Knowing the size of a slalom water ski is easy if the manufacturer indicated it on the ski, but how would you determine the ski size if the ski has no markings on it?
The size of a slalom water ski is determined by the length of the ski from tip to tail. It sounds simple right? Not exactly. First let me explain (or rather ‘show’) how you would measure a slalom water ski.
Why is the length of a slalom water ski so important?
The length of the slalom ski that you should use is normally associated with your weight and the speed you are skiing at. The heavier you are, the longer the ski needs to be. The same is true for the other side too, the lighter you are, the shorter the ski needs to be.
The boat speed also pays a role and needs to be taken into account when choosing a ski length.
What size slalom ski would be best for me?
Every ski manufacturer has their own suggestion for the specific model ski, but here is a chart that can be used as a generic guideline. If you are at a beginner to intermediate level, this chart would be more than sufficient in assisting you to choose a ski size
Effects of having a shorter ski for your specific weight
The ski would not plane properly. In short, the ski would sit too deep in the water, creating allot of drag and restricting movement. You would also not be able to ‘get the ski on edge’ properly, resulting in much more effort to cross the wakes and turning.
Effects of having a longer ski for your specific weight
Having a ski too long for your specific weight would result in a ski that planes easily, but turning is restricted allot. Making sharp turns (especially if you are skiing in a slalom course) would be more difficult. When free skiing it may not be a problem, but when skiing a slalom course, it may be one of the factors keeping you from improving.