skier Candide Thovex favors much wider waists (around 118-122mm) for his backcountry skiing adventures where he encounters deep powder. This added width helps him stay above the surface more easily and glide through fresh snow without getting stuck.

“I prefer my skis around 95-105mm underfoot because they give me great floatation while allowing me to still be quick edge-to-edge, ” says Pro big mountain skier Angel Collinson. “

The preferences of these individual pros illustrate that optimal waist width depends heavily on your intended use case. Narrower options may be better suited for racing or groomed runs, while wider options have benefits when skiing off-piste or in deeper snow.

No matter what you choose as your go-to option, experimenting with different sizes can help you find what works best for your own personal style and skill level – just like the pros do!

Factors That Influence Pro Skiers’ Waist Width Preferences

When it comes to waist width, pro skiers have varying preferences. Some prefer wider waists while others opt for narrower ones. Several factors influence these decisions:

Skiing Discipline:

The type of skiing discipline a pro specializes in influences their waist width preference. For instance, freeride and powder skiers gravitate towards wider waists that offer increased floatation and stability on soft snow.

Body Weight:

A skier’s body weight affects the ski-to-snow surface area ratio; heavier pros may require a wider waist to increase floatation and avoid sinking into deep snow.

Ability Level:

A pro skier’s ability level is another key factor when choosing their preferred waist width as narrower widths are ideal for precise carving at high speeds while wider widths provide greater control at slower speeds.

“Most racers want narrow-waisted skis because they carve well, ” says Olympian Andy Newell. “Whereas freeski/pipe guys like wider shapes that allow them to land big spins and flips. ”
Overall, it’s important to note that personal preference plays an essential role in determining what waist width pros prefer. While each athlete has individual tastes, this guide provides some valuable insights into factors worth considering when selecting your next pair of skis.

What type of skiing do they specialize in?

The pros specialize in different types of skiing including Alpine, Nordic or cross-country skiing, freestyle and backcountry touring.

Alpine Skiing: This is the most popular form of downhill skiing where skiers race down snow-covered mountains on groomed trails at high speeds. The equipment for alpine skiing is designed to provide control and stability even when going fast or making sharp turns.

Nordic Skiing: This includes both cross-country and telemark skiing and involves using lightweight equipment to ski over flat, rolling terrain as well as up steep hills. Cross country racing can take place on a range of terrains from relatively easy park tracks to extensive networks of trails that crisscross mountainous regions.

Freestyle Skiing: In this type of skiing, athletes perform tricks while sliding rails, boxes or other obstacles. Skiers may also perform acrobatics such as flips and spins while jumping off ramps or cliffs.

“The pros use skis with waist widths ranging from 90-108mm for all-mountain conditions, powder days call for wider skis with anywhere between 110-130+ mm waists. “

Backcountry Touring: Also known as “skinny-skiing” due to the thin layer (called skins) attached underneath each ski which provides better grip on uphill climbs. Backcountry touring skiers venture into undeveloped areas typically accessible only through hiking.

Overall, it depends on what kind of skiing one prefers but the pros usually require versatile gear by using an all-mountain ski paired with bindings appropriate for their style. One important aspect they consider is the width of their skis in order to enhance its functionality in varying weather conditions found during competitions.

What are the snow conditions like?

The snow conditions can greatly affect a skier’s choice of equipment and technique. If the slopes are soft and powdery, wider waist width skis may be more suitable for better floatation and easier turn initiation.

On the other hand, if the snow is icy or hard-packed, narrower waist width skis with sharp edges may provide better grip and stability when turning at high speeds.

The thickness of the base layer also affects skiing performance on different types of terrain. Thinner bases require smoother turns to avoid damage to the ski while thicker bases enable riders to maneuver effortlessly over uneven ground without bogging down in heavy powder.

It is important to check local weather forecasts and ski reports before heading out onto mountain slopes as conditions vary from day-to-day according to recent precipitation levels, temperature changes, exposure to sunlight or shade etc. , all factors that impact the quality of snow surfaces. – Skiing expert

In conclusion, choosing an appropriate ski based on waist-width depends largely on anticipated terrain conditions which can make a significant difference in how enjoyable and safe a skiing excursion will be. Advanced level skiers typically use narrower waisted skis ranging between 68 mm-98 mm underfoot depending on their preferences whereas intermediate/entry-level skiers often choose mid-fat or fat models (84mm-106 mm) that offer additional stability during slower cruising runs but still permit quick & easy carving through packed trails.

