Hardly anyone listens to Harold Putnam anymore, in part because he now cruises down the slopes in another world; he was born a few years before the last great pandemic. But in his prime he was one of the great Eastern skiers of his age and was the outdoor editor of the Boston Globe. But I knew Mr. Putnam glancingly — we were members of the fraternity of old-time ski romantics — and knew to heed his advice, generations-old as it was. This is what he once wrote:
“In order to obtain skis of the correct length … one should purchase skis whose tips just reach to the base of the fingers when the arms are outstretched above the head.”
Well, nobody looks for skis that size anymore. Nobody, that is, except for me.
Let me explain: Skis that size are, by today’s standards, gargantuan. They would be too big for basketball’s Steph Curry, who checks in at a mere 6-foot-3, but maybe appropriate for the great Shaquille O’Neal, who measures 7-1. (Let’s leave aside for a moment the question of boots and bindings for Shaq, sneaker size 22.) But skis that size are not for any of us.