What’s the Difference Between Men’s and Women’s Skis
What’s the difference between men’s and women’s skis other than the graphics?
LR: It’s not just about cuter graphics. You often hear the phrase, “shrink it and pink it” to describe women’s skis. Meaning, aside from the graphics, women tend not to want as long a ski as men do. Why? Because most women aren’t 220-pound athletes.
It’s about Weight. Women’s skis typically weigh less and their center of gravity and power are in different areas, so they need a differently constructed ski. In order for most women to be able to flex a ski the same way a 180-220 lb man can, the ski needs to be a bit lighter. So typically a manufacturer will either thin out the metal, or take it out completely. They may they also change the dimension a little bit.
It’s about size underfoot. Another example is fat skis. When we talk about fat skis, a 100 mm underfoot might be appropriate for a 190 lb man. But for a 140 lb woman, that may equate to a 90mm. So it’s not just the graphics, the size of the ski is also what’s behind the whole shrink it and pink it model.
It’s about ramp angle. Women’s center of gravity is in their hips, whereas a man’s is in his chest. So another thing a ski manufacturers will do is put a little ramp angle on the ski. This moves a woman’s lower center of gravity forward. Finally, ski techs may opt to mount part the binding a centimeter forward to get the same effect on different skis
In short. All of these differences are designed to get women skiing a “unisex” (read: men’s) style of ski, and enhance the skiing experience for her.