The ski equipment available today is vastly different from the equipment that existed back when skiing was first invented. While in the 18th and 19th centuries all skiers really needed was a pair of snow boots, some warm clothes, and the wooden skis themselves, there’s far more to consider now when it comes to ski equipment.
It’s important to know all you can before you start investing in said equipment, such as how much everything weighs.
But how much does ski equipment weigh? The following article will break down all the average weights of each type of ski equipment, to help you when you’re packing for your next trip.
Table of contents
- The Average Weight of Skis
- What are the Benefits of Having Lighter Skis?
- How Long Are Skis?
- The Average Weight of Ski Boots
- Transporting Skis and Ski Boots
- The Average Weight of Ski Poles
- The Average Weight of Ski Bindings
- The Average Weight of Ski Helmets
- The Average Weight of Ski Gloves
- The Average Weight of Ski Goggles
- Conclusion: How Much Does Ski Equipment Weigh?
The Average Weight of Skis
There are a number of factors that affect the weight of a pair of skis, including their size, their shape, and the materials used to make them.
We’ll break these factors down in just a second, but generally, the average weight of a pair of skis is between 10 to 15 pounds (or 4.5 to 6.8 kilograms). Now let’s look at all the main materials used to make skis: carbon fiber, fiberglass, titanal/metal, sandwich, and wood.
Carbon Fiber Skis
Carbon fiber skis are the most lightweight skis available, and are therefore the kind most often recommended for beginners. Despite their lightweightedness, they’re still as hard as any pair of skis need to be. They allow for long periods of skiing without the skier getting too tired too soon.
The only real disadvantages to skis made with carbon fiber are that they tend to be quite pricey, and they’re also a lot louder than other kinds of skis when you’re skiing at higher speeds (which is referred to as ‘chatter’).
The most common kind of skis are fiberglass skis, and they also tend to be the most affordable. The fiberglass makes them more adept at absorbing shock, which means they’re better suited to high speed skiing, because the ride will be far smoother than with carbon fiber skis. Their core is made from wood, which contributes to their sturdiness.
The only other thing to be aware of when it comes to fiberglass skis is that their quality can differ depending on the manufacturer, so be sure to do some research about which fiberglass skis are best for you.
While most skis have a core of wood, it’s rare that you’ll find a pair that are completely made of wood, and even rarer that they’d actually be in use. It used to be the case that all skis were made of wood and not much else, but those days are mostly gone now in favor of more effective, safer skiing.
That’s not to say there are no manufacturers producing wooden skis, though. There are still some companies making wooden skis, which tend to weigh between 7.5 to 9.3 pounds (or 3.4 to 4.2 kilograms). Their designs are a lot more modern than the wooden skis of old, though.
Titanal / Metal
These materials are often used as a reinforcement for the exterior of skis. Beginner skiers won’t be paying them much mind, but they’re handy for more advanced skiers that are taking sharper turns because the titanal or metal material provides increased torsional stiffness.
The term ‘sandwich’ refers to the use of P-tex or ABS plastics for the side of the ski’s core, or above the edges of the core. Skis that contain these materials tend to be somewhat pricier than skis that don’t- and heavier, too.
What are the Benefits of Having Lighter Skis?
There are a number of advantages to using lighter skis. The main benefit is that, when you’re at a resort and carrying your skis around a lot, it’s a lot more convenient to have the least amount of weight possible. It’ll also mean you’ll have more energy for the skiing part, which is obviously a plus.
Both carrying lighter skis and actually using lighter skis are a lot less tiring. The latter is mostly a result of lighter skis floating more easily over deep snow- but this will only be the case if you’re using skis with a level of stiffness appropriate for your weight.
How Long Are Skis?
When it comes to the length of skis, this can vary greatly depending on the skier’s height, weight, and skill level. For instance, if a skier is between 100 to 110 pounds (or 45 to 50 kilograms), and their height is between 58 inches to 60 inches (or 147 centimeters to 152 centimeters), then each of their skis will measure at around 57 inches, or 145 centimeters.
Typically the rule is that, when standing vertically, your skis should come up to somewhere between your chin and the top of your head. This isn’t true in every case, though- beginners will often be recommended shorter skis, while more advanced skiers sometimes go with longer skis.
The Average Weight of Ski Boots
There’s a lot of variety when it comes to ski boots, and their weight is no exception. While their weight will differ depending on the type of boots you’re using and the size of them, the average weight for a single ski boot is roughly 3.5 pounds (or 1.6 kilograms). The average weight for a pair of ski boots is 7.15 pounds (or 3.4 kilograms).