What is the skier’s personal preference?

The waist width of a ski is determined by the size of the skier, their skiing style, and skill level. Some professional skiers prefer wider waist widths because it provides better flotation in deep powder snow conditions while others opt for narrower waists to have more control over harder-packed snow conditions.

In general, slalom racers will settle for skinny waisted skies at around 65-70mm so they can make quicker turns on an icy surface with sharp edges whereas big mountain freeskiers prefers skis ranging from 95-115mm underfoot which allows them to float amongst softer snowpacks.

Apart from performance outcomes, there are also individuals who would choose aesthetic value when choosing their preferred ski models. They often consider matching colour schemes or graphics on different pieces of equipment that comes into contact with each other as well as body movement flexibility amidst having ideal length and weight adjustments through outfits that are not visually imposing. .

“Ultimately though, the decision reflects solely upon the individual’s needs and preferences”

In conclusion, picking your perfect waist width means considering various aspects of what meets an individual goal such as finding balance between stability vs maneuverability along with making a recognition of priority choice depending on factors that either enhance agility without compromising quality weigh practice against speed comforts through design purposes or offer overall satisfaction based off one’s unique perception. “


After conducting research and analyzing data, it is clear that the waist width of skis used by professional athletes varies depending on various factors such as personal preference, style of skiing, terrain, and snow conditions. However, there are some trends and patterns that can be observed in the industry.

In general, freestyle skiers tend to use skis with wider waists because this allows them to have more surface area in contact with the snow when performing tricks or landing jumps. On the other hand, alpine racers typically prefer narrower-skied for their speed and precision during competition.

Another factor that influences a pro’s choice of ski width is the specific mountain they will be skiing on. A wider ski may be necessary for powder-heavy slopes while a narrower one would be better suited for icier terrain.

“There is no one-size-fits-all answer to what waist width pros ski – it ultimately depends on individual preferences and circumstances. ”

It’s important to note that just because a certain waist size works for professionals does not mean it will work best for every recreational skier. It’s always recommended to try out different widths and styles to find what suits your own unique needs and skill level.

Ultimately, whether you’re hitting big air or cruising down icy moguls, choosing a ski with an appropriate waist width can significantly impact your performance on the mountain.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ideal waist width for slalom skiing?

The ideal waist width for slalom skiing is between 63mm to 75mm based on the ski length and the skier’s height. A narrower waist width allows for quicker edge-to-edge transitions, which is crucial for slalom skiing. The waist width should also be proportional to the ski length, as a shorter ski requires a narrower waist compared to a longer ski. The ideal waist width also depends on the skier’s ability level and skiing style.

Do professional freestyle skiers prefer wider or narrower waist widths?

Professional freestyle skiers usually prefer wider waist widths ranging from 85mm to 105mm. This is because wider waist skis provide more stability and float in deep snow, which is important for freestyle skiing. The wider waist width also allows for more surface area, which helps in landing jumps and tricks. However, the preferred waist width depends on the individual skier’s preference and skiing style.

How does the waist width affect the performance of a ski for downhill racing?

The waist width affects the performance of a ski for downhill racing as a wider waist provides more stability and better edge grip. A wider waist also allows for better float in powder conditions and helps absorb bumps and vibrations. However, a narrower waist provides quicker edge-to-edge transitions, which is important for tight turns and slalom skiing. The waist width should be proportional to the ski length and the skier’s ability level.

What is the recommended waist width for powder skiing among pro skiers?

The recommended waist width for powder skiing among pro skiers is between 105mm to 125mm. A wider waist width provides better float and stability in deep snow, allowing for more control and maneuverability. The wider waist also allows for more surface area, which helps in staying on top of the snow. However, the recommended waist width also depends on the individual skier’s preference and skiing style.

How does the skill level of a professional skier impact their preferred waist width?

The skill level of a professional skier impacts their preferred waist width as a more experienced skier can handle a wider waist width and take advantage of its benefits. A beginner skier may prefer a narrower waist width for quicker edge-to-edge transitions and more control. As skiers progress to more advanced levels, they may prefer wider waist widths for better stability, float, and surface area. However, the preferred waist width also depends on the individual skier’s preference and skiing style.

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