Children’s ski boots don’t necessarily weigh less than ski boots made for adults. They also tend to weigh more than snowboarding boots, due to their hard exterior, and they’re a lot heavier than hiking boots.
Transporting Skis and Ski Boots
The weight of your skis and ski boots will make ascending slopes a lot more work than if you had no equipment at all. It’s important to know how to properly carry this equipment, as it could end up saving you a lot of time (and pain!).
When it comes to skis, there are four ways they can be carried: vertically, on your shoulders, by your side, or through the use of a strap. You can use the ski brakes at the center of the skis to link both skis together, which should make them a little less cumbersome overall. Of the four main methods, it’s usually easiest to carry skis over your shoulders, as this helps take the weight off your arms.
If you’re not traveling a long distance, you can just wear your ski boots, but if you will be going long distances then it might be best to invest in a ski boot bag, or a carry strap designed for ski boots. The majority of ski boots will have loops for easier carrying, but it tends to be less effort to hold them together.
The Average Weight of Ski Poles
Ski poles tend to be very light, around 0.5 pounds (or 226.8 grams), with an average diameter of 0.7 inches or 18 millimeters. Like every other form of ski equipment, this weight can vary depending on the materials used. In most cases the materials used will be aluminum, a composite of fiberglass and carbon, or carbon fiber.
Aluminum ski poles can range in strength. The higher end poles are lighter than the cheaper ones, but offer more durability and are harder to accidentally bend.
Composite poles are made from carbon and fiberglass. They’re flexible, but on hard impacts they’ll shatter rather than bend, which would be very inconvenient early on in your ski trip. The weight of composite poles will depend on the ratio of carbon to fiberglass; the more carbon, the lighter the ski pole (and also the more expensive).
Carbon fiber ski poles, on the other hand, are lighter but tend to be less affordable. These are the ski poles that require the least energy to use while you’re skiing.
One other factor you might want to consider when deciding on a ski pole is that some ski poles are extendable, meaning they’ll be easier to fit in a backpack.
The Average Weight of Ski Bindings
Ski binds are the metal structures that secure a skier’s boot onto the ski. Before lighter metals like stainless steel and aluminum started being used for ski bindings, they were far heavier. While their weight is unavoidable regardless of the type of metal, they’re a lot less heavy nowadays, usually weighing between eight to 13 pounds (or 3.6 to 5.9 kilograms).
The bindings designed for cross country skiing are a lot lighter than the bindings designed for regular skiing. This is because cross country skiers will be moving their feet far more than if they were practicing regular skiing, where you can usually just hop on a ski lift or a gondola to get back to the top of a slope.
The Average Weight of Ski Helmets
While some more advanced ski helmets have features like Bluetooth and built-in visors that can make them a little heavier, the majority of helmets tend to weigh around 1.1 to 1.3 pounds (or 500 to 600 grams). All ski helmets will have foam padding between a harder exterior and a soft lining.
The Average Weight of Ski Gloves
The weight of a pair of ski gloves can differ depending on the materials and size, but they tend to weigh between 0.6 to 0.7 pounds (or 280 to 320 grams). The most common materials used to make ski gloves are fleece, leather, and nylon.
The main difference between ski gloves and snowboarding gloves is that gloves designed for snowboarding tend to be bulkier, and offer more protection to the snowboarder’s knuckles. This is because snowboarders touch the snow far more than skiers do, which is largely due to them needing to undo and redo their bindings whenever they get on or off of a ski lift.
The Average Weight of Ski Goggles
The final type of common ski equipment is the goggles. While these will naturally weigh far less than the rest of your gear, it’s still worth considering.
The average weight of ski goggles tends to be between 0.5 pounds to two pounds (or 226.8 to 907.2 grams). It’s important not to be wearing ski goggles that are too heavy, as this can result in neck strain. It’s recommended that beginners go with goggles on the lighter end.
Conclusion: How Much Does Ski Equipment Weigh?
Ski equipment is designed to keep you dry, warm, comfortable, and safe- but the weight sure can stack up. This doesn’t mean you should be choosing lighter equipment purely for the sake of convenience, though.
For example, while lighter skis are a lot easier to both carry and use, they also need to have a sturdy core. Make sure to do your research to determine which kind of ski equipment is best for your weight and skill level.
Fun Outdoors Team
The FunOutdoors team is comprised of seasoned writers and editors with a passion for outdoor living.